Ok – it’s time to be honest. How many Buzzfeed articles have you read today? Or, how many have you at least clicked through? According to Buzzsumo, you’re 217% likely to not only read one, but share any of the articles they post in a 10 day time frame.
Why do we love Buzzfeed so much? There is a ton of research out there. The short answer – they’re very good at picking at the emotions of niche groups in order to keep them clicking on their content, reading and coming back for more.
Businesses can learn a lot from Buzzfeed.
There are a lot of buzzwords in content marketing, and several that reference the types of content published by various organizations. Some marketers will tell you that your content is just for SEO purposes, others believe staunchly that valuable, journalistic content will drive quality traffic to your website.
The truth is that marketing success comes from a combination of both.
Content marketers that are truly successful know that in order to find real success as well as loyal customers, you need to become a thought leader in your industry.
The Content Marketing Institute, a leader in providing quality content and training to marketers, defines content marketing as the following:
Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
The most important part of this definition – valuable, relevant and consistent. You have to provide your audience with the right content as well as content that will keep them coming back for more.
To accomplish this you have to do three things: get people clicking on your content, impress them with quality niche content tailored specifically for their needs, and finally, sell your product to them.
Get More Traffic Fast: Click Bait
In order to capture the right audience and nurture it so that it grows, you need to have the type of content that will entice them to find you in the first place. Once they have found you and gotten hooked, they may start clicking around your website looking for more – this is exactly what you want.
What is click bait? How do you leverage it for your content marketing strategy?
Click bait is exactly what it sounds like – it tempts audience members on the web to click on the content you’ve just created. Naturally, this means that most of the power of click bait is in the headline.
If you don’t get the headline right, your click bait will fail.
Hootsuite has written a fantastic article on the science of click bait, which it concludes, makes readers want to fulfill something that is missing inside of them once they read your headline.
The secret, Eric Jaffe writes in Fast Company, is “engineering ‘curiosity gap’ headlines.” He cites George Loewenstein of Carnegie Mellon as the leading proponent of the “information gap” theory of curiosity. In the mid-1990s, Loewenstein wrote that “the curious individual is motivated to obtain the missing information to reduce or eliminate the feeling of deprivation.” If you feel like click bait is a little like content junk food, you’re on to something.
Click bait is fluff. It’s not particularly in-depth writing, doesn’t solve many problems, and is mostly just fun for the reader. Click bait should only be used with the intention of getting the correct audience to notice you.
If you want people to stay – and even more importantly – purchase your product or services, you have to let them know that they can trust you. You do this with quality content that solves their problems in a valuable, straightforward and useful way.
Well-Researched Niche Content: Brand Journalism
The line between journalism and marketing is blurring with the advent brand journalism. Brand journalism is exactly what it sounds like – a brand reporting on the issues, news and problems of a particular industry in an effective way and with only one purpose: to provide quality content to readers.
It’s important to understand that the main goal of brand journalism content is not to sell up front.
According to a recent compilation of brand journalism statistics from PR Daily, 80% of business decision-makers prefer to get company information in a series of articles versus an advertisement. 90% of consumers find custom content useful, and 78% believe that organizations providing custom content are interested in building good relationships with them.
Why are customers so much more trusting of content? Because when you write quality content, you are taking the time to get into their heads before they’ve even asked.
You’ve solved their problems before they’ve even begun to think about the problems you’re discussing, and you’ve presented your argument in an objective and thoughtful way – how could they not purchase your product?
In short, brand journalism is the act of your brand using stories to relate to your customers.
In-depth, specifically targeted stories that may not go viral, but will go a long way in converting your web traffic into loyal customers.
Sell More Stuff: Self-Promotional Content
You are allowed to actually boast about your products sometimes. So many content marketers are afraid of doing this, as they don’t want to come off “pushy” to their prospective customers. But if you don’t talk about your products, services and their benefits, who will?
I beg you – follow the tried and true 80/20 rule, or some other more modern version. Only talk about yourself 20% of the time. If you bombard your audience with promotional content about yourself, they’ll roll their metaphorical eyes and walk away.
No one likes to play with that kid on the playground who only talks about himself.
As a bonus piece of advice – get creative with your content. You as a business owner or content marketer have more to talk about than you think. You are the one on the front lines every day, solving problems and talking to customers about their needs. Use some of your knowledge and turn it into great marketing material for your organization.
Creative Click Media is a digital marketing agency that has helped hundreds of companies achieve success on the web. To find out how we can boost your content marketing strategy with quality, targeted content, contact us.