We’ve all the heard the phrase ‘content marketing’, right?  Probably more often than we want to hear it, I’m sure.  Now many of you reading this may not think much about content marketing or even consider yourself to be a ‘content marketer’ but I have news for you.  If you blog.  You’re a content marketer.  If you have a Facebook page that you use for business.  You’re a content marketer.  If you use Pinterest to share your products and services.  Then you’re a content marketer.  I shared something in a post in 2013 that I learned from an early mentor that “every business owner is a ‘marketer’ first”.  And that applies to whatever business you are in.  Whether realtor or business coach; you are a marketer first and foremost.

With the explosion of social media and online businesses we have to carry this even further and look at what this really means for us.  Content marketing is starting to take over.  We can’t deny this and yet I’m hard pressed to find entrepreneurs who recognize this and see themselves and their businesses as ‘content marketing machines’.  You’re blogging weekly.  You’re posting on Facebook daily but yet you haven’t made this connection in your mind and it may be the one shift that makes 2014 your best year yet.

MH-PaintingContent ‘Artist’ Versus Content ‘Marketer’

While it is clear that almost every business and business owner is in the business of marketing and even more so ‘content marketing’ very few really get the whole ‘marketing’ side of this.  You see if your content doesn’t drive a specified action then it is really just ‘content’ and NOT marketing.  Now I think that is sometimes ok to just create ‘content’ for content’s sake but don’t trick yourself into believing that this is marketing because it’s NOT.  It’s art. 

You see if you’ve just been plopping out content with no goal, no metric to measure then you’ve really just been involved in ‘content artistry’.  And that may have been ok and you may have seen some results or what not but I want to help you maximize your efforts and get the most out of everything you post, share and write this year.

So what’s the big shift I was talking about?  Well the difference between ‘content artistry’ and ‘content marketing’ is actually pretty simple.  Goals!  Yup, that’s it.  Specific, measureable goals.  Content produced without a specific goal and end result in mind is really just art.  But content that is created with a specific goal in mind and then measured against that goal is marketing.  So the shift comes when you begin to look at everything you post, blog or tweet through this filter.  What is the end result that I want to achieve?

Every Single Stitch of Content MUST Have a Goal to Be Considered Marketing

At this point maybe you’re thinking something like, “well I don’t want to just market, market, market all the time” and what I would say is that whether you want to or not EVERY thing you put out is marketing in some form or another.  Every post, blog or tweet is creating or influencing your position in the marketplace and in the minds of your customers and prospects.  Applying this shift simply puts you in control of that marketing and replaces aimlessness with clarity and focus.

In my experience I’ve found that there are really only 4 goals that a content marketer has when producing content:

  • Get shared
  • Get comments
  • Get leads
  • Get sales

The problem is most of us (me included) aren’t creating content with one of these four goals in mind.  But we can change that and start doing things with greater focus and purpose.  So here are a few great ways to apply these goals to your ‘content marketing’ this year.

If you’re creating a piece of content with the purpose of getting shared just ‘trying to go viral’ isn’t going to help much but having some insight into why content tends to get shared more can.

The reason content is shared a lot can be debated for days and we won’t go there but I’ve found a few key indicators that you can apply to your own marketing mix and that is “viral” content is often:

  • Funny, controversial, gross, a bit scary, or extremely informative and thought provoking
  • Created around a very niche topic or audience

Now if you just want comments I want you to first ask yourself why.  Why do you want comments?  So you can feel like people care?  AHHHHH, wrong answer. 🙂  Do you want comments to just validate the post?  Again, wrong answer.  You want comments because comments means your readers are considering your thoughts and points of view and this opens up the conversation making it easier to get them to sign up for your email list and then easier to convert them to customers.

Think of comments as sort of “mini-conversions”.

If you’re goal is to generate leads then your content should detail a specific problem and then promise to solve it via an ebook, white paper, webinar etc.

Above all if generating leads is your goal then you must take visitors on a journey that ultimately leads to them saying, “I need help”.

Getting sales is probably the most straight-forward of all the goals because if you’re generating leads properly then your prospects already know they need help so you’re content has to point out how much it is costing them to “not” fix that problem.

Along with this one of the things Robin and I have seen over and over when we start working with clients 1-on1 is that they aren’t making sales because they aren’t asking for the sale.  They aren’t making any offers.  How can people buy when you aren’t asking them to?

Now pick one of these goals and start creating content that works for us instead of content that belongs in the Louvre!

If you want to learn how to ‘stand out’, attract ideal clients like mad and make a bigger difference we put together a very valuable free report that you can download right here absolutely free >>

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