When you’re creating the very best in content marketing, it’s possible that you’ll get distracted from your true mission – creating the very best product or service for your customers. We understand how that happens; after all, creating your product is what comes naturally to you. Focusing on your content is something you probably have to work at.
Here are four ways to make sure that your content is honest and has integrity, and isn’t working as a bait and switch for your customers.
Honest, engaging headlines
We’ve all had the experience of reading an intriguing or shocking headline on social media, clicking through to the content itself, and then finding that the headline completely misrepresents what the article itself was about.
Clickbait headlines are a new name for the yellow journalism that has existed since we’ve had organized attempts at printed news and media. The theory behind click bait is that nothing matters but the click. Your only goal is to get the customer to click from social media into your article.
Content marketing definitely works, however the problem with this this approach is that the customer won’t actually stick around. If your content is low quality and doesn’t provide information, it’s not going to be shared. Your views won’t increase. Over time, people will be less likely to trust you.
Content supports the product, not the other way around
There’s a place in the world for monetizing blogs and websites. Book and movie reviewers, information bloggers, and makeup enthusiasts, for example, all utilize a personal brand and may leverage their site to either get paid through ad revenue or to get free samples for review from companies.
But assuming that you’re selling a service or product separate from your blog, you need to make sure that your content supports your product, not the other way around. You’re not using your product to draw in blog readers; you’re using your content to subtly pull potential customers into your sales funnel. But the key word here is subtle; content marketing is not the same as ad copy.
No irritating and obligatory popups
For some reason in the past few years, popups have made their way back into popularity in the world of web design. After several years of total banning because of the ubiquity of pop-up blockers and the sense that any company using them was a malware propagating spam-site, companies have returned to using pop-ups that promise access to the site after you’ve signed up for an email address, or a free download that will change your work life.
There may be a place for these sorts of sites, as long as it’s easy to click out of the pop-ups if the user doesn’t want them, but be aware that many customers are aggravated by them. They clicked through to your website to read your article, not to see your demands for their attention. Be aware that every barrier you put between your content and your customers is one more chance for them to click away and decide to do something else.
High quality content that users value
Ultimately, your goal for content creation is to create high quality content that offers value to your customers. You need to answer their questions, provide information about the product or service you offer, or explain why it is a worthwhile investment for them. You can also provide information on related topics; a travel blog might talk about local restaurants and activities in a particular area, but they might also talk about updated sunscreen guidelines and ways to entertain kids on the beach.
When you offer good quality content to your customers, promote it well, and make sure that both the content and the promotion are authentic and engaging, you’re likely to see an increase in your sales and income, which is the ultimate goal of businesses.
Content stands on its own
While it is important that your content serve your product, and not the other way around, it’s also important for at least some of your content to stand on its own. After all, if you’re combining the content with SEO, keywords will catch the attention of search engines, and you’ll start drawing in fresh customers, not just those who are seeing your information through social media channels.
If you want to capture those views and engage those new customers, you need to offer them something in your content that will keep them coming back.