Content marketing has come a long way in the past few years. The best way to ensure that your content is neither irrelevant or ignored is to make it as highly specific and detailed as possible — but that isn’t always an easy task, especially in the wake of the sheer volumes of content that is often produced. “Unique” has become a fairly meaningless word; thrown around and rarely contemplated. But it’s still an extremely important word; content that isn’t unique is likely to be ignored.
Marketing is always most effective when it is targeted and personal. Try to imagine the person that you’re talking to — and speak directly to them. Think of a specific person. Name them. Ask yourself what Roberta would want to know about your product or what questions Mike would ask about your service. The more personal you get, the better.
It can be easy to assume that casting a wider net will make your marketing more successful. You want to market to 10,000,000 people, not 10,000 — right? Well, that might be true, but you don’t need to market to them all at once. Most companies will achieve greater penetration by separating their audience into smaller demographics and tailoring their content to those demographics, rather than trying to address their entire audience as some form of amorphous whole.
City, season, neighborhood, events — all of these can be used as anchors for highly specific and detailed content. It’s not enough to simply mention a geographical location in passing context; you need to insert details about that context to create a picture in your reader’s mind.
Think of a book. A book always has a setting and it’s this setting that usually draws the reader in. Without a firm setting, the reader is adrift; even if the characters are compelling, they just can’t relate. When you’re creating the story of your product, service or company, you want the reader to associate and engage. This can only be done if the reader is first grounded.
And there’s a more technical reason behind this, too — geo-targeted content performs much better in search engine rankings. The more specific you get, the better.
Some marketers shy away from current events because they know that this content is naturally on a time limit. But that shouldn’t dissuade you from delving into news and current events for specific, industry-related and consumer-related information. It isn’t always about building up a lasting content catalog; it’s also about user interaction. The more often a user interacts with and experiences your brand, the more likely they are to trust, engage and convert.
A user seeing a contemporary news article today may not necessarily purchase a product from you today — but they may when they see your name again six months down the road. Every single user interaction is an investment in the future, regardless of conversion. Getting current is an opportunity to seed your chances for future conversion. All content, on some level, is temporary — and this should not be feared.
Don’t create aimless content just for the sake of speaking about a particular topic. Your content should try to solve a specific problem — even if that “problem” may just be natural curiosity. Your content should always have a goal of its own, that goes beyond conversion. Remember: your audience usually isn’t specifically looking to buy something. You need to know what they are looking for.
Too often, marketers begin with conversion as their end goal and create their content solely with the idea of conversion in mind. This creates content that is generic and inauthentic; readers will rebel against overly-aggressive messaging. But if you try to solve a problem that your highly specific audience has, you’ll create content that they will be looking for.
It isn’t always possible to be more specific — at least, not without churning out something awkward. When you can’t be unique, just be great. The most famous of our inventors and innovators were not those who thought of an idea first, but rather those who implemented the idea best. If you absolutely have to cover ground that has already been covered, cover it well. A little polish and thoughtfulness will go a long way.