The 9 Content Marketing Rules That Even Experts Break
We have always believed that to be successful, we need to follow rules. But hasn’t it surprised you or even got you to thinking if everyone who has strictly followed the rules has become successful? We are not really encouraging you to break some rules in content marketing just because you can or because taking the straight path does not guarantee success. It’s only for the reason that we can actually loosen our belts a little bit to make room for better chances at success.
So, if you’re ready to break some content marketing rules, do read on.
Content marketing rules that can be broken
Content marketing involves creating and sharing online content such as blogs, videos, and social media posts that are designed to stimulate the interest of the target audience in a specific brand, product, or service.
The following are the content marketing rules that you can break:
1. Always take part in the online social media discussions involving your company’s area of expertise
This may sound like a good way to get exposure, but that isn’t always the result, especially if you’re not contributing any value to the discussion. Instead, it’s best to ‘speak out’ only when you think your company has some helpful information that can set a direction to the conversation. This way, you are raising the chances of being recognized as a valuable contributor or subject expert of the platform. The key idea here is to be productive and not just busy.
2. Focus on the benefits of your services and products
Guess what? Every other company in your niche is talking about all these benefits, and chances are you are all saying the same things. Your audience already knows about all this stuff, and they’re still not impressed.
It’s best to talk about why your business has the best qualifications to deliver those benefits in order to engage your audience. You can emphasize your company’s special and unique capabilities as well as features and tailor those to meet the specific needs of your buyer persona.
3. Do whatever has worked in the past
It’s easy to get envious of the success of your competitor, and it’s tempting to replicate their strategy through content marketing. However, you need to fight the urge to do the same because it might no longer produce the same results this time. So, it’s best to create your own, or you may also pattern it from those that worked in the past and add a twist to it.
4. Send a monthly newsletter to your subscribers and followers
Aside from the usual blogs and articles you post for your content marketing, what else can you put in your newsletter? You will only be adding more work for something that’s not going to have as much impact. Don’t get us wrong—newsletters indeed help increase brand awareness, but you don’t really have to send out one for each month. What you can do is send one-subject emails that highlight a relevant piece of advice. There is a higher likelihood for your recipient to read it.
5. Keep educating messages separate from the selling ones
Many content marketers and experts advise separating educating messages from the selling ones. And there is no harm in doing so. Unfortunately, you’ll miss out on the chance to sell if you always do this. You can still combine them in one message, but you can do the selling subtly. Don’t just blurt out your product or service right after greeting your reader, but start with educating them about the benefits of, say for example SEO, then insert your company’s SEO services towards the end.
6. Use the same content or material across all media platforms
This is actually quite a practical advice—utilizing the same content across all media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. But will it work? Everybody knows the different approaches used by each platform—e.g. Twitter’s short text allowance. Instead of following this rule, you can craft your existing content to highlight its educational nature to fit LinkedIn’s requirement or Twitter's wit. And for Pinterest and Instagram, you’ll need more images than text, which is an important thing to consider for your content marketing to thrive.
7. Keep your content short and brief
We’ve always been told that people don’t want to consume long content. However, if you think about it, publishing wouldn’t have been around for so long if this were true. The truth is that people will read your content no matter how long it is if they find it interesting and informational. Every content creator should bear in mind that their content should be part of the solution to their reader’s problems.
However, you don’t always have to write a thousand words each time because it would look ‘padded’ or ‘fluffed’ if all it has are extenders.
8. Be consistent
Consistency is good, but sometimes you’ve got to be unpredictable. Working around a content calendar is an effective way to plan your content, but you don’t always have to follow it to the dot all the time. For example, if a good topic comes up and there’s no open space in your calendar for it, would you wait till a schedule becomes open? By then, your content would no longer be relevant.
9. Wait for everyone’s approval
It’s perfectly understandable to wait for the approval of the ‘higher-ups’ for your content’s accuracy and consistency. However, if it’s going to take too long, then you only need the approval of your content editor or line manager. Should there be any need for adjustments, you can always change your content to draft and edit it.
Just like promises, rules can also be broken, but they should only be for a good reason.
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Writer, blogger, software reviewer.