If you haven’t done so already, it’s high time to get your content marketing strategy for 2014 in order. An important part of the preparation, of course, is getting at least a few pieces of content ready for distribution. So you sit down to make a list of topic ideas for the content you’re going to publish this year (or at least within the first few months of the year).
You think…and think…and think…
After a few days, you have one idea written down. Just ONE.
How can you write an entire set of articles to cover the first wave of your 2014 content marketing campaign if you only have ONE idea? Well, it’s time to get really creative! Take that one idea and try to generate as many story angles from it as you can. Following are some tips on how you can do this.
For purposes of our discussion, we’ll have to use a concrete example of a solid content idea your target audience would love. Remember that the topic idea you come up with should be something that matters to your target audience, rather than the things you deem important.
Okay, let’s suppose that you’re a distributor of cosmetic products and you want to put out the message that your online store is the best source of the top cosmetic brands anywhere in the world. If you simply state this message and then enumerate the brands you offer to drive home the point that you have a wide variety of product offerings, you’ll probably come up with a 200-word piece that sounds like something you’d post in the “About” section of your Facebook profile instead of an excellent content piece.
What should you do instead? Let’s move on to the tips we promised earlier…
1. Feature each product/brand individually.
As mentioned earlier, a simple enumeration of the brands and products you’re selling will do for a description of your business in your social media profiles, but not for content marketing purposes. By featuring each of the brands and products you offer in an individual piece of content, you’ll soon have a set of articles that can tide you over for at least a couple of months.
As you feature each product in an article, remember to keep your audience’s needs in mind. This means you should talk about the benefits each product has to offer, rather than the features of the product. Remember that your aim is to provide valuable content, not to promote your products. Focus on highlighting a specific need of your target market and then explain how the product can address that need.
2. Write about complementary products.
Accessories, jewelry, and contact lenses are some of the products that complement cosmetics. It may be a good idea to talk about these complementary products in your articles as well. Your audience would probably love to know what earrings would go well with the look a set of makeup can help them achieve. This strategy even involves another possible benefit, which is that of building a strong, mutually-beneficial network with the owners of complementary businesses.
Think about it: When you write about businesses that offer products which complement yours, the owners of those businesses will be more willing to tell their audience about your business as well. This effectively widens the reach of your brand. This can also be a good way of building a network of links that won’t be penalized by Google and other search engines because you can be sure your links come from legitimate, high-quality sites.
3. Share your story.
Most people love knowing more about the businesses they patronize (or plan to patronize) than their names and the products they offer. Of course, they’d love learning more about you if you present information in a way that doesn’t openly promote the business. You could, for example, tell them about how fond you are of makeup and how you got the idea to make a living out of something you genuinely love. You could also write about how people used to compliment you on your looks and how this made you want to share your expertise on cosmetics to others. Bottom line: Say something about yourself or the business without selling and while still providing relevant and valuable information to your audience.
4. Discuss important niche-related events.
People who are interested in cosmetics may also be interested in events that are related to cosmetics in any way. Some of your customers, for example, could be cosplayers. It would therefore be a good idea to write about a major cosplay event and makeup ideas for the said event. You may also want to write about cosmetics training sessions or short courses that you’re offering or that’s being offered near your location.
5. Educate your audience.
Your audience would appreciate you more if they learned more from you than what products you offer and which of these products would suit them best. You could perhaps write about sensitive skin and the type of cosmetics people with sensitive skin should choose. You could also write about, say, the shades of lipstick that work best with the different skin complexions. You can leverage basically any information concerning the way cosmetics interact with people’s skin.
Now you know how to stretch one idea into an entire repertoire of content for your online marketing campaign. As a bonus, here are a couple of tips on writing your articles:
Tip #1: Don’t be such a perfectionist. If you make grammar or spelling mistakes along the way, try not to lessen your writing momentum by pausing to fix them. Just keep the ideas flowing and reserve the editing for later.
Tip #2: Don’t think about optimizing your content while writing. Keep in mind that your only aim at this point is to create content pieces that can help you catch the interest and loyalty of your target audience. You can worry about optimization once you have a solid library of content at your disposal.
If you have to, read through the above tips a few times. Soon enough, you should be able to start building a library of articles for your content marketing campaign without as much difficulty as before. And that ONE idea you had should seem less like a problem and more of a blessing.