Online marketers have moved well beyond banner ads and pay-per-click campaigns to content marketing. In fact, a recent Curata study found that 87 percent of marketers use content marketing as a key part of their marketing strategy.
But creating content solely in your own voice leads to egocentric marketing, which often fails to engage customers who’ve grown increasingly wary of brands that use in-your-face sales tactics. Only best-in-class marketers have begun to realize that a balanced approach to content marketing gains the best results when engaging their audiences.
Is your content marketing egocentric?
Here’s a look at four traits of egocentric marketing, along with tips that will help you create content that’s more customer-centric and represents a broader range of voices.
1. Writing In The First Person With Lots Of ‘We’ And ‘Our’
The Problem: The trouble with writing from your brand’s point of view is that it doesn’t include or draw the reader in. In fact, that style of writing can be a real turn-off.
The Fix: Consider your customers and their painpoints and speak directly to those, using plenty of “you” and “yours” to engage the customer and show empathy for their needs. Put their needs before your need to sell, sell, sell. Think about how you can use third-party content to help you tell your story. Incorporate a customer success example that illustrates the benefit you’re trying to support.
2. Focusing On Your Brand’s Products And Services
The Problem: The old style of marketing focuses on a company’s products and services. For instance: “Here’s what we offer, here’s why it’s the best product available, here’s why you have to buy this, etc.”
The Fix: Instead of using this outdated marketing and sales approach, follow the lead of content marketing. A content marketing strategy focuses on building trust through valuable content that’s relevant to your customers, even if it doesn’t directly relate to your products. Over time, readers will make the natural connection between the trust you’ve built and the value of your brand.
3. Quoting Only Company Spokespeople Or Customers
The Problem: Some brands take an extremely siloed approach to content because they’re afraid customers might go elsewhere if given the opportunity. However, relying exclusively on stories from company spokespeople and customers is too limiting.
The Fix: Readers want the most interesting stories and the most credible experts; in order to succeed at content marketing, that’s what you need to give them. You could include outside experts by periodically publishing guest posts from others in your industry or curating the best content from other places and contextualizing that content with your own insight and perspective.
4. Linking Only Within Your Own Web Site
The Problem: Some brands have a policy of not linking to outside Web sites for fear that the customer will leave their sites without completing a transaction or form. However, this can create the impression that you’re not well-connected with the broader industry or simply don’t care to engage with others in your niche.
The Fix: Link to and attribute relevant outside content through content curation. This creates goodwill with others in your industry and provides a valuable resource to customers who are hungry for more information.
In my latest insight document, “Stop Egocentric Marketing,” I dive deeper into how you should think about your overall marketing strategy: Are you solely focused on showcasing your products and brand? Do you have a “product-out” approach, or are you providing relevant, useful, and timely content to your prospect--a more “content-out” approach?