How to Choose the Right Channels

Today you can create customer connections with content marketing. But a decade ago, you had five media options for advertising your business – television, newspapers, radio, magazines and billboards. Your challenge? Translate the brand communication strategy into a media strategy by answering questions like, ‘Who should our target be?’ ‘What media can we afford?’ and ‘When should we run?’

Unfortunately, blurry targets like ‘Males, 18 to 24 who like beef jerky’ made up most of the media planning. And when sales didn’t pick up in the next purchase cycle, your media budget was slashed by Ginsu-wielding management teams.

Fast forward to today. The explosion of digital media options and big data makes media planning more complicated, occasionally slower than expected, and sometimes difficult to measure.

At the end of the day though, media planning’s objective remains unchanged – to deliver strong ROI while achieving communication goals. Digital campaign results have been unsteady, and companies like Proctor & Gamble and Unilever are demanding better results from digital channels.

We’ve been exploring how you can deepen your relationships with customers through content marketing in this four-part series. We’ve provided guidelines for identifying your audience and outlined creative ways to engage with them. This third post examines how to effectively distribute your content across the expanded list of media channels, including paid, earned, shared and owned.

The PESO Model for Digital Marketing

Initially developed in 2014 as a model for public relations planning in the digital age, the PESO model was easy to overlay on digital marketing.

Paid media is the new descriptor for advertising. But our list of five buyable media options has expanded to include any effort paid for to promote content such as Google Adwords, sponsored content, or influencers.

You can hone paid media message effectiveness through testing. The bonus? Content is more likely to get seen with a paid boost. Paying to boost your brand’s content encourages engagement.

But to get the ROI your management team requires, you’ll need a clear target audience, a measurement plan and the authority to pivot if efforts aren’t working:

  • Earned media refers to publicity — when a blog mentions your brand, podcast, TV program or industry website created by someone else.
  • Earned media is ‘free’ and can deliver powerful, trusted, credible recommendations.

The downside is you don’t fully control earned media messages. Creating useful, shareable content and connecting with influencers and journalists can help you get positive earned media. Here are a few industry insights to keep in mind:

  • Shared media or social media is user-generated-content (what we like to call Undeniable Glorious Connections). Your customers, followers and fans become unpaid brand ambassadors by tweeting, sharing, or liking your content. Further, studies show that 82% of consumers consider user generated reviews extremely valuable.
  • Like earned media, shared media is ‘free’ and the word-of-mouth endorsements can improve your brand image.
  • Creating an environment for shared media to flourish means you’ll need dedicated resources to build relationships with followers. You can expect a troll or two to make trouble.  If you’re interested in building a real, enaged audience, remember that a ‘bot’ reply won’t deliver the responsiveness and authenticity your customers want from you.

Owned media

Owned media is under your control and includes content such as your website, white papers, e-books, webinars, vlogs, blogs and podcasts.
You fully control the message and can deliver a consistent brand experience through owned media. Owned media costs less than paid media, and you likely know who you’re reaching with your content.
But your owned content can have a limited audience if you don’t actively market it. And it can be ignored or relegated to ‘junk’ files, making ROI slower to build.

How to Find the Right Digital Channels for Your Brand

Getting the best mix of distribution for your content can feel like you’ve been asked to prepare a meal at a 3-star Michelin restaurant. You have all these ingredients, no idea where to begin and you’re expected to produce extraordinary results.

In some ways, the PESO model is confusing. There’s overlap between earned and shared media. Your owned media can morph into sponsored media.

Take a deep breath and take a step back. You’ve researched your audience and created great content. Now, think about how current and potential customers want to engage with you – and develop your channel strategy around their needs.

Paid media, your presence on social networks, and influencers can be used to attract potential customers.
When potential customers engage with you, tailor your owned media to help their decision-process and manage your shared media relationships to build deeper connections (and conversions).
Post-purchase, use your owned media to address needs. Harvest earned/shared press for reviews and feedback to put to work as customer development content.
A media distribution plan focused on creating a positive customer experience will produce the ROI your leadership team expects. We’d value the opportunity to talk with you about your goals and how we can help craft the right strategy for your business. Put some time on our calendar – we’ll bring snacks.

