4 Rules of Content Marketing: Tell a Story, Don’t Sell One


If you have any connection to online business or Internet marketing, you know that every company is striving to capitalize on content marketing. But is your content marketing strategy effective? Or are you just jumping onto the bandwagon and blindly writing blog posts?

Make sure you address these four most important rules of content marketing that many companies have overlooked when launching a “strategy.”

1) Be an Effective Storyteller

The content you create around your company should seek to draw people in, and engage them. Entrepreneur Magazine defines content marketing as, “the creation and publication of original content — including blog posts, case studies, white papers, videos, and photos — for the purpose of generating leads, enhancing a brand’s visibility, and putting the company’s subject matter expertise on display.”

Companies aren’t going to get their customers to share their content if everything comes off as a sales pitch. Going after direct sales is a narrow, short-sighted way to use your content. Instead, companies should be looking for the long-term, lasting effects that valuable content can leave on their audience.

2) Content Marketing Is a Marathon, not a Race

Good content has the potential to position your company as a subject matter expert and this can build trust with your audience. The relationship between your organization and your customers is no different than a relationship between two people — building trust takes time. It doesn’t happen overnight. Sometimes, it can feel like your content just isn’t having the impact you thought it would. Be patient. Your company’s blog isn’t going to become an Internet sensation with only a handful of posts. Just keep delivering quality and consistency and your efforts will pay off (eventually).

3) It’s not All About You

Many companies make the mistake of wasting the leverage they have with their blog or social media pages by using these arenas as a platform to talk about themselves. While it is a good idea to write the occasional highlight about a new hire, or publicize an aspect of company culture that your office is proud of in the blog, don’t use these spaces to just rattle off an empty sales script. Does your office have a dog-friendly policy? Blog about that! Stories that like humanize your company, and projects a positive message. Besides, who doesn’t LOVE dogs?

4) Destroy Your Ego

Instead of creating your content around what will directly benefit you think about what will directly benefit your customer. Can you provide some insightful information they would be interested in? Can you solve a problem? Ask yourself, how can your content be of service?

This is why most traditional marketers are ill-suited content producers. Nobody has a bigger ego than a marketer! When creating content that people will love, think like your demographic. What would they be most likely to share?

Think of a deeper core value within your organization that you would like to communicate with your audience through storytelling. Make it personal, and sincere. Consumer trust in advertising is at an alltime low, so if people sense a sales pitch, they will tune you out, and turn their backs to your company — AND your message.