The Secret to Stress-Free Content Marketing

How to simplify your content marketingThis is an excerpt of a post that originally appeared on Forbes on October 14, 2015.

You know you should be producing great content. But you haven’t — regularly, anyway. Or you have, but the promotional aspect of it has kind of fallen by the wayside. Or maybe you wrote a flurry of blog posts, dutifully posted them on your blog and are now wondering how they affected your sales pipeline.

Sound familiar? If so, you’re not alone: The Content Marketing Institute’s 2015 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks report found that even committed B2B content marketers face challenges, including creating content that’s engaging, producing content on a consistent schedule and measuring its effectiveness.

Content marketing should do a lot of things for your business, but it absolutely should not stress you out. Here’s how to stop the madness.

Don’t Over-Think It

Believe it or not, you can get away with posting content that doesn’t reinvent the Internet. A lot of marketers get hung up on thinking that everything they post needs to be earth-shattering. That’s an impossible goal and one that will set you up to fail. Instead, aim for other adjectives to describe your content: Useful. Engaging. Insightful. This is how you connect with your audience.

You may also be trying to impress the wrong people. You’re not writing for your peers and other experts. Instead, your content needs to reach your customers, address their problems and concerns and communicate with them on their level. They’ll see the value when you can translate the complex problems your product or service solves into a clear solution. It’s not “writing down” to your audience — it’s reaching out to them.

Industry trends, general news items that are trending and common questions from customers provide a lot of content ideas, says Technology Seed Marketing and PR Manager Katie Bisson. “We figure if our customers are asking, others are probably asking as well.”

Michele Linn, vice president of content at the Content Marketing Institute, recommends mining conferences and trade shows for ideas. “Attend the conference in the eyes of your audience. What would they find useful? Then take the best insights you have learned and turn them into a summary blog post or SlideShare. Also, think about ways you can use the content you create to connect with people at the event, and follow up with them after.”

Still having trouble? Start simple: What is your customer’s biggest problem? How does your product or service solve their problems?

I tackle the other two common ways content marketing stresses people out and explain how to fix it in the rest of the article at Forbes.

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