Up next, our final post in this series – What Does Digital Marketing Allow that Traditional Doesn’t?

Check out our other posts below:

Creative Content: Ways to Engage Your Audience

Create Customer Connections with Content Marketing


Creative Content – Ways to Engage with Your Audience

Your customers aren’t transactions. When they have good experiences with you, from the first contact through post-purchase, customers become partners in your success. They’ll reward you with trust, loyalty, and contribute to the revenues you need to thrive long-term.

We started our four-part series about how you can deepen your relationships with customers through content marketing with guidelines for identifying your audience. This post examines how you can effectively engage with your audience by using ingenuity and insights.

Engaging Your Audience Doesn’t Mean Monetizing Them

In simplest terms, when your audience is ‘engaged’, it’s because you’ve provided them with content that matters.

And your content matters when it delivers one or more of the following benefits. Your content should:

  • Eiminate work
  • Save time
  • Provide useful information

Although some customers may enjoy researching everything, many more will sigh with relief if you can provide information that’s concise, practical, and relevant.

Now that said, we know your manager is going to ask you for usage and conversion metrics. Your content must work (produce results) for your company, too. To compel your audience to act, your content may need to be challenging or disruptive.

  • A little disruption helps you stand out in the blog-o-sphere, where more than 400 million people read almost 22 billion blog pages each month. Yeah, no, we’re not kidding. Here are the stats from Word Press.

But hey, don’t be discouraged. You’ve identified your customer personas, you know their pain points, and you’ve got us. Blogs (the go-to content tool) remain valuable for delivering content, but you have a range of additional digital options to use to engage your audience.

Delivering Content Creatively

It may be tempting to unleash your digital marketing might and throw everything from podcasts to 7-minute videos with original songs at your audience. We all have a little George Lucas or Shonda Rhimes in us.

Like any other marketing initiative, your digital content needs to have a strategy driving it. Use the insights you’ve gathered about your audience as a foundation for your objectives. Then put together the digital elements that will resonate with them, keeping your tone/branding consistent throughout.

Variety is important to keep pace with news, changing needs and customers’ learning styles. Fortunately, the digital landscape allows you to analyze and track content performance, adjusting and revising to keep your messages useful.

Tools within the more ‘traditional’ content folder include the following:

  • Blogs (your own and as a ‘guest’ on others)
  • ebooks / guides
  • Case studies
  • Articles (on your site and industry platforms)
  • Whitepapers
  • Technical reviews
  • Emails
  • Testimonials

More visual options include:

  • Charts and diagrams
  • Infographics
  • Posts on visual social media platforms (Pinterest, Houzz)

And tactics that ramp up interaction include:

  • Online Demos
  • Video series
  • Podcasts (your own and as a guest)
  • Webinars

A newcomer on the block for B2B content is augmented reality (AR) a tool that relies on mobile apps to add dimension to hardcopy elements such as print ads, brochures and annual reports.

Illustrative Examples of Ingenious Engagement

Engaging with your audience doesn’t mean adding complexity to their journey. Sometimes a few simple additions can be compelling. Here are some ideas:

  • Suppose you regularly email current customers with your latest product news. Why not include a link in your next email to a short video case study or a product demonstration showing customers interacting with your product? Customers move from text-only to a more comprehensive (and relatable) sensory experience.
  • The audience for your lending services is predominantly small business owners. Let’s say after talking with a few customers, you have a list of issues they face, many outside your area. You could deepen your value by providing a series of guides (or webinars) on topics like website design, leading teams or writing posts for LinkedIn. You could even create an online forum for customers and have Q&A sessions with topical experts.

As you investigate possibilities, be sure to evaluate if the idea will be useful to your audience (and how).  Let it go if usefulness isn’t clear.

We’d love to brainstorm creative content ideas with you – it’s what we do.  And we can measure reactions to your content marketing initiatives to help you know what’s working.  Set up some time with our team and yours.

