Traditional advertising has the flavour of telling your customers how good you are or what your products can do. Content marketing, in order to be successful, must take the path of providing your customers with something they need.

The premise of content marketing is simple: be of use to people and when they are ready to make a purchase they will come to you. It’s tempting, of course, to make your content all about you, to really drive home the point that you’re worth doing business with. This is not a good idea! Content marketing should put the customer first.

Good content marketing is a specialist field, but that doesn’t mean you can’t create your own content. Below are some tips to help you produce content your customers will love.

Solve a problem for them

This is probably the number one thing that makes content valuable to the reader. You’re taking their time – you might even be asking for their contact details – you damn well better be giving them something useful in return!

Remember that you’re the expert in your industry and you know what customers regularly ask about, so that’s a good starting point. Think of a pain point for your typical customer and tell them how to solve it. This may or may not include purchasing your goods or services, but should absolutely include tips that don’t involve spending money with you.

Give them something to do

Human head made of puzzle piecesCustomers appreciate actionable tasks. It saves time to be told exactly what to do rather than facing too many options. Do you sell earthmoving equipment? Write a best-practice maintenance schedule for a certain machine. Yes, this may exist in the book that comes with the machine, but do your customers actually read it? You can fairly easily create a piece that tells them what to do.

If your business does the major servicing of these machines, include that too, but steps one, two and three might be daily or monthly tasks the operator can do to extend the life of their asset. You’re telling them things they may phone up and ask you about (or not do at all and cause problems down the track). This is useful to them.

Challenge them

Your customers might need to do something that they don’t know they need to do. Tell them about this and challenge them to get it done. Do they need to research a new technology? Do they need to comply with a new regulation? Is there a new government grant they could apply for?

Depending on the circumstances, your challenge might include the steps to solve the problem and give them something to do, or it may link to another post with this information. You could even use this link as a contact capture tool, as long as you do it smoothly enough to not seem like you’re asking without giving…

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For more information on the types of articles customers are clicking (like lists, how-to posts, ultimate guides and cheat sheets), hit the link below to get access to our free guide. (See what we did there?)

Need some content marketing ideas?

Download our free guide, Content marketing posts your customers will love, to learn what posts people actually want to read, and how this content can increase your sales.

Guide: Content Marketing Posts Your Customers Will Love