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Mike Lieberman, CEO and Chief Revenue ScientistThu, Nov 21, 2013 7 min read

The Secrets Behind Content Marketing Finally Revealed

content marketingContent marketing is a key ingredient to any effective inbound marketing campaign. Using content to market your company sounds easy enough, but there are many factors to consider when executing your content marketing campaign.

Creating interesting and innovative content is a given. Great content gets shared, increasing your business’s chance of getting found online, and ultimately driving leads. In addition to being great, your content must be perfectly targeted to the correct audience. It should be easy to understand and it should move your prospects through the sales process.

Here are five tips most marketing people won't tell you when you create and execute your content marketing campaign.

1. Create Content For People, Not Search Engines

You likely know all the numbers behind your target audience. You know how many people there are, how much they spend, how often they spend it and so on. But do you know the people who make up that audience? People do business with people, not businesses. If you remove the age, location and annual income from the equation, you find an actual person with emotions, thoughts and questions regarding purchasing your products and services. That person is your target, and that person is who you need to know if you want to get any results from your content marketing campaign.

Don’t expect to get through the marketing-proof walls of today’s buyers without some in-depth knowledge of who they are and what they are concerned about. One way to utilize this new knowledge and perspective is to map those questions directly to the content you create. Create content that answers their questions and watch your lead numbers soar.

2. Tell A Story

People make purchase decisions emotionally and then rationalize them afterward. To connect with your prospects emotionally, you have to tell stories. Our brains are wired to remember stories, to want to share stories and to connect with stories. Use your content to tell a story, and make sure the ending of the story includes how your solution helped your client become the hero. Make the story about your client or customer – not about you.

The more remarkable your business, the better the stories. Remember the story of the Purple Cow? People don’t remember any of the minute details of the cow. How old was the cow? How big was the cow? Was it a boy cow or a girl cow? Who cares! The cow was purple. The same holds true for your business. People won't remember the details about your business, but they are going to remember the stories told about your business.

3. Keep It Simple

A story is only enjoyable if you understand it. Those interested in your content want to understand what they’re reading. Yes, be creative. Yes, be personable, but, more importantly, keep it simple. That doesn’t mean you should “dumb down” your content, although it does mean you need to make it as clear, direct and accessible as possible. If there is a section of your content you really want to stand out, use bolded words. If there is a particularly confusing section, put it in bullet points. This makes your content aesthetically pleasing, a major factor in determining whether someone skims or reads.

4. Consider Social Media When You Create Content

That’s what social media is for, after all! People go on Facebook to observe and interact. Take those two actions and apply them to your content. If you put out compelling, engaging content on the right social media site, it’s only a matter of time before it’s noticed, read and, most importantly, shared by your prospects. If they enjoy it, they are bound to share it with their friends and followers. Once you’ve included your content in a social media conversation, it is out there in cyber space, getting passed along by each interested prospect and eventually finding its way to your ideal prospect.

5. Record And Track Results

Vince Lombardi once said, “If you’re not keeping score, you’re just practicing.” Today, inbound marketing is a science, not an art. We receive real-time, daily feedback on what’s working and what’s not. Content is no different. Track your content, and what gets downloaded the most should be placed in more areas of your website. Those content pieces that aren’t getting downloaded – consider retiring them. Today’s inbound marketing requires constant tweaking and adjustments. It might not be the content that's the issue. It might be the title or the graphic CTA button. It might be the landing page. Each of these elements needs to be tested and a decision needs to be made as to the root cause of the successful performance or the challenged performance. Then, decisions should be made that drive performance forward.

Keep these five tips in mind to make the most out of your content marketing campaign.

Your goal is to genuinely connect with people. Once you’ve done this, your prospects are going to want to share your content and they are going to want to do business with you and your company.

Start Today Tip – If there is a link, headline or subject line on your website, your blog or in your emails that is not generating the conversion results you seek, consider performing an A/B test. An A/B test is a great way to test two different versions of the same content to determine which performs better. Make sure you only make changes to one element on the B version. If you make more than one change, you won't know which change triggered the delta in performance. Then, split your audience and send one half the A version and one half the B version. Marketing automation software makes this easy, as it randomly controls the distribution during the test. The result is another improvement to your inbound marketing campaign to roll out across your company.

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Mike Lieberman, CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist

Mike is the CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist at Square 2. He is passionate about helping people turn their ordinary businesses into businesses people talk about. For more than 25 years, Mike has been working hand-in-hand with CEOs and marketing and sales executives to help them create strategic revenue growth plans, compelling marketing strategies and remarkable sales processes that shorten the sales cycle and increase close rates.