PART 2: Content Marketing in 2020. Does It Still Work?

This two-part series takes a look at content marketing in 2020. In the first article, we talked about new tools that can make your content marketing more effective.

In this second article, we’ll discuss “evergreen” content marketing ideas you need to pay attention to. Whether you are doing content marketing in 2020, or 1920, these tips are valuable. They will help you write engaging content that can drive your marketing forward. Enjoy!

In our first article, we talked about technology that can help you win at content marketing. But here’s what these tech tools won’t do; they won’t help you win if you have bad content. This article will help you write better content. It’s 2020, but even if it was 1920, these principles matter. So use them!

Facts Tell. Stories Sell

In the selling profession, we often hear the phrase, “Facts tell. Stories sell”. The meaning is clear. And it has a lot of truth. Your buyers aren’t moved by facts, figures or statistics. They are moved by stories. Do storytelling right, and they just might be moved to buy. More on this in a moment.

Once again, every human being, including you and your content readers, is moved by stories. Think about your favorite movie. Even if it’s pure fiction, the story moved you. It aroused your emotions. 

So why not unleash the power of stories in your content marketing? Don’t just pump your content full of facts about your product and what it is. Talk in terms that intrigue your reader; talk about what your product can do for them. Talk about how it can help them. Remember this quote from advertising legend, David Ogilvy: “Consumers do not buy products. They buy product benefits.”

So how do you do storytelling the right way in your content marketing? Your first impulse might be to tell stories about your company. Don’t! Instead, make your story about your reader. Make him the hero. Create a story in which he can picture himself. 

Keeping the quote from David Ogilvy in mind, tell real life stories, case studies for example, of how your product or service helped one of your customers. 

When you see the words “Facts tell. Stories sell”, you might be thinking that content marketing isn’t supposed to sell. Well here’s what it is supposed to do, what it MUST do! Your content needs to help you sell more of your products. It needs to drive your readers through your pipeline towards the point of a buying decision. If you don’t do this, what’s the point of content marketing? So make sure you incorporate powerful stories in your content. 

You gotta have sales! No sales. No business. So why not write content that helps you win more sales?

So Easy, A Fifth Grader Could Do It!

Tell me if this has ever happened to you: you’re searching online for a solution to a problem. You find a website that looks promising. You give up your email address in return for their white paper or other content piece. You start reading, and right away, it hits you-this is sheer drudgery!

It reads not like a helpful and valuable marketing asset, but rather like a cumbersome, jargon-loaded PhD dissertation. It’s so unpleasant, you give up in disgust and look somewhere else for the answers you need. 

Question for you: if your content reads like this and leaves just such a bad impression with readers, what are the odds it will help you drive sales? Slim. And None.

So please don’t let your content read like this. On the contrary, make it easy, pleasant and a joy to read! Use basic words. Use short sentences and paragraphs. And mix in lots of “white space”. 

Make your content “conversational”. Imagine yourself having a lively face-to-face visit with a friend. Then capture a little of that conversational flair and put it in your content.

Also, give each member of your audience the impression that you are writing to them only, an “audience of one”.

Don’t try to impress your readers by sounding like an Ivy League professor. Impress them with your ability to simplify your message. A grade level text analyzer like this one will help you. 

Note: By the way, I ran this article through the program in that link. It returned a Flesch-Kincaid grade level of 5. Yahoo!

Want to do something else that will make your content a joy to read? Focus your message on your reader, not yourself, not your product, and not your company. Use “you” a lot more than “we” or “us”. 

Your readers aren’t looking for “content”, per se. They are looking for solutions to problems. They are hoping you can help them. 

So do what you can to help them. Make your content so valuable they can use it and benefit from it even if they never buy your product. 

Don’t “Hide” Your Content

Field of Dreams is a wonderful movie with an unforgettable line, “Build it and he will come”. Great movie. Terrible content marketing advice! But lots of marketers think like that. They spend a lot of time, money and effort to produce their content and then don’t promote it. They “hide” it on their website’s resources page. They hope readers will come and find it.

What they should do is tell the world about it. They need to promote it. They need to follow the advice of well-respected content marketing strategist Jay Baer and “market their marketing”. 

Harness the power of persuasive copywriting to produce email, landing pages and social media posts that help boost downloads of your content. Some of the world’s leading companies and marketing pros do this. Why not you?

Everything Old Is New Again

Given all the “hype and hoopla” surrounding it, content marketing may seem new to you, like it’s just been around a few years. Actually it hasn’t. It’s been around a lot longer. With their publication The Furrow, John Deere has been in the content marketing game since 1895. 

That was way before the advent of the tech tools we now have. But that publication helped John Deere explode their market reach and grow their company. So even without tech, there are content marketing basics you shouldn’t ignore. 

The tips in this article will help you produce better content and enjoy a larger audience for it. But maybe you still want help. The team at Guerrilla Marketing Agency are here for you. We will be happy to answer any questions you might have. 

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