Today's blog post is taking a slight turn in comparison to my usual blog topics. Today I am chatting about about content marketing and how to make it work for you.
When most people think about content marketing, they think of bloggers or people in the marketing department of corporations. I am here to tell you, though, that content marketing can work for EVERYONE. Today, I am going to break down a few things:
- What is content marketing
- Why millennials need to master content marketing
- How to make content marketing work for you (no matter what your industry is)
If you are ready to tackle those three topics, and more, keep reading!
What Is Content Marketing?
Simply put, content marketing is creating content (blogs, YouTube videos, podcast episodes, etc.) and marketing it to your ideal audience. Understanding content marketing and copywriting obviously takes more skill than that, but it is something that you can learn over time.
The purpose of content marketing: to persuade your ideal audience to do something.
That something may be to hire you, keep reading more of your content, sign up for your email list, or something else entirely. You put out content to get your name out there and get noticed by the people you want attention from.
A big part of content marketing that people often miss, though, is marketing. It's not enough to just put content out there. The internet is vast, and things often get lost. It's crucial for you to buckle down and market any article that you put on the internet. Otherwise, you will just be screaming into an empty void.
Why Millennials Need To Master Content Marketing
Employment is not what it used to be.
In the past (one that is far, far away) you could quickly graduate high school, get a full-time job with your education, and support a large family.
This is not possible anymore.
Now you need to, at a minimum, get a college degree (and some people don't even find a job with that.) It's honestly more about how connected you are versus what skills you have acquired. Skills are excellent, but you can go your entire life with skills and never get noticed based on your merit alone.
Well-marketed content can change your life. Here's why:
- Great content can get you on the radar of excellent companies.
- Companies are always looking for people who can write and persuade well.
- Employers are looking for people who can contribute to their company; content proves that you can word your thoughts in an eloquent way that add to the broader conversation.
- Employee content can reflect well on the company, so if you are producing content that your employees love, they will like you.
- Content resonates with customers as well, so if you can produce stellar content for yourself, your employers will know you can deliver stellar content for them.
5 Thought Starters For Making Content Marketing Work In Your Industry
Now that we have covered what content marketing is and why millennials should care about it., here are some thought starters for making content marketing work in your industry.
Do You Have A Differing Opinion?
There is likely a normalized opinion floating around in your industry. Do you have a differing idea that you can eloquently explain through content? Get to work on it!
How Can You Help Your Industry Appeal To The Masses?
Likely professionals in your industry have lost sight of how to appeal to ordinary people. Make a splash by sharing some insights on how you have explained your industry to average people or how you think the industry can.
Has Your Industry Taught You A Different Way Of Looking At Things?
Think about your before and after. Has your opinion changed drastically during your time at college or in graduate school? Use that knowledge to explain how your industry has changed you.
What Changes Do You Wish Your Industry Made?
No industry or person is perfect. Explain the changes you wish to see in your industry. Be specific and give examples of how these failures or quirks have impacted your day-to-day life in the industry.
How Can Your Industry Explain Modern Life?
Times are rapidly changing. Often academics don't keep up with modern things, or they can't keep up with them quickly due to the peer review process. Content marketing pieces don't necessarily need to be peer-reviewed, so using your industry to explain recent occurrences can be a great use of content marketing time.
Here Is An Example
I graduated with a Master's in Sociology. If I were still chasing this discipline, here are some content marketing blog post ideas that I might try.
- 5 Things _____ (famous theorist) Got Wrong About Society
- 10 Life Lessons I Learned From _____ (any Sociology class)
- How The Sociological Imagination Taught Me To View ______ (poverty, racism, classism, crime, etc.) Differently
- Explaining ______ (something modern like sexting, online dating, Facebook, cryptocurrency, etc.) Through A Sociological Lens
- 5 Ways I Would Change The Discipline Of Sociology For The Better
- 4 Books That Changed The Way I Think Of The Sociological Discipline
Take these ideas and the content starters to brainstorm blog post ideas in your own industry! Dig deep and try to steer clear of basic concepts. You may not want to use the first ones you think of and go with the 5th or even 10th idea you brainstorm, instead.
Miscellaneous Content Marketing Questions
To wrap this up, let's talk about some miscellaneous content marketing questions you may be asking me right now.
What Content Marketing Avenue Should I Use?
There are many ways to get content out there: you could do articles, videos, podcasts, ezines, books, and so much more. Honestly, it's whatever you think you could do well. If you want to write a blog, write a blog but if you want to start a podcast, start a podcast.
How Do I Get Over The Fear Of Lack Of Knowledge?
If you don't have a Ph.D., it may be difficult to approach some topics. At the same time, though, content marketing isn't always about having all the answers. It depends on the audience you are trying to impress and what you are hoping to get out of an article. Don't be afraid to jump into the conversation as long as you do your research--which we will talk about next.
What Research Goes Into Content Marketing, And How Do You Do It?
Content marketing research changes depending on the content you are creating. You should be trying to do as much research as possible, though. That may require you going to Google Scholar or other research databases to uncover studies that you can cite.
The research that you must do varies greatly depending on the topic you are creating content around. You likely won't have to do much research if you are talking about how the industry has impacted your life, but if you are talking about how your industry can explain modern life, you'll need to do some research to explain yourself.
You do your research like you would do any research paper you have written for college or graduate school.
What Is The Process Of Understanding My Ideal Audience?
There are many audiences you may want to reach:
Before you create any piece of content, you have to understand who that ideal audience is and what you have to offer them.
For example, if you are trying to reach employers, you have to understand their:
- Hangout Spots
- Personality Traits
You will also need to understand the kind of jobs that you are looking for. Where do you see yourself in five years? This will determine the type of content you produce for them.
In the end, you will attract people by the content that you put out there. So, if your content has a laidback vibe, you will often draw in laidback people.
How Can I Get Over Constructive Criticism Or Haters?
You have to know that you will always have those people who ask questions, critique your work, or straight up hate on it. You have to learn how to take the constructive criticism to improve your work and shake off the hateful comments. You will be able to tell a distinct difference between the two, even if it doesn't feel like you can.
And, just for laughs, one of my favorite comics ever by Steve Macone that I am sure you will understand if you have ever presented at a conference or even seen the comments section of an academic article.
Where Should I Publish My Content Marketing Pieces?
Once you have created content, where should you publish it? Here are a few places:
- Your Blog
- Apple Podcasts
Wherever you share it, make sure to promote it!
Content marketing is a skill that millennials need to learn in this economy. Millennials aren't as loyal to employers as they used to be, and employers are no longer as loyal to us. If you want to continue to thrive and create great opportunities, you must build your own brands online and in person. Creating content allows you to do just that.
I hope that today's blog gave you some food for thought.
How will you create content in your industry?