The point of content marketing is offering great content. Adapt your thinking to upgrade the quality of what you share.
By now you know that content marketing is worth an investment of time because the results can be so terrific. It’s hard, though, to figure out exactly how to go about creating meaningful content that speaks to your audience, especially if the process is new to you. Crosby Noricks gives advice on creating content that makes a difference in an excellent article on FastCompany. Here are some strategies to approach the process logically, so that you feel less like a fish on a bicycle (or an accountant thrust into the role of creative director).
- Inventory your assets. What do you have in place that’s meaningful for your audience? Assess your brand positioning, collateral pieces, website copy and everything else you can think of to see what’s worth keeping and what doesn’t really speak well enough to represent your firm. Have the entire firm participate in evaluating what’s in use, what’s available but not yet being utilized and what’s coming up that might make good content. You’ll likely find people and events that could be made into compelling content if you approach this step with a fresh eye. Don’t hang onto things that may have served in the past if they’re not actually interesting and effective now.
- Listen hard to what your clients are saying to you through social media and other communication channels. Often, the conversation itself offers you premade marketing content as well as ideas for new methods. Do certain questions keep coming up? Address them comprehensively, in a series of blogs or an event to educate your listeners. What is your firm’s reputation, or what complaints do you hear about competitors or the industry in general? What accolades are you receiving for service or knowledge? This is the kind of thing that can be turned into great marketing copy or an important addition to your brand differentiation. You need the information anyway, so why not also view it as a resource for content and marketing while you learn?
- Adapt your schedule to that of your clients. Most accountants are adept at working with the rhythms of the tax year. Expand on this pattern by thinking about what’s going on with your clients. When you tune in to your clients’schedules you can make sure to offer advice, entertainment and events that work in tandem with their evolving needs and interests. People are extremely willing to participate in events, read about topics and heed advice that matches the challenges and interests already in front of them.
- Develop platform-awareness. As you think about new content, keep alert to the best uses of the platforms you utilize. Each one has its own special attributes, and much of your content can be adapted to be a perfect match for the unique aspects of your favorite platforms and applications. You don’t have to worry about creating multiple streams of original content – get more mileage from the best stuff by tweaking it into the right form for all your channels.
Effective content marketing is about connecting with your audience. You can experiment to learn what resonates most and which methods you’re most comfortable with. As long as you’re listening well and responding sincerely, you’ll connect. And after a little practice you will fall into a way of thinking that helps you see great content opportunities as you go about your daily research and work. Dive right in – you’ll be swimming with the porpoises in no time!
Do you have content-creation tips to share? We’d love to hear about them in the comments.