Up Next: Choosing the Right Channels: Paid/Earned/Owned/Shared

How to Market Crypto in a Creative Way

Communicating crypto’s points of appeal means marketers need strong technical, behavioral and analytical skills. When you learn to leverage investor data, you can setup algorithmic traffic sources for pre-launch and live ICO campaigns. Here are some key ideas to market crypto in a creative way: 

1. Google and Facebook Ads? Blockchain-based start-ups are still accepted.

The media landscape is muddied by lack of understanding about cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. But the targeting benefits of digital advertising through platforms like Google and Facebook remain available. Taking a benefit-focused approach with your message, one focused on the problems you’re solving, keeps your awareness-building efforts on track.

2. Building and managing communities

  • Events, like the Crypto Invest Summit, provide opportunities to promote your company to potential investors who are already interested in the crypto market. Here’s our SVP in a video clip discussing these tactics on the Investor Town Hall show. 
  • Communities can a be built with new technologies like Telegram, a free encrypted messaging service. The service borrows some of the features of blockchain like distributed, open networks. And with a single thread capable of hosting 100,000 customers, large (and targeted) community-creation is possible.
  • Traditional digital tactics like content marketing remain relevant when showcasing crypto and blockchain. We’d raise our hand to agree the role of substantive content is extremely important to help educate customers and establish trust in the still-developing crypto marketplace.
  • Content allows you to manage the conversation with your communities, remaining connected and responsive to their needs.

3. Analyzing to fine-tune your plan

  • An effective crypto marketing effort will follow the guardrails of traditional marketing campaigns. Your goal and target audience help define the message and the channels you’ll use. Responses need to be measured to identify the top-performing channels and content, then adjusted to improve results.
  • You know there’s a lot of data available. Finding the right partner who can help aggregate, analyze and deliver insights about your crypto marketing programs will set you up for success.

Marketing cryptocurrencies effectively take ingenuity, persistence, and yep, you guessed it, skills. Contact us to see how we can help! 

Why Crypto is an Opportunity for Marketing Innovation

The unique characteristics of crypto have opened the door for innovative marketing activities. But to be effective, crypto marketing must build connections, not hype. An integrated plan that allows you to test, optimize and scale across each channel will help your cryptocurrency stand out from the crowd. Understanding the drivers of interest in your cryptocurrency sets the tone for your marketing plan. Here are a few reasons why crypto is an opportunity for marketing innovation:

1. Financial Gain

With a report from Smartereum estimating the value of cryptocurrency to reach $1 trillion this year, it’s not surprising that financial gain spurs interest. And for investors, ICOs are a great leveler, providing opportunities to individuals who might not otherwise be able to tap into start-up growth.

2. Unregulated Freedom

Crypto, by design, gives customers control (and responsibility) over their funds. Relying on themselves, not banks, to manage their funds, appeals to buyers of cryptocurrencies.

3. Data Visibility and Privacy

The blockchain structure supporting crypto delivers data transparency (users can view transactions) and data security (‘keys’ are tied to specific users). Trust in the technology draws customers who want to stop worrying about companies ‘borrowing’ and selling personal data.

Our expertise in digital marketing and cryptocurrencies makes us the right choice.  Set up some time with our team to discuss your goals and how we can help! Or swing by our booth at the Crypto Invest Summit and say hi!

Create Customer Connections with Content Marketing

You may remember talking about ‘push’ and ‘pull’ in your Marketing 101 class. If you took Digital Marketing 102, your professor might have referred to ‘outbound’ and ‘inbound’ marketing. Unique blog posts to create customer connections requires time, patience, and above all, a new way of thinking.

Pushing or pulling, outbound or inbound, marketing efforts are designed to deliver a measurable outcome: revenue.

  • Push/outbound marketing makes it easy for customers to buy. Sometimes push marketing is fun — like a free in-store donut sample or that 50% off email coupon. And sometimes it’s ‘in-your-face’, like the perfume demonstrators spraying scents on unsuspecting customers or that pop-up ad floating all over the article you’re trying to read.
  • Pull marketing motivates potential customers to seek you out. Consumers watching YouTube for gaming tips may follow up with vendors to buy. Or maybe they use a clothing manufacturer’s Pinterest page to see the latest trends before buying.

