Content, content, content, that’s all everyone seems to be talking about these days, right? Well there’s good reason for it - content marketing is here to stay. The stats that support content marketing as a vertical are undeniable and it's no surprise that businesses in every industry, large and small have been turning to content marketing in swarms in the last few years.
- Content marketing adopters experience 6x as many conversions as non-adopters
- Content marketing costs 62% less than outbound marketing
- Content marketing produces 3x as many leads as outbound marketing
The Problem With Content Marketing
With the increase of participants in content marketing, consumers are experiencing the content equivalent of ad blindness called content overload.
There are so many organizations, businesses, entrepreneurs, and marketers all contending for the same keywords and all writing broad, generic articles like "10 ways to get new customers,” "15 ways to generate more revenue”, or "3 things everyone should know about X.” Yawn!
The truth of the matter is that broad content is boring and ineffecitve. Even if your content is highly valuable and perfectly written, if you don't position your articles towards a target audience or niche, it's most likely a waste of time, effort, and money. Kapost recently did a study and found that: "Midsize to large B2B organizations waste an estimated $958 million each year in inefficient and ineffective content marketing spend." They also found that one of the top three reasons for this huge wasted content marketing spend was redundant content creation. So how do we fix it?
If you want to stand out from other marketers and organizations, the secret is to go niche. Instead of writing something like "How to Attract Customers Online”, you'll get a better return if you write a more targeted post such as "How to Attract Returning Customers Through Facebook Ads.”
This post is all about helping you go niche. Follow the tips and strategies below and you'll be on your way to separating yourself from the competition and maintaining your prominence in the content marketing industry.
Clearly Define Your Audience
If you want to speak to a niche audience and stand out from the crowd, you need to know who you're speaking to and only speak to them. Most businesses and marketers don't do this critical step, which is why the internet gets flooded with generic, boring and broad content. They don't know who they're talking to and are trying to be all things to all people. In order to pinpoint who you want to speak to through your content, come up with a few examples of who your ideal customers are, also known as personas.
Going niche takes practice and a lot of trial and error. You're going to have to fight yourself to dig deeper into a niche and the minds of your personas when developing your content. For example, if you want to write an article about lead generation through email marketing, the obvious thing would be to write something like "5 ways to generate leads through email marketing.” Don't take the easy way out! Instead try something like, "Increase your leads and ROI by segmenting your email list.”
Dig deeper into the needs and pain points of the audience you're targeting to deliver something of value and interest to them, not something they’ve seen a hundred times already.
Don't Reinvent the Wheel
A lot of people get scared when they hear that they have to go niche. They think this means their general knowledge is useless and they'll have to learn a whole bunch of new information if they want to add value and write relevant articles. This is not the case.
You may need to delve into your target audience and do more research about the topics you're choosing before writing your article, but you don't have to completely change your topics or blogging categories to differentiate yourself. A good rule of thumb is that if you take one of the bullet points or tips out of the generic article you were going to write and drill down on that one idea, you can create a much more impactful and useful article for your audience. It’s not about creating this year’s headlining new story, it’s about finding and writing about the topics that will help solve a problem for your customers or help them walk away with new knowledge they didn’t have before.
Let The Numbers Guide You
When you're developing content that's targeted to a specific niche or persona, having reliable and in-depth analytics is important to driving results. Because your message gets tailored to a specific audience, it can sometimes take a couple of stabs to find the right fit and get the results you're looking for.
By using analytics to inform your decision about what types of articles work best with your audience, over time you'll be able to generate content that consistently performs with ease and outpaces your competition.
Don't fall prey to content overload and the fear of differentiation that has most marketers wasting $958 million per year writing the same content over and over again. Focus on the specific needs of your audience, clearly define who you're speaking to and don't be afraid to get creative along the way. If you would like some help on how to create a more targeted content marketing strategy, please contact us!
Image by Dorothy Joan via Flickr CC