I’ve come to a recent revelation. This revelation has to do with content marketing and specifically with your and my responsibility as a content marketer.
Most people we work with at You Brand, Inc. are creators. They create something (product or a business) so they have something they want to market and they use content marketing as one aspect in their overall marketing strategy.
That last part is important. Content marketing is one part of an overall campaign or strategy to create leads and sales. It’s effective when done effectively and it’s a mess and a waste of time when not.
I’ve found what makes an effective creator marketing strategy is the approach the creator takes to the craft. I call it a craft because that really is the attitude you should take as a creator marketer.
The Creators Attitude
As a creator you are part of a small percentage of people that create. As digital marketing has matured it’s become obvious that there really is a subset of people that create, the rest consumes. The consumers sometimes consume silently or more often these days they consume then share.
I’m willing to guess you’re more in the creator bucket. As a creator you create videos, blog posts, articles, podcasts, newsletters, or even info-graphics. These are the modern forms of content marketing.
Maybe you haven’t thought about it in this way but as a creator you have a big responsibility. Why is that? People who consume your creations are exchanging the most valuable asset they have—time.
Think of it this way. The people who choose to consume what you create are choosing to spend something they cannot get back. The time you’ve spent on this blog post is something you can’t get back, I can feel the pressure now. It’s gone and because of this it’s my responsibility to make it worthwhile (still here right?)
This leads into the why and the purpose behind what you are creating.
Why Are You Creating?
I’ve discovered recently something that has made a difference in both my marketing and our clients marketing. This discovery is truly finding out the real reason why you are a creator.
Why do you do what you do? Let’s us a writer for example. He loves to write. He can sit down and write all day. Writing is his passion. Now comes the responsibility part. As a writer is it important that he writes what he wants or he writes what his audience (readers) want?
Well if he wants to be a successful writer and most likely eat then he has to at least consider his audience. While that might be good enough for some I believe it’s just enough to get by. If you take that approach as a creator marketer your results will be the same—just enough.
What If Our Writer Did This?
What if our writer understood exactly what his readers wanted? What if he understood where they wanted to go and what they really were looking for when engaging his writing? Wouldn’t this help him connect and ultimately help him successfully employ his craft?
The writer didn’t start there. He started with a stated goal of becoming a writer but a writer for who, himself?
I believe he should have started with the mindset that he wants to entertain the world through storytelling and he is going to choose writing as his platform.
Now For Your Own Content
Most of us don’t start out this way. We create content because it’s the thing to do or we have something to say. Our first step into content is “me” focused and not focused on the value that the consumer of our content is looking to gain.
As a creator you’ve chosen to create content as a marketing strategy. You’ve also likely done it for a reason to advance your business or your goals. Ask yourself are you really doing it for the person on the other side or has it become a means to an end or even a chore?
Are you creating the type of content that really makes a difference for your audience or your intended target market? Have you dived in deep and understood what your audience truly wants?
Eventually if you stick to it long enough you get there. You realize this isn’t so much about you as it is about the people you reach. The true masters of this understand this early into their creation of content and they don’t forget. They understand that it’s about the experience and the change that you content makes for their audience.
What To Do About It
Are you creating content? If so ask yourself why. Is every piece of content that you are creating making a difference to your audience?
Take the responsibility that comes with being a creator. Become a creator that is adding something of value. Even if that creation’s end goal is to increase your sales or prospects take yourself out of the equation. Make the content about your audience. Get them to where they want to go. Help them overcome the challenges they face and do it in a way that matters.
- Image by Search Engine People Blog on Flickr.