Tips on Injecting Creativity and Credibility into Your Blog Posts
Content marketing is a very competitive way to reach your audience, but you have to take great care to ensure that you add real value for your readers. Though it is true that there are several effective ways to ‘piggy-back’ on other types of content – especially on social media platforms (e.g. related videos, etc.) – you’re going to be dead in the water if you adopt this strategy for content marketing. Your blog might include informational content and industry-related topics, but don’t forget that it is also a way to add marketing value to your website through creative writing.
The problem is that it can be pretty darn challenging to create blog posts that engage your readers while simultaneously adding value to topics that have nearly been beaten to death by your competition. After all, no one wants to become ranked lower in the SERPs due to duplicate content. But what is a business to do? How can inject a little creativity into your blog efforts to rise above the competition? Let’s take a closer look at a few ideas that will help you discover new ideas to write about and differentiate your content from others in your industry.
You’d be surprised how many competitors fail to keep up with the latest trends on their blog. The truth is that you need to stay current in your industry if you don’t want to fall by the wayside. However, this is really an opportunity. Most industries are anything but static. Whether you engage an audience with topics related to healthcare, fitness, nutrition, technology, marketing, or anything in between, the industry is always changing and new stories are always surfacing.
Perhaps there was an alarming scandal in your industry, or perhaps a new technology has developed that looks like it will be a game changer. Whatever it is, staying current and responding to industry changes will help keep you ahead of the curve.
Hot topics can be a veritable gold mine of user engagement. Whenever a frenzied excitement exists around a temporal event, you have the opportunity to reach out and capture the attention of your audience. Why do you think businesses go crazy with sales during the holiday season that cause people to mob local retail outlets after camping out in the cold for an entire night?
If your business is seasonal (i.e. winter jackets and accessories), this is probably already apparent to you. But for other businesses that aren’t seasonal, you might want to reconsider your approach. Think hard about how your product or service aligns with seasonal events and other types of cycles. You might have been missing an opportunity to create blog content that rages through social media channels. But don’t only think about seasons and holidays. For example, perhaps a new product launch in your industry is generating a lot of hype.
Get Inside Your Audience’s Head
You have to make sure that you address your audience’s pain points as well. Pain points are central to the exchange of money. Take a moment to consider how powerful this idea is. Whether your product or service is in the transportation industry, beauty industry, or food industry, everybody makes the conscious decision to trade their hard-earned money for the solution to their problems.
For example, makeup products help people feel more attractive. Security alarm systems are purchased to keep out intruders and to let people live with the peace of mind that they are safe.
Whatever industry you belong to, you need to make sure your blog addresses these types of pain points.
Pro Tip: Search for questions that your target audience may be asking on Yahoo! Answers, then write the answer on your own blog. If people are actively asking questions that relate to your industry, why don't you have the answer in a blog?
Another way you can spice up your posts and differentiate yourself from competitive bloggers is to maintain a transparent level of honesty. Too many marketers fail to respect their audience. Instead, they’re just out to make a quick buck – and it is reflected in their blogs. One place this is seen the most is with affiliate sales commissions that some people try to add as a secondary revenue stream on ecommerce sites, but it can really apply to anyone. Make sure you don’t bombard your audience with marketing messages that take away from the value you are trying to add.
There is a fine line between marketing effectively and overdoing it. It can take a little time to learn, but remember that you won’t ever garner the trust of your audience if you aren’t honest with them.
Make certain you never oversell a product or service and make promises that won’t live up to reality, as well. Many blogs also like to write reviews of products and services, but you shouldn’t lie to your audience about how good or bad another service is when you promote your content. Bad mouthing competition unfairly and unprofessionally is another sure-fire way to lose trust, so just remember to keep things clean and honest.
Will Hanke owns Saint Louis' top independent Internet Marketing firm, Red Canoe Media. In addition to helping some of St Louis' most recognizable brands with their online marketing strategy, Will also is an Amazon bestselling author, speaker and teacher.