Content marketing strategy straddles the push/pull see-saw. Influencer-based blogs are on the push side – while ebooks providing advice are on the pull end.

In this four-part series, we’re focusing on the longer-term benefit of good content marketing: building trust, loyalty and customer retention.

Effective content marketing:

  • keeps a conversation going with customers throughout the buying process,
  • positions you as a valuable resource, and
  • increases the likelihood your customers will buy again and refer you to others.

We’ll examine how you can deepen your relationships with customers through content marketing, starting with identifying your audience.

Identifying Your Audience:  The Goal

By identifying who may be interested in your product or service, you’ll be able to create content that resonates with them.

Remember, content is created to help build relationships.

Simple, right? It’s like writing an email to an old friend asking him to meet up with you–you know her interests, his sense of humor, some of his struggles, and his favorite restaurant.

But just like your friendship with your college buddy developed by investing time and effort, identifying your audience will take some work.

A Few Key Questions

These are basic questions, but answering them will provide insights into your potential customer:

  1. What does your product do for customers? What problem does it solve? What need(s) does it fulfill? What is the experience you’re providing? A purveyor of fine chocolate may say, “My product doesn’t solve any problems.” Oh, nay, nay we say – your creamy candy evokes nostalgia, reduces stress, or brightens the day. Think about the emotional solutions your product may provide in addition to the tangible ones.
  2. How are you different than competitors?

The answer to this question dovetails off the first – you’ll have more information about how you help customers and why they choose you over the guy down the street.

3 Who do you think your customers are?

It’s tempting to start with demographics, but is that what you did when you first met your college friend? Did you think, ah, male, 18, looks middle class, and seems smart?  Nope, you likely asked where he was from, what he liked to do, what he planned to study and if he wanted to grab a pizza. Think about your customers as the people they are – their interests, where they live and play, how they make decisions about products like yours and importantly, how they access content.

  • You may have more than one customer persona. You likely won’t need a dozen, but you may find one to three distinct groups of people who are interested in your product.
  • As a rule of thumb, only create another persona if that customer group represents a new way to connect.

Gathering Audience Details

You have many available tools to help you gain insights about your audience. But start with your internal teams – sales, marketing, customer service – anyone who has experience with your current customers to get their input. They’ll appreciate your interest and you’ll get valuable intel quickly.

You can also get details on the following:

  • Talk with current customers to make sure you understand your strengths (and opportunities) from their perspective
  • Research forums about your industry to find out who’s asking questions and what they want to know.
  • Review your website and social media analytics to find out who’s visiting, how they found you, even what they’re reading.

The digital world is filled with information to help you identify your audience for content marketing.

Talk with our team about harnessing your data to build customer personas. We’ll be at the Crypto Invest Summit. Come say hi!

Up next: Creative Content – Ways to Engage with Your Audience.

Why Airdrop Marketing for ICOs Works

How do you sell an intangible product, one that doesn’t have physical properties? When books became digital, authors created online samples. Prospective customers were able to preview before purchase, ‘picking up’ and perusing the book just like they used to do in a bookstore. With the rise in power of social media to reach audiences, businesses are using influencer outreach to spread the word about their product or service. Airdrop marketing for ICOs is somewhat similar. Let’s explain: 

Start-up companies typically attract investors by pitching their idea to venture capitalists or explaining their proposition on crowdfunding sites. If their efforts are successful, a start-up may ‘go public’ using an initial public offering (IPO) to sell shares of the company.

But if you’re trying to secure investors for a blockchain-driven technological application or platform (an intangible), you turn to initial coin offerings (ICOs) where cryptocurrencies (another intangible) are sold to raise capital. Using an intangible to help sell an intangible requires some creative marketing efforts. Look up! Here comes airdrop marketing.

What is an “Airdrop” for an ICO?  

An ‘airdrop’ builds on the appeal of sampling by combining it with the excitement around cryptocurrencies. Start-ups drop free cryptocurrency tokens into the online ‘wallets’ of people who have the cryptocurrency. Some airdrops are preannounced to encourage and reward early investors. Surprise airdrops may be planned by established cryptocurrencies.

Why is an “Airdrop” an Effective Marketing Tactic?

