No matter where you’re from, if you’ve ever been to the beach, you know just how much fun it is. If you’ve never been, I highly recommend it.
Lying in the sand, soaking up the sun, floating in the waves – it’s pure bliss. You’ll let your cares slip away with every sip of a tasty beverage, listening to some of your favorite beach tunes (I recommend Bob Marley, Jimmy Buffet, and some Country).
I just returned from a 4th of July trip to Ocean Isle Beach in beautiful southern North Carolina and while I was there, all I could think about are the similarities between content marketing and the beach. You may not realize it, but the two have way more in common than you might think!
Allow me to explain the commonality between the two:
People are attracted to both for all sorts of different reasons
The allure of the beach draws people in from far and wide. It seems to beckon you when the sun starts to get hot. Some people go to surf, others to play beach volleyball, some go to fish. There are lots of different reasons why the beach is attractive.
The same thing goes for content marketing. The number one reason most small businesses are doing content marketing (publishing content on their own website) and co-marketing (publishing content on other people’s websites for links) is to attract new potential customers to their websites. People look for solutions to their unique problems in the search engines everyday. Businesses everywhere are publishing relevant content that attracts these people to their websites and often results in new relationships.
You can attract the right kind of visitors to your website by publishing content that solves your potential customers’ problems. For example, if you sell custom audio and stereo equipment, you should publish some content that answers frequently asked questions like, “How To Get The Best Sound In Your Man-Cave”, “Three Sound Dampening Tips To Keep Your Neighbors Happy”, or “The Top 3 Portable Speakers To Bring To The Beach”.
It’s hard work preparing and executing both beach trips and content marketing
When you prepare for a beach trip, there a lot to plan for. You have to put all your food together, pack coolers, chairs, towels, books/magazines, audio devices, sports equipment, etc. You have to pack the car, drive down (or just walk out if you’re staying on the beach), park, unload, find a spot and set up. Don’t forget your sunscreen or your day can be ruined in a flash!
Without a solid plan and strategy in place, your content marketing and co-marketing efforts will be both time-consuming and ineffective. You don’t want to invest a lot of time and effort into something if you won’t see a relatively decent return. In order to get the most out of your own content marketing campaign, you must do some preparation and then execution.
Here are some of the items you must take care of:
- Create buyer personas for each of your target customers and figure out how they prefer to digest information.
- Keyword Research to determine you most valuable keywords and relevant topics to write about.
- Conduct a Content Marketing Audit of your site to see where you stand and what you need to do to improve.
- Find your best Co-Marketing Partners to publish your content and generate backlinks.
- Create an Editorial Calendar using Google Calendar to organize your posts and keep things moving.
- Write, publish, and promote your posts with social media and email.
This may seem like a lot of work, but just like when you go to the beach, the more help you have, the easier it is for everyone involved. Same thing goes for small businesses. There are thousands of co-marketing partners waiting to exchange free, high-quality content with you in BoostSuite right now so stop doing content marketing by yourself; it just doesn’t work!
They can be packed or empty depending on time and conditions
There are a lot of determining factors for how crowded both the beach and your blog can be. It’s all about the conditions of both. They determine the demand. At the beach, you’re more likely to see a lot of people during the longer summer days, warmer months and holidays. If you’re going to get a tan, you won’t go to the beach at night or during a thunderstorm. If you’re going fishing, you’ll want to head out right at dawn.If you’re going to watch fireworks, you obviously won’t go during the day.
One of the more common advertisements at the beach is the prop-plane pulling a large banner behind it. It’s seen by many eyes, as long as it’s a beautiful day and the beach is packed. You wouldn’t see that plane flying up and down the beach during a storm or at night. It would be a complete waste of money!
With content marketing, timing and conditions are very important. You want to make sure that your topics are relevant and timely. You don’t want to talk about something that was a hot topic last year. Talk about the hottest topics right now! That’s what your audience wants to hear and talk about. They’re more likely to comment on your posts and share them via social media if they’re really relevant to them. Bloggers strive for that sort of engagement. You should also make sure to publish your posts on the same day and time so your audience can get used to your publication frequency and start to expect new posts.
You can catch a lot of things
The word “catch” is used a lot at the beach. Here are some of the things you can catch while at the beach:
- Waves (tubular!)
- Rays (the sun kind, not the sting kind!)
- Dates (potential relationships, not the fruit!)
If you like people watching, the last one is always fun to observe from a far. You see a group of young guys and a separate group of young girls. You can see as the guys “mistakenly” throw a football right into the middle of the group of young girls. This sort of ice-breaker is how many relationships started out. It’s kind of like a pop-up ad. :)
Here are some of the things you will catch with your content marketing:
- Newsletter Subscribers
- Social Shares
Depending on what your goals are, you can modify your strategy and content to catch more of what you need!
For example, if you want more traffic, try learning about your readers and writing about interesting topics specifically for them, or you can write more frequently. If you want more newsletter subscribers, make sure you add a newsletter signup form to your blog’s layout and use calls to action in the content to get people to subscribe. If you want more backlinks, you have to share more relevant content with your co-marketing partners.
Once you’ve done some work you can relax (kind of)
In my opinion, the best part about going to the beach is sitting on a lounge chair and doing nothing. You let your mind wander as you relax to the sounds of the music, waves crashing on the shore, and laughing children. You just spent all this time and energy (money too!) getting there, so it’s imperative that you decompress and enjoy yourself!
The same thing goes with your content marketing. It’s a perpetual process meaning it’s something you’ll always have to devote some of your time and effort to it every week, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have fun doing it. Write about topics you love and I’m sure your target audience will love them too!
If you aren’t having fun with your content marketing, it will show. Connect with your audience by using emotion in your writing and you’ll see much more engagement and better results overall.