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Pouring Water into the Ocean: Why Your Quality Content Isn’t Seen

March 12, 2015 - Marketing, Tech Evangelism - , , , , ,
By: Chris Riley

Putting out quality content has never been easy, but with the continual push to up the game from mega-distribution channels like Google and Facebook, the task seems to gets harder every day. When it feels like even the most rich and vibrant content floats away on the ocean of noise that is the modern internet, it’s easy to believe that your content, no matter how good, won’t be impactful.

Given this experience, many brands resort to tactical-type posts that present a problem and solution. These are great for SEO and traffic, but rarely generate the number of conversions you expect. People click-through for your solution, but then the relationship is generally over.

What’s the Solution?

Your content needs to be rise above the noise—instead of a bucket of water in the ocean, send out a rowboat, and speak to your audience in a more meaningful voice. Seems easier said than done, but by reducing the reach of click-bait and in-your-face promotional advertising, distribution channels (Facebook especially!) have actually gone to great lengths to clear the marketing path for your quality content.

Great Content isn’t Great to Everyone

The path may be clear, but you still need the quality content component. Engaging content in this current market landscape must draw your target market in—rather than follow the traditional method of attracting by disrupting. First and foremost, this means knowing who your target market is and how to speak to them. Once you’ve determined who you’re pursuing, you’ll know better how to position your brand to attract your ideal customer. Your content doesn’t need to stand out to everyone, but it does need to stand out to your target market. So your carefully crafted blog post or artfully designed quote post will go nowhere if you’re speaking to the right person in the wrong way…or vice versa!

Have a Conversation, Not a Sales Call

As always, the purpose of your content is to connect with your audience, not to sell your product. Add value to the conversation, and you’ll develop a “give-give” relationship with your audience. You give quality content, they give their time, shares and, ultimately, dollars. For instance, Denny’s is never mentioned in this video series, and the visual branding is limited to only what you normally see at their restaurant, but in just under four minutes, I definitely know I want to eat at Denny’s today!

Use Your Evangelists

You may not have your own established reputation in your marketplace, and that’s fine! Not every company leader has the personality or desire to engage directly with the online marketplace. But sharing your product person-to-person is how we sell today, so you do need an active and engaging online presence whether this is driven by you, your representative or your users. Enter the Tech Evangelist. This is the person (or group of people) you want inspiring and converting their own audience using the trust and credibility they’ve built into their personal brand. Create quality content that strongly supports your tech evangelists—whether this is one person or a group of invested users—and response to that content will increase.

Keep Delivering Quality Content

Once you’ve established how to generate great content for your audience, you must keep at it. You’re unlikely to see results overnight, but that’s okay, because you’re thinking long-term. The loyal following you want advocating for your brand cannot be built overnight. The reach of your content will be linked to the weight of your reputation, but it won’t last forever if your content doesn’t continue to be relevant, focused and helpful. This is what I mean by quality content.

Your content will float to the shore, the sales will come, and they’ll keep coming as users endorse you to friends by sharing your content, but only after you’ve established a positive reputation and good credibility.


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Chris Riley (@HoardingInfo) is a technologist who has spent 12 years helping organizations transition from traditional development practices to a modern set of culture, processes and tooling. In addition to being a research analyst, he is an O’Reilly author, regular speaker, and subject matter expert in the areas of DevOps strategy and culture. Chris believes the biggest challenges faced in the tech market are not tools, but rather people and planning.