What do weather anchors, Nate Silver, Warren Buffet and the Kentucky Derby have in common? We can’t get enough of their predictions.
Think about it. How many times a day do you check your weather app or sit through the news just to see the weather forecast? I mean, no one wants to spend an hour perfecting those Kardashian curls only to walk outside to 80 percent humidity.
The same goes for elections, the stock market and sporting events. Nate Silver became a legend when he correctly predicted how all 50 states would vote in the 2012 election. Warren Buffet’s keen ability to make stock predictions made him famous, not to mention a billionaire. And the Kentucky Derby may be best known for over-the-top hats and mint juleps, but people spent a whopping $187 million betting on the winning horses in 2012. (FYI, that’s the average annual salary of more than 2,700 Americans!)
People love making predictions and they love hearing others’ predictions. Content marketers love getting people to their website. Are you thinking what I’m thinking?
That’s right. You need to start using predictions in your content marketing plan. If you’re in business today, it’s probably because you’re an expert in your field. Use your knowledge to make predictions that will get your content noticed.
When making predictions, keep these tips in mind:
Predictions don’t have to be right. The biggest appeal of making a prediction is the thrill of taking a risk. When making a prediction, your goal is not to be accurate 100 percent of the time, but to get your content noticed and, more importantly, discussed. To get the maximum amount of attention when posting a prediction, tailor the subject to your audience and back it up with reputable data.
You know you’re an expert, but you need others to know it, too. In making your prediction, you can use information you know to validate your point of view. This shows off your expertise and establishes credibility with your audience. If you have done research or conducted interviews to support your prediction, include that information. Doing this shows that you’re not just choosing a topic and making a random guess but taking time to gather information that is helpful to your clients.
Predict on a consistent basis. Once you get the hang of making predictions, consider making them on a consistent basis. For example, many digital agencies put out an annual “trends” prediction. This is a smart move for a few reasons.
- People associate consistency with credibility. If your company can stay around long enough to make predictions on a particular topic every year (or month, or quarter), then you’re probably getting more right than you are wrong.
- It improves your reputation. Think about it. Are you more likely to trust the trends predicted by Vogue or a blog run by a first-year fashion student? Your reputation plays a big part in how likely people are to believe you, so take care of it.
- It helps build a loyal following. People routinely coming to you for predictions shows you are one of their most trusted sources.
Predictions have power. They can help build credibility, form a following, and establish you as a leader in your field. Think of the Victoria’s Secret semi-annual sale. Even the most frugal shopper can’t resist checking it out, if not to shop then to see what all the hype is about.
That’s how your clients should view your predictions, as something they don’t want to miss. To build excitement before you release your report, try teasing some information a couple days before and then do a big push when you release your data. If you can consistently offer predictions relevant to your readers, you should have no problem building your content, credibility and client base.
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