Everyone likes to get a gift. Well, there’s probably someone out there who may be suspicious about the giver’s motives, but most people like to get gifts. In addition to rewarding customers, an airdrop for ICOs delivers these benefits:

  1. Builds Awareness of Your ICO. Getting a free ‘sample’ of a cryptocurrency tied to an ICO can prompt recipients to research your project.
  2. Generates Leads from Early Adopters. Structuring your airdrop with promotional conditions – like asking recipients to refer friends to the project before they can collect their tokens will provide you with new leads to target.
  3. Increases Loyalty. Giving tokens to existing owners or to early adopters provides an incentive for continued investment in your project. These influencers can also become ‘brand ambassadors’ for your project.

A Cautionary Note

Remember getting sample boxes of cereal with your newspaper delivery? Remember newspapers? Okay, bad example. Let’s go with food shopping. You’ve likely encountered those friendly product demonstrators, plying you with coconut water, veggie burgers, or (if you’re lucky) pizza bites. Just because you’re buying food doesn’t mean you’re buying what’s being sampled. As a trial generator, product demonstrations convert into a sale about 10-20% of the time.

Blanketing your ICO airdrop across the entire universe of cryptocurrency owners is likely to be just as inefficient. Some may take your tokens without so much as a ‘thank-you.’  Consider using a data-driven approach to target your airdrop toward recipients likely to respond favorably to your gift.

Let’s talk about how we can help make your airdrop effectively land investors for your ICO.

Why Silicon Beach is Better than Silicon Valley

Time to think. Diversity – not just the outward signs found in race, clothing, or language – but the intellectual differences in culture, education and employment these signs represent. Open-mindedness and willingness to connect are not just a fad. These characteristics are integral to a creative environment, which fuels innovation and entrepreneurship.

And researchers from the University of Michigan found being outdoors in pleasant climates can improve mood, memory, and mental flexibility. Although not directly linked to creativity, these qualities make us more inventive.

Several U.S. areas have the entrepreneurial talent, knowledge and drive to label themselves the ‘next Silicon Valley.’ But when talent is overlaid with the characteristics of a creative environment, an area near Los Angeles is emerging as a front-runner.

The Tech Migration from Silicon Valley to Silicon Beach

Silicon Valley, a region near the Santa Clara Valley, earned its moniker in 1971 after journalist Don Hoefler coined the phrase for a report on the semiconductor business. Atari, Oracle, and Apple launched in Silicon Valley in the 70s, followed by Yahoo, PayPal, eBay, and Google in the 90s. Uber, Tesla, Facebook and Twitter joined the club in the 21st century. While still America’s leading high-tech city, Silicon Valley sees migration to a new tech hub – dubbed ‘Silicon Beach.’

Silicon Beach, on the west side of Los Angeles spanning the distance from Santa Monica to Venice, is home to more than 500 tech startups. Snap Inc., Hulu, Headspace, BuzzFeed and The Honest Company are a few up-and-comers who have arrived and planned to stay. Beyond having ‘beach’ in the name, what’s driving the migration?

  1. The City of Dreams. Los Angeles is infused with ambitious, hard-working (and hard-partying) people. Their motivation to succeed and passion about the journey provides an energetic landscape for entrepreneurs.
  2. Blended Cultures and Careers. Silicon Beach brings tech together with art, entertainment, and business. Innovation is spurred by looking at problems through new lenses. The diverse perspectives in the region make it a dynamic learning environment.
  3. New Tech is Bubbling Up.  New Tech is supported by more than $4 billion from venture capitalists in 2017 (some estimates list $7 billion). Whatever the amount, the money funded startups across an industry, including Neural Analytics’ neuroscience solution, Hutch’s interior design app, and Gem’s blockchain solution for data sharing. The area hosts many Blockchain events (such as the Crypto Invest Summit) along with additional cryptocurrency events peppered throughout April and May.
  4. Location, Location, Location. Proximity to the Los Angeles airport, 284 days of sunshine and at least eight noteworthy beach opportunities make Silicon Beach appealing for thinkers looking for mood-boosting creative space.
  5. The Talent Pool.  UCLA, USC, Cal Tech, and the Jet Propulsion Lab is a hotbed of talent. As Silicon Beach imports from other areas of the U.S. and the world, startups are becoming more infused with exceptional intelligence.

