Nine out of ten organizations engage in Content Marketing. According to B2B Content Marketing Research, article posting, social media, and blogging are the most popular tactics and are currently used by 79%, 74% and 65% of B2B marketers, respectively.

We Invest in Content Marketing to Connect

connect_with_consumersMarketers invest in content marketing in hopes of connecting with consumers. So, what does it mean to connect? How can we connect with people outside of “marketing speak?”

As Marketers, we tend to be quantitative, focusing on percentages and numeric analytics, which is paramount. But today, I might argue that we should, at times, be more qualitative–digging a little deeper than the marketing stats, showing our more personal side.

So, how can we get down to the human level of consumer connection? Have conversations, engage one another, be descriptive, perhaps metaphorical. Maybe be a bit more vulnerable than just having discussions on sheer consumer buying behavior.

A Good Example

I recently read Chris Brogan’s blog post “Be where you are” http://www.chrisbrogan.com/be-where-you-are/

Good stuff. I LOVE that style of writing, how he took something personal (how he likes his coffee) and made the same application to business (start with where you are). The closing video was an inspirational personal story with a message that can be applied professionally.

When I write blog posts, that’s the kind of angle I aim for. Taking philosophies, personal truths, life lessons and trying to extend them to marketing makes it more human, and thus resonates with people. Sometimes I’ll question the validity or necessity of the topic…”Is it getting too personal?” “Does it have enough to do with marketing?”— Then, I have to remind myself that even the most passionate marketer is also very human.

So in writing blogs, here’s where I want to be: Making connections with readers by drawing out the “life” side of marketing. That’s my angle. I want to make the human elements of marketing grab you. Instead of pushing my product.

To explain it differently, it’s really a focus shift from just putting the “solution” right up front (more salesy) to putting the “conversation” upfront…what’s on my mind that may intersect with what’s on the reader’s mind.

Strive for Brand Connections that Enhance Consumers’ Lives

Mike Yapp, Director of Google You Tube’s Creative Development Group, in Google’s Advertising 3.0 video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sq0NlZs0Rtk, discussed brand connections in this age of the consumer. One section that jumped out at me emphasized what we all know intuitively and have heard before:

People want NO unwanted noise.

Yapp points out that when designing a web site, ask how the end product will ENHANCE life for a viewer.

Ask yourself:

  1. Is it memorable?
  2. Does it delight me?
  3. Does it inspire me?
  4. Does it surprise me?

If your answer is no, then you don’t have to wonder what your viewer’s answer will be.

The same principle holds true for blog writing. Focus on connecting with readers, enhancing their lives. Not just adding to the noise they must daily sift through.

Do you have any tactics in place to hold you accountable in striving to connect with your readers? Is there depth in your business connections, or are you just going through the motions to meet the next deadline? When you develop content, are you engaged? Are you aiming to enhance the life of your reader?