In the abyss of worthless content marketing – how to save yourself?

You, who educated. You, who gave value. You, who solved problems. Oh, content! We can only sigh trying to get out of the abyss of worthless content that floods the Internet every day. 

How many articles do you read per day? How many videos do you watch? How many podcasts do you listen to? How many of them can you say that they have solved your problem or inspired you? Less than zero? Let’s consider what it results from and how we can oppose it!

Content marketing – a loud slogan that has been conquering the marketing market for several years. A website without a ‘blog’ tab is a lost website. You’re not on social media – you don’t exist. Personal Branding without video? Forget it. Everyone has a blog, everyone writes articles and posts. Everyone is trying to do some content marketing. The problem is, however, that it is being done “somehow”, neither good nor bad, just average. And when there is more and more content, its quality becomes an indicator, and the problems of the reader become the essence.

Who is this article for? For everyone who wants to create quality content and manage it well. For what? To draw attention to bad habits that often occur and to protect yourself against them and to show how to do it better, and – because good habits can never be enough – to discuss it as well.

I am a good Content Marketer and nothing human is alien to me

The year 2019 is full of tips on how to create good content, distribute and promote it properly. Of their multitude, three can be distinguished, which are key in content management and which focus on people.

Establish an action strategy 

Strategy, strategy and strategy again! This is the key to content marketing. This year’s Content Marketing Institute report shows that the most successful are those companies that have a documented content marketing strategy, slightly less those with an existing strategy, but unwritten. To manage content well, be able to respond to changes, trends and the needs of recipients, we need to create a plan according to which we intend to operate based on our target group, unique value proposition (UVP) and goal. 

Content for everyone is a content for nobody. This is a well-known truth for a long time, at least in the world of marketing. Therefore,  at the beginning you need to specify the persona to whom you will direct your content. You can prepare a proto-persona who will be an image of your target group, and then confirm it with research (interviews, surveys, tests). For this purpose, you can use one of Persona Canvas available on the Internet, which will allow you to organize the collected information (including the needs, goals, personality as well as problems of your target group). Thanks to this you will be able to better empathize with the situation of your recipients and create even better tailored content for them.

canvas, persona

Once you create a persona, learn about its needs and problems, think about your goal. It might be education, building relationships with clients, commitment, awareness, sales, lead generation, preparation for purchase, up-sell, cross-sell, or even something else. You need to know what you want to achieve and achieve it through the content you create.

Do you have competition? I suppose there is a good chance that you answered „yes” to this question. There is also a chance that your competition also conducts content marketing activities. To create and promote professional content, establish your UVP – a unique value proposition. Remember that this only makes sense when your value is truly unique and cannot be attributed to any other company/content. So, the substance is not your UVP, but it may be the substance supported by reports from the latest research from a research center in the United States. Does anyone else create content based on these reports? If not – it could be your key differentiator.

Examine the needs – create for a man, not a robot

Human needs – why so important? Because they give us basic information about what they lack. As Content Marketers, our task is to provide content that allows us to meet the need and fill the lack of information in a given area. If we do this, it will not only translate into the popularity of the content, but also into the increase in recipient trust in the author/brand. 

To discover the needs, you should do research that varies depending on the amount of information you need. The easiest way is to ask your audience, e.g. on social media, about a topic you want to take in the form of an article/video/podcast or any other form. Often, such a question generates substantive discussion that makes you provide your target group with the information they need. Don’t assume that you know everything, go out to your community and ask questions.

But where is SEO in all this? The goal of SEO is to create content tailored to the algorithms that position the brand in Google rankings. The goal of content marketing is to create valuable content for audience. Often, the goal of both is convergent and then you are able to prepare engaging content that position your brand high (chart above). However, if keywords do not go hand in hand with the delivery of the desired content, you should consider whether you want to create for a robot or for a human being, remembering that the human being is your investment.

Make friends with statistics and feedback 

Statistics and triangulation – the words themselves sound terrifying, but if you want to manage content wisely, you have to be sharp as a tack. Data on the number of views, the time users spend on the blog, coverage, involvement etc. can help you with this. There are many key performance indicators (KPIs), however, in order to measure activities effectively – triangulation, i.e. a combination of data from various sources, needs to be performed. Then you can measure your actions and draw conclusions in a holistic way.

Good practice is the OKR technique (Objectives and Key Results), which allows you to measure goals using key factors over a given time period. How does it work?

  1. Establish key measures, e.g. coverage, number of newsletter subscriptions and comments on promoted content.
  2. Set a goal, e.g. within a month – average coverage: 10,000, number of subscriptions to the newsletter: 1,000, average number of comments: 25.
  3. Measure in an established period of time (e.g. weekly) whether you are approaching the goals and how fast.

What is all this for? To know whether the created content goes to your persona, whether it is interesting for it (UVP) and whether you achieve the goal established in the strategy. If not – do not be afraid of changes, you measure not only to confirm the rightness of the strategy, but to correct it in such a way that it finally brings the assumed results.

However, the numbers will not replace the feedback you may receive from your audience. Therefore – be open, talk, ask and take opinions so that you could respond in real time to what is happening and according to the needs of those for whom you create. 

(Not) last resort

Let’s return to the question from the beginning of the article. How to save yourself from the abyss of worthless content?  We need to create wisely. This is – maybe not the last, but certainly – a resort. Wisely, that is, based on the needs of the audience, not getting crazy about keywords, choosing a strategy, but not clinging to it, changing, if necessary experimenting and testing. Being flexible, creating for people. 

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Katarzyna Golonka
In business for five years, during which she managed a team of over a dozen people, created cycles of business events, co-created and managed the company. Currently, she specializes in Content Marketing and Personal Branding.

She helps companies to find their own "I" in business and to communicate it externally (marketing & business strategy).

Involved in numerous social activities. She is a certified Business Coach. She conducts workshops on the overlap of strategy & marketing. Author of texts for industry portals, including New Marketing, Marketing in Practice, E-commerce & Digital Marketing.

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