Earlier this year, I wrote a post that discussed how to write content that works for you. When it’s so easy to get caught up in the “shoulds” and “shouldn’ts” of content marketing, you can quickly find yourself jumping from one trend to the next with no clear reason, all the while wondering if what you’re creating is reaching the right people at the right time for the right purpose.
In a recent article, Ann Gynn summarizes 26 insights the speakers of the Content Marketing 2019 World Conference and Expo had on content marketing. While some believed that marketing could be more focused than others, these experts all seemed to emphasize that in order for content marketers to be successful, they must understand how to make content marketing work for them and their companies.
What that means is just because an up-and-coming trend sounds good, we content writers shouldn’t necessarily jump on it. Each industry uses content marketing in a slightly different way, and what works for some may not work for others. What’s more, what is trendy now may not last. Just read this post from C. Hope Clark for a good example on how newsletters went out of vogue years ago with the rise of the blog and all the things (podcasting, YouTube, etc.) and now are making a somewhat ironical comeback.
Clark’s advice is to stay true to who you are. “The lesson is. . . decide what works for you and work it to its fullest,” she says. “Remember your focus. And understand that trends come and go, but your dear name is precious. Protect it by being mature, professional, and consistent.”
For me, the content I create is designed to give my audience a “behind-the-scenes” glimpse at my life as an editor, writer, business owner, and solopreneur. I share what I’ve read about and learned, and I offer helpful tips, when I can, on how to approach various aspects of writing, developing a brand, creating helpful content, and building strong customer-business connections. Over time, my posts have gotten more personal. As my focus has steadily shifted back to my own creative ventures, I’ve even given my readers a look into my own writing struggles.
My hope is that what I write reveals who I am as a person. When establishing trust is essential in service industries–especially with internet-based industries, where the customer and the business owner may never actually meet in person–letting my customers get to know me through my writing is one way I can help them determine if my services are right for them.
Does my content move my audience along a buyer’s journey? Does it create the right amount of awareness that will convert readers to customers? Maybe. Maybe not. What my content does result in may not be measurable, at least not in the analytical sense. But when the focus of my content is simply building a connection, maybe that’s all that matters. In that sense, my content marketing is working for me, just how I need it to be.