If you are a marketer or an entrepreneur and have not considered producing industry content in order to establish authority and thought leadership, it's time to start. There is a reason every leading brand is embracing this strategy: There is a direct correlation between the quality of the content your company produces and the strength of your brand.
My decision to start blogging--before blogging was even a word--has directly led to my career in marketing. You would not be reading these words right now had I not decided to ignore all the business advice people gave me in the early years and instead focus my time on producing valuable content.
If you're not doing it yet, don't worry, it might be late, but it is not too late. Here are five tips to maximize your results and impact.
Own your content, and remember your ultimate goal.
I get the following question a lot. "Hillel, I want to start writing articles, where should I publish them?" People often confuse platforms used for distribution with platforms used for authoring. Sites like Medium and LinkedIn are encouraging that confusion by offering an authoring tool and then helping you distribute your content, but let there be no confusion. Your goal is to elevate your brand so you need to own your content.
Buy a domain, write and publish the articles on your own website--or your company's site --then use LinkedIn and Facebook to distribute the content. Do not give those platforms ownership of your content, as that defeats the purpose.
Consistency and volume might be equally important to quality.
One article once a month, no matter how good it is, won't bring you loyal readers. A daily article, even if it is lower in quality, but still good, will always bring more traffic.
This is true for two reasons. First, there's Google. The more you write, the more people talk about your content and link to you, the more Google realizes your site is one that deserves attention. The second reason is human behavior and psychology. If I come to your site and read a great article, I am more likley to come back again the next day. If there is nothing there, you lost me. If I come back the next day and read another great article and then come back again the next day and there's yet another great article, you can guess what my next move is. I am bookmarking your site. You have my attention.
Stop focusing on readers, start focusing on the reader.
If you focus on one reader, on how to give that person real value, more readers will come. If you only focus on numbers and try to hack your way to more readers, while ignoring the fundamental principle here, which is value, you will never achieve the traction you are hoping for. The numbers will come, but only if you go deep and focus on long-term value versus short-term spikes.
Define your niche, then broaden it.
This one is hard for many business owners to accept. If you are selling Barbie dolls, you don't want to produce content about your specific product, because that is too self promotional. You also don't want to write about toys, because that is too broad and you will be competing with the whole world. Try dolls.
The point here is to attract not only your target audience, but people who might be one step removed from your audience and will be relevant for you down the line.
So, if you are mobile advertising company, write about all things related to mobile but do not focus on promoting your own product or even advertising. In this way, you are opening your platform to all readers that are interested in mobile. This means if there is a reader who likes mobile, but does not have an app to monetize yet, when that does occur, guess where the person is turning to for help.
Analytics are important, but not now.
If you become too obsessed with your numbers, you will end up losing direction. If you check your analytics every time you publish something, you will end up trying to optimize your content for traffic and not for value. Those things don't always align. My experience has taught me, if you focus on becoming a true resource for your industry, people appreciate it, the industry appreciates it, and before you know it, your analytics reflect that appreciation.
Like most things in marketing and business, fight the urge to look for short term wins, play the long game, and you will end up winning.