So there you have it – sunshine, talent, beaches, diversity, and innovation – combined to generate exciting new tech solutions – in Silicon Beach.

Come meet us in our new office space in Silicon Beach!

Top Reasons Why Equity Crowdfunding isn’t Just a Fad

We swatted away the lies about content marketing in our last post. And today we’ll address why equity crowdfunding isn’t just a fad.  Here’s why:

We checked our online dictionary to verify the definition of a fad as “an intense and widely shared enthusiasm for something. The definiton goes on to explain that a fad is “especially one that is short-lived and without basis in the object’s qualities; a craze.”  Fads that came and went in 2017 include fidget-spinners, the SnapChat dancing hot dog, and Starbuck’s Unicorn Frappuccino. 

Even though it received backlash from health advocates, rumors are running amok that the unicorn frap will return in April 2018.

That’s not to say fads aren’t successful. About 19 million fidget-spinners were sold across 12 countries. Starbuck’s sales increased +4% with unicorns running amok. And the SnapChat hot dog was so popular it became a mobile game.

Using this overview of fads as a backdrop, we’ve scrutinized equity crowdfunding – where you invest in startups and receive shares (equity) in the company. We’re thrilled to find that it’s here to stay.

Equity Crowdfunding is Not New

The first crowdfunding was tested in 2009, but the 2012 JOBS Act (Jumpstart Our Business Startups) really opened the door for the masses to participate in equity crowdfunding.

Equity crowdfunding will soon turn six years old, with regulated efforts amassing aggregated capital of more than $100 million

Another upshot to equity crowdfunding is explained by TechCrunch:

The shares sold through equity crowdfunding are limited to only one class of securities, so there are no voting rights. Instead, the investor is simply investing in the company’s profitability and success.

This process can help entrepreneurs keep the control of their company during the early stage of fundraising.

A short-lived fad? We think not.

Equity Crowdfunding is Adapting as Startups Evolve

Traditional crowdfunding efforts are SEC-regulated. This means that startups agree to have current and projected financials reviewed, and provide a list of employee roles and responsibilities.  By participating in the review process, startups can market and publicize fundraising efforts.

But then the kid on the block, Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), allowed startups to bypass regulations and raise funds by selling unique tokens or coins in exchanges for cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. The absence of oversight has made ICOs controversial and has led some equity crowdfunding platforms (such as StartEngine) to offer SEC-registered ICOs. These adaptive efforts deliver the security benefits of a blockchain digital ledger while offering potential investors equity.

Fads don’t stick around – a trend, like equity crowdfunding, is a tool that solves problems. It also becomes more valuable and relevant over time.

Equity Crowdfunding is Strategic

Our client Rayton Solar has a mission:

“create the world’s most cost-effective solar panels to reduce energy costs, offset carbon footprints, and transform the energy source of the world.”

To accomplish their goals, Rayton Solar needed capital and selected the StartEngine platform for fundraising.  

Although an agency that solely focuses on crowdfunding was considered, DNA was chosen to partner with Rayton Solar on a marketing strategy that delivered. Not to toot our own horn but we’re pretty proud: 

  • With a Facebook spend of $653,000, our campaign brought 3,305 investors and $4.24 million to the StartEngine offer.
  • This represents a 6.5x ROI, a $197 CPA and $1,283 per investor.
  • These numbers do not include search and display which were also used

Fads like Starbuck’s Unicorns can are tactical initiatives for short-term gains. For Rayton Solar, their equity crowdfunding campaign provided a long-term win and strategic power.

How can we help you with your equity crowdfunding initiatives? 

Find a time on our calendar and let’s find your crowd!

5 Myths About Content Marketing

Myths around content, marketing and content marketing fly around the internet just like that annoying fly that you can never seem to swat. You see it and hear it – but you can’t seem to make it disappear. Below are a few of the most common myths you may or may not have heard about content marketing. So get out your swatter, let’s make these myths go away for good:

1. Quantity over Quality

Back in the early days of blogging, you may have heard marketers screaming from their rooftops, “More, more more!”

