Working in Content Marketing
Working in content marketing is a collaborative process, because you need to really understand your customer’s offerings. You get to work with small businesses or individuals to understand what it is they really want to say and help them to get that message across. If you’re good at talking new people and finding out more about them, you’ll enjoy the learning stage at the beginning of the new working relationship.
As a content marketer you can focus on businesses which you have an interest in. this is a great way to take advantage of the expert knowledge you’ve gained in your previous roles, whether you worked in a traditional industry such as finance, a new sector such as digital marketing or even provided a service.
No matter what your interests, you’ll find that people all really need the same thing: a way to communicate their message and explain what they do in a simple way. There are definite advantages to niching down and focusing exclusively on a small group of businesses where you can provide tailored support.
Content Marketing if You’re not an Expert
To work in content marketing or repurposing, you don’t have to be an expert in accountancy or finance, mortgages or marketing. You just have to understand enough about the sector you’re working in to explain to people what it is the business does.
When you’re working with a client, ask them why they’re producing the piece of content or why they want to re-use something they’ve already got. Establish what they’re trying to tell their audience and what they want them to do next.
To help you get a better picture of their offering, look at their website and other material they already have. Read through old blogs, and ask to see any marketing materials such as brochures, flyers, newsletters or presentation slides. Include internal communications as well as things in the public domain.
With the information you’ve gathered, do a content audit and look at where they want to share their messages and how often. What will they be sharing and where? Are they creating new content or reusing something they’ve already got? If you’re repurposing, you can take a podcast and turn it into a blog series, or produce an e-guide from a webinar.
Look at their individual needs, see how you can make the most of what they already have and look at ways to add, to improve and help them to share their expertise. How do they differ from their competitors? Is their product or service an improvement on what’s already in the marketplace? How can you showcase that?
Surprisingly, so many people hate writing. Many podcasters or YouTube hosts do a lot of live video, but they often leave their most helpful content on one platform. Other people prefer to create audio content rather than a blog, but they still need to have a written version to share their knowledge further. If you can offer to help them to do that, you’re providing a really valuable service.
When you write for someone else, try to keep their tone of voice and their style and be concise, go back and edit any content to ensure there isn’t waffle and repetition. Although long form copy far outperforms short form, be brutal with your work and edit it to make it more engaging.
Imagine that you’re writing in an inverted pyramid. Put the most valuable information at the top and then everything else at the bottom. If you’re marketing an event, your first paragraph should tell the reader who, what, where, when and why.
Further down your article, include a quote, whether that’s from a speaker, the organiser or an attendee. If you’re creating a promotional blog or writing a press release, you want to draw people in and maintain their interest.
To do that, put the most important information at the top, and try to keep a hold of their attention so they’re encouraged to read down to the bottom. But many visitors skim blogs, so if you can give them everything you need at the beginning and they’ve learned something, your post has been a success.
If you’re interested in learning more about using your writing skills to succeed in content marketing, I always recommend the book that inspired me to be a professional writing – Peter Bowman’s “The Well Fed Writer”. His book introduces the term ‘commercial writer’ rather than copywriter and focuses on how you can make money from writing.
If you’d like to know more about content marketing, you may find my blogs on How to Create a SEO-Boosting Podcast Blog and What a Content Manager Does helpful, or you can download my top content marketing tips here. You can also listen to the original interview with Roger Edwards that inspired this post, or download the transcript of our chat.