“I’m branching out in a new business.”
That was the response I got from a fellow writer after being out of touch for a while. I was happy for him. A new business meant things were looking up for him and he was moving up to another level — that is, until he told me what the new business was.
Don’t get me wrong, any opportunity to showcase your skills as a writer is a great one. But with this undertaking, writing would play a very small — if any — part in this venture. I was saddened because I had been there before: putting in the effort and receiving very little in return.
Sometimes Content Marketing is like that. You put in the effort and the results don’t come right away. But this is a marathon, not a sprint.
In a previous article, I shared five tips on how to have more success with content marketing.
In this article, I have five more to help you get the results you want:
1. Tell better stories. Research shows that at least 54% of B2B marketers don’t think their content is effective, and good stories could change that. It has been proven that stories help the audience connect with what they’re reading, which encourages engagement with a brand.
Dig deep into stories; look for stories behind other stories. Tell stories your audience has never heard before.
Pro tip: Learn the fundamentals of storytelling. These articles offer some great ideas:
- Executive Summary: Using the Power of Story
- How to Tell Powerful Stories in Content Marketing
- 10 Stories Every Company Needs to Tell
- How to Write a Spellbinding Story for B2B Clients
And look for ways to spin crises into opportunities. Your reader would be able to see himself in such a light and readily identify with what you’re saying.
2. Spend more time writing your headlines. It’s the first thing readers see, and the decision to click or not to click is made right there. AWAI offers lots of content on headline writing and there are other resources that can help you be better at it.
Pro tip: Start by crafting at least 25 headlines for each piece you write. Because I struggle writing headlines, I brainstorm up to 50 for my projects. To get you started, here’s a quick tip from Steve Slaunwhite on How to Write a Better Headline.
3. Create better content — better doesn’t necessarily mean more. It means Demian Farnworth of Copyblogger and The CopyBot calls this “anchor content.” Generally, anchor content is content that opinion leaders find remarkable and “worth talking about.”
Blogger Sidekick described it this way: “It’s about conducting keyword research, discovering content opportunities, and building a one-of-a-kind resource on a topic that blows anything else out of the water.
The idea is to create a resource about a specific topic that is bigger and better than anything else out there.” This isn’t something you can create weekly because it’s time-consuming. But it establishes you as a go-to person for such.
Pro tip: Set aside time on your calendar for creating anchor content. Search Google and see what some of your favorite writers have created. (For example, author and entrepreneur Neil Patel does this very well.)
Consistent market research in your industry will help you better understand what your target audience is searching for. What questions do they need the answers to? What can you cover that will cut through the clutter?
4. Provide something valuable and unique — constantly seek new opportunities to do so. Trust me: they exist.
Information is valuable when it perfectly answers the needs of the audience it targets. If you have valuable content which produces some unique thoughts and action, then you’ve found yourself a winner. Compelling content that reaches your readers will increase engagement and the know/like/trust factor. The most effective content is about the reader, and never seems overly sales-y.
Pro tip: Brainstorm or mind map ideas based on what your audience most needs to hear about. What will motivate them to take action? What are the obstacles to their approval of the sale and what can you tell them to remove those obstacles? Here’s a useful write-up of important factors to consider so that your content is effective and valuable.
5. Never give up! Sometimes as writers we quit too easily. We give up or give in easier than a palm tree in a hurricane. But you know what?
Giving up is only an option if you make it one.
Let me share my story with you. I tried a couple of times to quit writing. I didn’t have the time (a full-time job and caretaker for my grandfather) and I suffered from a lack of finances (the conversion rate between the dollar and my local currency isn’t always the best).
But there was always a motivation, an inner surge that said: after you’ve boasted to the world you’re a writer, you’re giving up now? Nah. The best is still yet to come.
Pro tip: Have an advocate/mentor/coach/friend on a similar journey who will have your back. Your spouse may be a good candidate but may not understand the little idiosyncrasies that come as a part of being a writer or content creator. The B2B Copywriters Facebook group is one place to find fellow writers like you.
Sometimes it’s easy to fall back and think it’s best to try something different because this writing thing isn’t working out. But as you’ve seen, you can do well in Content Marketing. It calls for commitment, patience, and consistent persistence.
And keep in mind: The demand for content writers has never been greater. In fact, writing for content marketing is one of the two most outsourced activities for B2B marketers. Plus, Inc. Magazine reported that 88% of businesses are employing content marketing, and 76% state they plan to produce more content this year than last.
Now give yourself a good writing high-five and share in the comments how you’ve been doing with Content Marketing.