These days it’s all about less.

For the purposes of this article, let’s assume that quality articles are sprinkled with heaping spoonfuls of:

  • Originality

  • Imagination

  • Intention

These are non-negotiables when you write quality content.

Here’s why:

The rise of too much content (known as Content Shock) leads to constant noise (due to too many status quo articles in the online world). This means that each piece of content that you publish needs to be, what I like to call: slow media. Slow media makes your customers laugh, think or challenge the status quo. It’s about producing content as smart as you can. If you produce multiple articles that are basic, you don’t elevate the conversation.

Status quo content is a risk for your brand and business.

Slow it down with smart, slow media (aka high-quality content).

When you write high-quality content, you set yourself apart from the flock of people (and businesses) that write for robots (see #3 below). Writing is a way to demonstrate how your company thinks and acts. If your content demonstrates that you think just like everyone else, you don’t give your audience a chance to invest in you and your ideas.

Your content marketing needs to be remarkable to stand out. And there are very few people who can consistently create quality content while simultaneously creating it in large amounts. If you’re going to choose one over the other, always (always!) make your article full of quality ideas.

2. Content marketing is a science

There’s a lot of information out there that supports the need to translate audience data to improve your content marketing strategy. While I fully support the need to translate data, the start of content marketing is in the art.

Here’s why: Each piece of content makes up a larger strategy that you cannot always see with science. Content that resonates with your audience is usually written with a lot of passion. Passion resonates. It’s emotional. You are reading the words of a writer and you’re (hopefully) drawn into a conversation or a mindset of how this person thinks. Good art does this: It drives conversation. Conversation creates connection. And connection drives business.

But here’s the rub: When you focus too intensely on the science (and the data) behind content marketing, you lose part of your art. You can use data to help your engagement. But try not to get too caught up in numbers and metrics so much that you lose your passion.

3. Content is written for search engines

If you remember one point out of this entire article, make it this one. Please, for the love of all of humanity, do not write on your website just for the robots. You are a human reading this. And you have human readers who visit your website.

Writing for robots is the equivalent of cooking a meal for a robot:

  • It’s entirely unnecessary.
  • Robots do not appreciate the food.
  • It ruins the mechanics behind what makes them great.

Your website is a way to connect. When you write for robots, your content becomes a way to disconnect (and it could possibly cause permanent damage to your brand).

4. The only reason to blog is to share company news.

First of all, if you’re still calling it a “newsletter” you’re not alone. But this is the problem. The exact word “newsletter” makes it seem like you have news to share in a letter. But the news is not what blogging is about.

It’s not your fault. Newsletters (and half of the rest of the world) have been stuck in 2005 since 2005. But here’s a secret: your audience most likely doesn’t care about the news that happens inside your organization. This is mostly because the news is written in the style of the Press Release, which is the antithesis of anything that sounds remotely human.

The truth is that unless your company is Google or SpaceX, most of your readers will not care about the latest happenings. Blogging, after all, is about sharing ideas – not company news.

Instead, create content around conversations that need to happen in your industry. Write from a fresh perspective that showcases your company culture. Or share a story about the why behind what you do. When you make it less about you and your company “news”, your customers can more easily connect and engage with your company.

5. Anyone can write content

If you think you can tell your interns to write the content for your company blog, for the love of all that’s good in the world, please stop now. I’m not saying that all interns are bad writers. But you should have a high-level approach to your content strategy. Since interns typically do not have access to the big picture vision of your company, telling your intern to write a blog post is a mere tactic. This means that the chances that the piece of content will deliver results (via page views, more sales, or an engaged audience) are slim to none.

Content marketing requires a specific skillset. So instead, hire an innovative creative agency or a team of writers who understand the art of writing. It’s up to you and your organization to find the right people who can shape your story.

Understanding the difference between fact and fiction is not always easy. But once you swat away the (f)lies, you’ll be left with the truth behind what you do.

Want to meet for coffee? We’re in Santa Monica and would love to talk about your marketing strategy. Book a slot on our calendar to meet with us!