With the rise of social media websites, the way that people are consuming information (and their desire for one) has changed drastically. More and more companies are embracing the idea of producing more contents for their websites and social media sites. From putting up a blog section to creating original video contents, some brands have been seriously exerting efforts in improving their content marketing. And while the mainstream media is still a powerful tool to reach the market, digital content marketing has a unique way of convincing the audience and transforming their curiosity into sales.
But, the thing is, many companies are overdoing it. What does it mean? Well, there are companies who just create online content to sell a product and forgets the core of connection to their target market. It’s not like their intention is just to beef up their content for the sake of selling or more website visitors. It’s just that they are not completely aware of the users’ behavior when it comes to searching for information online.
To better understand how content marketing is being consumed in the current digital marketing scene, let’s first paint a picture of a situation on a user’s perspective:
When users search for information online, they are looking for something that will cover their needs. They want information about a current situation. So, for example, if a person searched for “how to remove bed bugs”, he is not just looking for instructions on how to get rid of those pests; he actually wants to know more information about bed bugs so he can do something about it. So, this person will click on each of the results on search engines and will look for something that satisfies his curiosity – and would probably opt to get a service instead of doing it on his own.
Because of the power search, people have the option to choose which information he would consume. And from this ability to choose comes his decision making – to whether get help or do it on his own. So, if you are one of the companies who creates content but doesn’t really see increase on your conversion rates, there’s a possibility that the users are not choosing to read and consumer your content or you are providing them too much information up to the point that they don’t need you at all.
What should you do about it? You should provide balanced education to the customer and not just marketing your products or services.
It’s more effective to educate the consumers simply because people don’t want to be sold to. Yes, they are intending to buy but they are not looking for you; they are looking for an answer. Okay, that’s a bit confusing. Let’ put it this way. Customers don’t really care about your products or services. They only care about their needs. So, if you’re just talking about yourself, people won’t dig it. But, you can use it to your advantage by fulfilling their needs and build connection through sensible contents.
This is why you need to be more educational than promotional. Regardless if you are writing to build links or you are producing content for your own website, your articles should answer the curiosity of the audience rather than just blatantly telling them about your products.
Now, you may think that creating original contents is the answer. Well, you’re wrong. Educational content goes beyond uniqueness. You have to come up with topics that are going to be beneficial to you and to your audience. Simply put: Your content has to be creative.
Ok, take a look at these titles:
- 5 Things You Need to Know About Car Insurance
- Choose the Best Car in the Market
- Fly like a VIP with these Designer Luggage
- What You Need to Know About Lipo Abdominoplasty
- Why Do You Need an Event Organiser?
All of which are unique blogs and it seems like there’s nothing wrong with them. But if you will try to analyse it further, all of the topics above are talking about the “features” of a product or services. And as most of you know, promoting the features alone is basically promoting a product which is what you don’t want.
So, how are you going to make it more educational? Focus on the benefits. Let’s rewrite the topics above.
- Drive in Peace: How a Car Insurance Can Protect You
- For Road Trips or Transportation: Choose the Car that Fits Your Need
- Designer Luggage: It’s Sturdy and Stylish
- Lose the Flabs and Keep it Tight with Lipo Abdominoplasty
- Relax, an Event Organiser is All You Need
The second set of topics are just basically promoting the same products and services as above, but it’s leaning towards answering the needs of the customers. We’re not saying that you should not mention or suggest your business to the audience and just talk about what they need. No, it’s not like that. Even if you are creating an educational content, you can still segue to marketing your business. The only difference is that you are marketing your solution and the brand is the just laid out in the background.
Here are few great tactics on how to create an engaging and educational content.
1. Do not hard sell. Seriously. It’s unnecessary. When people read your blog, they are already in your website. So, they can already see your logo, your images, and other information about your company. Therefore, in your blog, ditch the hard selling part. If you’re not yet aware of it, consumers are smarter now. They know if the brand is just speaking to them to make a profit. So, if you’re not making a conversion, it’s either the customer is smart or you’re too obvious that you’re selling them a product.
2. Do not overdo it. Yes, you can split blog topics as much as you want since it’s your blog. But, repetition annoys consumers. There may be millions of different ways to talk about a topic, but you don’t need to stretch it out too much especially if it’s talking about the same point. You can think of as many angles as you want, but if all you do is conclude with the same premise, it’s useless. Make your contents more convincing by touching other aspects of your industry.
3. Namedrop, it helps. People love it when an information is from a notable person. So, if you want to boost your credibility, interview some industry experts and use their knowledge and statements on your contents.
4. Keep the engagement alive. Teaching is no longer boring in the digital age. With the help of various multimedia platforms, you can already create educational contents while continuously fuelling the interest of your audience. You can still be enticing and entertaining even if you are providing tons of data to the consumer. It actually adds in the promotion value if you keep them glued to your screen.
Generally speaking, people love new information. Oh, no. Let’s correct that. People are bombarded with a lot of new information on a daily basis, which makes it tougher to compete in the online arena. But since education is a continuous process, maybe you can hop on the train of educating your consumers and lay low a little bit on promoting your product. Help build a smart audience and you are already campaigning for them to have smart choices.