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MARKETING 101: How to write engaging content online

|Dec 10|magazine13 min read

Along with many of your competitors, you've decided to get into content marketing to give your business a shot in the arm. You hope to create more buying interest among existing customers and to attract new customers by adopting this new strategy.

As traditional marketing tactics grow less effective, corporate marketing departments look for new ways to reach potential customers.

One of the most popular of these new strategies is content marketing, which Content Marketing Institute defines as the creation and distribution of useful and relevant content designed to engage the interest of potential customers. The ultimate goal of content marketing is to attract and retain customers.

Something's amiss

Unfortunately, your company's fledgling content marketing efforts don't seem to be having the desired effect. Business is stagnating, even dropping off, and you're desperate to find a way to turn things around.

It's probably time to evaluate your content marketing campaign to see where it may have gone off the tracks. When you know what isn't working, you can fine-tune the strategy to eliminate weak spots.

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Here are some of the ways in which your content marketing strategy may be missing the mark:

Failure to accurately identify your audience

Although it would be nice to think that your products and services would appeal to everybody, in most cases that's not the case. Just as it's vital to pitch your product to those people most likely to be interested, it's important that your marketing content be directed to that target audience.

Content designed to appeal to everyone often ends up pleasing no one. You first should carefully identify the demographics of your market so that you can create content that appeals to their interests and concerns and then distribute via the proper channels to reach that market.

Don't try to say too much

Although members of your target audience may have a variety of interests and concerns in common, don't make the mistake of trying to address them all at the same time. In developing content, clearly identify relatively narrow topics that fall within that range of interests and concerns. Biting off more than you can chew by trying to take on multiple topics at once usually results in content that's too broad and nonspecific to engage readers. Incisive content that meaningfully explores a single topic comprehensively is much more likely to attract the interest of your target audience.

Distribution missteps

Just as it's important to clearly define your target audience, you need to pinpoint the distribution channels that are most likely to get your message to that audience. Developing high-quality content but failing to place it where it will do the most good is a waste of your time and money. Find out which online sites and blogs, print publications, and social media networks your audience most often uses and develop mutually beneficial arrangements with the owners of those channels.

By mutually beneficial, we're talking about producing well-written and engaging content in exchange for a place to publish it. Once you've found the right distribution channels to reach your target audience, make sure that you don't let the quality of your content slip or you might run the risk of losing them.

Haphazard research

The Internet offers a staggeringly varied wealth of information -- and misinformation. The folks developing content for your business's marketing campaign must be able to tell the difference between the two. In developing content that will be distributed on your company's behalf, the creative team has to seek out only the most high-quality sources for their information. Facts should be checked and then double-checked. Your content marketing campaign can easily flounder if readers detect factual errors.

Poorly written content

No matter how carefully you identify your target audience and pinpoint the proper distribution channels to reach them, it will all come to naught if you don't give them well-produced content on interesting topics. Not everyone writes well. Your content marketing team may have an assortment of talented members, but some might write better than others. Let the best writers handle that end of the project, and assign others to carry out other equally important tasks that are vital to the eventual success of your content marketing campaign.

Hopefully, a careful evaluation of your current content marketing program will help you to find the weak spots that may be undermining your efforts. 

If it's done right, content marketing can promote your company and its brands, leading to a hefty increase in sales.

 

About the author

Jay Fremont is a freelance author who writes extensively about a wide array of business and personal finance topics.