Above all the noise—the tips, the tricks, the strategies and the tactics—from everyone that swears they can show you how to develop an effective content marketing program, there is only one factor that really matters. There is one, simple concept that rises above the to-do lists and the must-haves to provide a beacon that every content marketing program should follow. It’s the most powerful tool to transform an idea into actual conversions and customer loyalty, and it’s been right in front of you from the beginning:
Relevance is the gem at the core of any successful content marketing initiative. Its importance cannot be understated because relevance translates into real value in the mind of an audience, and that value is what will ultimately motivate their behavior.
The reason this might sound familiar is that content marketing is really a new label for the tried-and-true concept that to engage an audience, you really need to be offering something they need and want.
Most marketers have known for years that all the clever gimmicks in the world can only cover a shaky foundation for so long. If you are not providing something that really is valuable, prospects will discover that fact eventually, and all that will be accomplished is a waste of budget.
How to make relevance happen
If relevance is so important, where do you find it? At the risk of sounding Zen, you find it from within. We’re all subject matter experts in our particular industries, and we all have an opinion. Well, that opinion matters to somebody—namely prospects and customers.
All great products or services address a pain or fill a need. The fact that this pain or need exists in the first place means that the audience has an area where they lack knowledge and they want to learn more about the issue they are experiencing. They want to be educated to the point where they feel like the expert and can truly understand the “why” behind this pain or need. And the business that helps them to feel like an expert is the one they’ll trust to solve their issue once and for all.
How to sharpen the impact of your relevance
At this point, you’re probably thinking to yourself: “Great, I do have an opinion, but how do I make it resonate with my target audience?” That’s the easy part: Once you have an opinion on a topic of interest that clearly differentiates you in a crowded field—an opinion that establishes you as a thought leader and thought shaper—then it’s time to turn to an expert to make that opinion sticky. A professional communicator knows how to stop an audience cold with a headline, connect your opinion directly to the needs of the audience, and reinforce that opinion through data, anecdotal evidence, testimonials and other proof-points that wind the reader up to the point where they’re actually craving a call to action.
The magic will happen when the story is there. And that story is hiding within you right now. It’s just waiting for the right expert to mine it and put it through the necessary alchemy to turn it into gold.