You’re marketing your business – but are you marketing the right message? Are you putting your business across as well as you might be to people who want to listen?
Everyone’s getting into content marketing these days, sending out emails or blogging weekly, if not daily. But a lot of people are writing about what interests them, not what’s important to their customers. There’s nothing new about that, of course; businesses have been doing it for years – but they didn’t send it out to people on a daily basis. When everything was printed, and you had to pay postage on top of all the other costs, you were a bit more careful about what saw the light of day. You only sent a mailshot if there was something to offer, like a sale or a new line of products. Now there’s quite a lot of navel-gazing going on – fascinating to the gazer but somewhat less so to the onlooker.
If you’re not just writing for yourself, who exactly are you writing to? Because if you don’t know, you’re going to miss the mark. It’s hard to give people appropriate stuff if you don’t know who they are. So it comes down to knowing your customers: where they live, what they enjoy doing, what they hate doing, their problems and dilemmas, what they want and need from a business like yours. What car do they drive? Do they have kids? Where do they go on holiday? And, specifically, what do they want to know about your industry? If you know all that, you’ve done a great job. If you don’t, try googling your competitors to see what they’re writing about and use their ideas to spark yours (well you wouldn’t copy them, now would you?).
However, I wouldn’t do that too often if you want to be known as an original thinker. Running with the herd never got anyone noticed (which is, of course, the whole point of herds…). Use the information as a guide but whenever possible take the questions your customers ask, the conversations you have with them on Twitter or Facebook – real interactions, in other words – for your main inspiration. Then you’ll be sending the right message and people will start to listen.