These are some of the most celebrated names in music, literature, art, culture, and politics.
And they all have ONE in common.
They have affected millions of people over decades (and even centuries) with their timeless, enduring, wildly popular content.
It’s all content and it’s the basis of their success.
They each have a unique voice, a powerful story, and an unmistakable attitude that makes their message resonate.
It’s not mere content, it’s passionate content.
Who can deny Rush Limbaugh’s radio program isn’t passionate?
Who can deny that Richard Simmons’ workout videos are well, unique (to say the least)?
Who can deny that Joe Rogan’s podcast isn’t opinionated?
It’s no different for internet entrepreneurs.
Every piece of content you create has to make a mark on the world.
Every blog post.
Make no mistake, multi-million dollar empires are built on content.
Don’t underestimate it and don’t be intimidated by it.
Because if you harness the power of content marketing, you can generate more qualified leads, close more sales, and build better relationships with customers and partners.
All by showcasing how you can solve their problems.
Here are 5 proven ways to make content marketing work for you.
1). Content IS King – But Distribution is Queen
YouTube. Blogs. Podcasts. TV shows. Talk radio. Film. Books. Music.
They are all content and are all shared
Building an audience can be tough if you’re just starting out.
You may have spent hours on a topic, crafting the perfect headline, writing interesting, actionable content, and styling it just perfectly.
Only to to be with the sound of crickets.
Because as any author will tell you, writing is only 20% of the equation.
Publishing, promoting, and distributing your content is where the real magic happens.
Luckily, it’s much easier to distribute your content than you think – even if you have zero audience.
Easy; go where your market already is.
World-renowned copywriter Gary Halbert is famed for saying that the #1 advantage any marketer has is a hungry crowd.
The key to distributing your message is to find a crowd that’s hungry for your message.
And creating content there.
Sites like YouTube, LinkedIn, Medium, Quora, and Reddit have hundreds of millions of users – all eager for unique, thought-provoking, inspirational content.
These are some of the highly trafficked sites in the world and have an eager, captive audience looking specifically to be entertained or learn something new.
So why not give them what they want?
This is something that I’ve personally done to share my content and build my email list.
In April of 2017 I read about the site Quora.com and how marketers were using it to find clients and build their email lists.
So for the past 5 months I’ve been aggressively answering questions in my niche (online marketing and personal development) and have amassed over 1,000,000 views on my answers.
As a result, I’ve also gained thousands of new email subscribers.
Had I written this content on my own site, I wouldn’t have even gotten a fraction of that.
So if you have a killer “how to” article, case study, DIY video, or tutorial the rather than posting them on your own blog, post them on a site that already attracts hundreds of millions of monthly viewers.
Be sure to include a benefit-laden call to action back to your site.
2). Talk About Others So They Distribute It For You
One of the most powerful ways to get more people to read your content is to talk about OTHER people.
Let’s say you sell golf clubs and want to come up with an article that gets lots of views, email subscribers, and eventual sales.
You COULD talk about why you’re the best website to buy golf clubs from.
You COULD talk about how have the best return policy in the industry.
You COULD go on and on about yourself.
But if you want to get REAL engagement and MASSIVE traffic, you SHOULD talk about others.
For example, you could write the following articles:
“The 15 Most Beautiful Golf Courses in Ireland”
“15 Coolest Golf Accounts on Instagram”
“The Best Golf Shoe Brands for Beginners”
This strategy works in your favor for two reasons:
1). More often than not, these people are influencers with massive followings.
2). They are likely to promote the article to their audience – leading to massive exposure to your site
This is fantastic for building relationships with influencers.
These relationships make it MUCH easier to ask them for guest post opportunities, podcast interviews, and email promos to their audience.
I’ve personally used this strategy to drive tens of thousands of views to my content, create relationships, and of course make sales.
3). Speak To a Specific Audience
We’re inundated with hundreds of marketing messages a day.
Billboards. TV commercials. Mobile ads. Newspaper circulars. Email promotions. The list goes on and one…
Yet we only pay attention to a fraction of them.
We’re “blind” to the advertisements because they are broad, generic, and have nothing to do with us.
But those ads that DO resonate with us are specific.
They speak directly to us.
They address a problem we’re facing.
They enter the conversation already going on in our head.
For example, let’s imagine you’re a graphic designer that is looking for more clients.
Read these two sentences and tell me which one is more powerful:
“I help entrepreneurs and execs build focus and grow their business using content marketing”
“I help B2B entrepreneurs create content marketing campaigns that generate QUALIFIED leads – in 30 days or less”
Why is the second one more powerful?
Because it speaks to a specific audience.
It addresses a specific problem.
And it makes a specific promise.
Your content has to do the same.
This is only possible if you understand your audience.
The best way to do this is to choose a specific audience, and ask them questions.
Survey them on what they want, what they’re struggling with, and what would make their life easier.
And then create content that shows them how to do that – in their exact words.
4). Story Is Key
“How to” content does NOT motivates anyone.
Consider the following titles:
“How to Change Your Oil”
“How to Change Your Oil Without Killing Yourself, Ruining Your Engine, and Making a Huge Mess”
Your entire piece should share a story, from the headline all the way to the call-to-action at the end.
Stories motivate people to buy.
Sharing your struggles and how you overcame them gives them hope that they can overcome them too.
Sharing your breakthroughs suddenly makes something distant seem a lot more attainable.
THIS is what people want.
Raw, gritty, emotional content that addresses the emotions they’re feeling and the thoughts they’re thinking.
Content that makes want to pull out their credit cards and buy because they feel UNDERSTOOD.
One of my favorite phrases is “facts tell, stories sell”
This is why testimonials and “before and afters” are so powerful.
Be sure to use story in every piece of content you create.
5). Study What’s Working – Then Re(de)fine It
“There’s nothing wrong with being a copycat, as long as you copy the right cat”
If you’re just getting started, you want to mimic what works.
These days it’s long-form content.
That means articles that are at least 1500 words, with captivating headlines, images, and descriptive section headings.
That means in-depth hour-long podcasts that thoroughly cover a subject – often by way of interview with an expert.
Surprisingly, that means shorter YouTube videos (less than 4 minutes) that show you exactly how to do something.
As I mentioned above, that also means writing about OTHER people.
It means being specific and talking to a specific customer – niching down and positioning yourself as an expert in solving their problems.
It means surveying your audience, understanding them, and speaking to them in their own language.
It means telling stories so that your content comes alive and inspires them to take action.
This is all attainable since you have the right strategy.
If you use the tips in this article you’ll be well on your way to creating content marketing campaigns that create more leads and more sales.
Raza Imam is a business coach and growth consultant that helps B2B entrepreneurs execute marketing strategies that generate QUALIFIED leads – in 30 days or less. Download his free 1-page guide here to discover how…