I try hard to be a good dog, but it’s not always easy, especially when you’re still learning. Some days I feel like I really click with my humans, and other days, we just seem to be going in different directions (literally). For example, I want to chase the ducks by the pond, while the people like to stay on the walkway. As much as I hate to admit it, there are certain things I do that just annoy my people, like chewing on their shoes and peeing on the carpet.
This is not just a dog problem. Many content marketers unknowingly annoy their audience. Content marketing is supposed to provide valuable, relevant content to connect with people, but I’ve heard that it doesn’t always work that way. There are four ways to avoid turning off your audience:
1. Don’t Make It All About You—Hey, I get it. I think the world revolves around me. I need to be fed, let out, played with, and cuddled regularly. It’s really tempting to focus on yourself (especially when you’re this cute), but, when it comes to content, the emphasis needs to be on the customer, not your company. The question to ask—Is this useful to my customers?
2. Don’t Try to Sell Stuff—I once tried to sell my human on the idea of sleeping in his bed. Even though I was very persistent and gave him lots of good reasons (e.g., I’ll keep you warm), he still said “no.” I guess people are smarter than we think. They can tell when you’re being “salesy,” instead of really focusing on their needs. The goal of good content is to inform, educate, and build relationships, not sell your stuff. That comes later. (I haven’t given up on the bed thing, I’m just taking a different approach!)
3. Act Natural—Sure, chasing your tail is fun, but, after a few minutes, the people get bored and I get dizzy. Sometimes I try too hard to entertain my humans. I’ve found the best approach is to just act naturally. The same applies to content. Marketers can become too focused on SEO, and even though it’s a good thing, too much can be annoying to your audience. Things like keyword stuffing and excessive links can ruin the natural flow of your content, and you can even be punished by search engines. (Bad dog!) The key is to follow SEO Best Practices.
4. Less Can Be More—I admit it, I’m a spoiled puppy with too many toys. Sometimes the choices are overwhelming—should I play with the rope, the ball, the squeaky cow? Too much content can also be overwhelming. Simply churning out more and more content can take a toll on quality and irritate your audience with information overload. In addition, Google algorithms will penalize content if it lacks quality. (Grr!) Finding the right frequency for your particular industry/audience is important. As for me, I’ll take quality over quantity any day—there’s nothing like my favorite cushy, squeaky, ropey cow toy!
So be good content marketers and try not to annoy your audiences. You might get a treat!
P.S. Did you notice how much I’ve grown from just last week?