While almost anyone can can call themselves a “content marketer” just by creating content, not everyone should be one.
Simply starting and maintaining a blog is a tremendous undertaking. And really, unless you have an area of expertise to cover, your content will probably get lost in the endless glut of the over-saturated world of content marketing.
In this episode of Here’s Why, Mark & Eric will explain why you need to be an expert or GO HOME!
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Mark: Are you a content marketer? If so, Eric Enge of Stone Temple Consulting says you need to be an expert, kind of like my old friend Albert here, or go home! So why does your content need to be at an expert level? Stay tuned to find out!
Mark: Eric you’ve often said, “Be an expert, or go home.” Can you explain what you mean by an expert and why we content producers need to be experts these days?
Eric: I’m happy to explain that, Mark. There are at least two reasons: earning buyer trust and overcoming content glut.
Mark: Okay, let’s start with earning trust. What does expertise have to do with that?
Eric: Consumers, and even B2B buyers, looking at companies they might buy from, want to know what those companies stand for, what their brand and reputation is all about, and whether or not they know what they’re talking about when it comes to the goods or services they peddle.
In his book Google Semantic Search, our friend David Amerland talks about how when we go to a shopping mall to buy something, let’s say a pair of boots, there is an inherent amount of trust because you know the storeowner had a heavy investment in that space in the mall. There was a lot of overhead involved. Because that storeowner has a lot at risk, he’s going to be more careful about his brand’s reputation and product quality.
But now so much commerce happens online, and the overhead situation there can be fundamentally different. Anyone can set up a business website with a relatively minimal investment. So buyers want to see certain proof points about who you are.
Mark: How can an online brand provide those proof points?
Eric: One of the best ways to provide that is with content. Content allows a brand to constantly communicate and reinforce what they believe in and what they think about various issues. Also, through content brands can proactively help people. All that only works if you, or someone who works for you, whoever is producing the content, is an expert. You can’t just hire any old person from somewhere, have them do a little research, and then throw an article out there.
The article will be low value, and people will recognize that. it will reflect poorly on your brand, and make people less inclined to buy from you. That kind of content also won’t get supporting signals such as links and social mentions and shares that will give it more exposure, as well as helping consumers feel the content and the brand behind it are more trustworthy. So being an expert is what is going to attract positive attention to your brand that you’re looking for.
Mark: But Eric, what if you’re in a knowledge-based business, where your expertise is your product. With content marketing, you’re kind of giving away a lot of your expertise and knowledge, right? Aren’t you doing your work for free? What’s the benefit then?
Eric: I like to say, “Give more than you ask for in return.” The more you do that, the harder it gets to out give your community. You’ll eventually fail at it. If you’re really good at giving to your audience through your content, the community will reward you with more attention, more exposure to other, and ultimately, more sales.
Mark: OK, I get it. You also mentioned that being an expert can help you triumph over content glut, right?
Eric: That’s right, Mark. First let me explain what we mean by content glut. The message that content is necessary to find, attract, and grow audience has been heard loud and clear. So with each passing day, more and more content is being produced.
All that content is competing for the same audience. The truth is that these days, only content super heroes will stand out amongst the noise. Those content super heroes are going to be subject matter experts whose expertise and value are respected by their audience. They produce the kind of content that people want to comment on, share with friends, and link to.
Mark: Thanks, Eric, for helping us to understand why when it comes to content marketing that makes a difference for business, you need to be an expert or go home! And you can become a better expert in the marketing field by joining with us every Monday for another episode of Here’s Why with Mark and Eric.
Eric: Go to the address on your screen to watch all of our past Here’s Why episodes. You’ll also find there links to subscribe so you never miss another Here’s Why with Mark and Eric.
Mark: Thanks for watching!