communications strategy, reports

Content marketing: myth vs. reality

Sandra Stewart | May 22, 2014

As with most “it” tactics, getting content marketing right is harder than its most fervent proselytizers claim and easier than refuseniks fear. Our Content Marketing: Myth vs. Reality guide tackles myths from both sides of the aisle and helps you chart a path toward success.

One of those myths: despite content marketing’s well-deserved respect and popularity as a strategy du jour, plenty of people believe it won’t work in their field. I don’t mean to sound snotty, but honestly, it will if you do it right.

The key is answering these three questions:

  1. What does your target market care about? Do some research on this one (rather than just assuming you know), and be prepared to find out that’s it’s not necessarily all the things that are important to your company internally. For example, at Thinkshift we care about language geek arcana like trends in hyphenation and subtle shifts in usage; our potential clients don’t give a damn. Sure, they expect us to know about it, but they don’t want to read about it.
  2. What is their level of knowledge? This will help you choose topics that tell them something new but that aren’t completely unfamiliar (and therefore indigestible).
  3. How and where do they like to gather information? Figure out how to tailor your content to those preferences.

Once you have these answers, it’s just a matter of communicating what you know effectively and getting in front of your audience. OK, that word just should probably be in quotes, but still—you can do it.

Keep in mind that pretty much anyone who signs a check is doing research (or reviewing research), and that means they’re looking at content. You just have to meet them where they are. If you’re sure your target audience won’t read long articles (or even short ones), try videos. If they don’t have regular access to computers (it’s still possible), get your knowledge into trade publications. If you know you’ll lose them after three bullet points, go for relatively frequent and super-snappy content.

Find out if you hold any misconceptions and learn how to improve your program with our Content Marketing: Myth vs. Reality guide.


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