Here’s How Companies Are Changing Their Approach to Content Marketing — and Why It’s Working

Which blog posts are the most memorable for you?

Are there ones you remember long after the others? If so, you’re not alone. But what is it about these posts that make them so hard to forget?

The answer lies in what you take away from them.

If you leave a site having learned a new piece of information, you’re going to remember that more than leaving a site having learned nothing.

Today, consumers have less time than ever to spend browsing the internet. We’re all indescribably busy, so it’s frustrating when we land on a site that doesn’t give us the information we need.

But let’s take it back a step for a moment.

In a study of the state of content marketing amongst SaaS companies by Bloom, three different styles of blogging were the most prominent:

  1. PR-style posts that pimp what the company is doing
  2. Educational posts that teach the audience something new
  3. A mixture of both PR-style and educational posts

Back in the day, PR-style posts were all the rage, as it meant brands could share what they’d been up to and tout their successes for all to see. But in this particular study, almost half (45%) of blogs researched used a mixed approach to blogging, combining both educational posts and PR-style articles.

This is obviously because it gives the companies best of both worlds — they can shout about their product from the rooftop, whilst also helping their customers overcome key problems.

But, more surprisingly, PR-style posts are on the decline, with only 20% of SaaS companies opting for this specialisation compared to 24% who are solely posting educational content.

What This Means for the Future of SaaS Blogging

This shows that SaaS companies are shifting their marketing strategies. They’re moving away from their own company priorities and increasingly focusing on their customers’ needs.

Why is this?

Today, consumers are more savvy than ever.

They know when they’re being sold to and, quite honestly, they want to know what a company can do for them rather than what is going on behind the scenes.

Source

This survey says it all: advertising and marketing sit right at the bottom of the list of people consumers are most likely to trust.

Companies can no longer blast their audience with sales messages and hope that something sticks. Instead, they need to focus on building relationships with theright people, and that starts with content.

This content needs to do several things:

  • Build authority in your industry, so that consumers trust what you’re saying
  • Help solve a problem your audience are facing (when consumers search on Google, nine times out of ten they’re searching for a solution to something)
  • Educate, so the reader leaves having learned something new
  • Start a conversation, because you don’t want readers to turn up, read a piece, and leave. You actively want them to stick around so you can build a meaningful relationship with them

This is the reason PR-style blog posts are on their way out. They only really hit one of the key points above — building authority.

Why PR-Style Posts Just Aren’t Enough Anymore

Sure, it’s nice to let your audience know what you’re up to every now and again, and your customers will want to hear about things like your latest event and how you managed to partner with a huge company for your latest launch.

But they’ll want to hear about that once they already have a relationship with you.

The thing is, your blog acts like your shopfront. It’s often the number one page people land on when they come to your site because they’ve been led there via social media. Which means the vast majority of people reading your stuff don’t already have that relationship with you.

So pushing out PR-style post after PR-style post will fall on deaf ears because, at that point, consumers just don’t care.

It’s harsh but true.

The flashy PR-style posts can come later via email once you’ve already created a connection and built that trust with your audience.

Before that, you need your content to hit the four key areas: build authority, solve a problem, educate, and start a conversation.

How to Follow Suit and Change Your Approach to Content Marketing

Now, you might be nodding along to all of the above and thinking about the hundreds of PR posts you’ve put out over the past month. It’s time to change, right? It’s time to start building real connections with consumers and creating a following that’s loyal and hangs on your every word.

It’s possible, but you’ll need to switch up your strategy.

1. Assess What You’re Doing Currently

First things first, take a step back and look at what you’ve already been doing. Dig back through your blog archives for the past six months or so and tally up how many blog posts you’ve published, and what kind of blog posts they are — are they PR-style shoutouts? Informative content?

2. Figure Out What You Want to Say

The biggest mistake brands make when it comes to content is publishing without thinking. They think they just need to get something up on the blog, but don’t consider the impact it has on their brand or audience.

Before you even think about switching up your content strategy, you need to really work out what you want to say — that is, what you want to teach your audience, what you want them to take away from your blog, and where you want to position yourself in your industry.

For example, if you’re a software company that has created a time management tool, you might want to produce content around time-saving tactics or organisational methods.

It ties into your product, but isn’t directly about your product.

3. Consistently Say What You Want to Say

Once you’ve figured out what you want to say and how you’re going to say it, the next step is consistently producing content around that topic.

The key thing to remember is content isn’t an overnight success strategy. It won’t make you millions the moment you hit publish. Instead, it’s about opening up a dialogue and encouraging consumers to join in the conversation.

Over time, consistently creating content that educates, builds authority, and solves a problem will have the right people flocking to your site and becoming loyal fans.

4. Put it All Together

Building a successful content strategy isn’t easy, but it’s incredible when you finally pull it off. It can do amazing things, like sell out a program in ten minutes like one of my clients, or get you onto a top ten industry list like another of my clients.

The reason they were able to do this with content alone is because they planned it out strategically. They didn’t just hit publish and hope for the best. They understood what their audience wanted and provided that on a platter — and it works.

If you want a slice of that pie, I’ve got just the thing for you.

Create Electric Content is a video series that will help you set up and execute your successful content strategy.

It will teach you a simple but incredibly effective way to consistently create the best content in your industry so you can build authority and skyrocket your conversions.

And, even better(!), I’m running the series for just $39 until 1st Jan 2018, so snap it up now right here if you want next year to be your year.

This post was originally published on LizzieDavey.com

SaaS, Marketing and Ecommerce Writer and Content Consultant. I also help freelancers create long-term, lucrative businesses.