Creating Value for Your Audience – Using the 80/20 Rule in Content Marketing
The core of content marketing is not about promoting your business, brand, products or services – the very crux of content marketing is about providing your audience with value. Utilizing content marketing aims to engage your readers, deliver useful information, and build relationships between your business and your audience. This means your published content should focus on their needs and interests. One simple and practical way of applying this to your content marketing is through the 80/20 Rule.
Think back to a time where you may have experienced this scenario:
You’re at a party. Maybe it’s a good friend’s wedding where you start to speak to someone you aren’t familiar with. You start with the small chat – introducing yourself, asking how they enjoyed the wedding and how they know the bride or groom. But it soon turns into a one-sided speech about what they do for a living, how successful they are, and how exciting of a life they lead. This doesn’t give you much chance to jump into the conversation nor does it provide you with any value or interest. Instead of carrying on with this self-serving lecture about themselves and how great they are, you excuse yourself to enjoy the party and a conversation with someone else less concerned with discussing their own lives. But how does this exactly apply to content marketing?
That person who only wanted to promote themselves drove you away. When creating content, the more you talk about your business, the more likely you are to drive your audience away. This is where the 80/20 Rule comes in; the 80/20 Rule states that 80 percent of your content should be published for the benefit of your audience while leaving the 20 percent of your content to promote your business.
80 Percent – Customer-Focused Content
In the party scenario, you tuned out the person who talked about themselves way too much. You weren’t given the opportunity to engage in the conversation and it left you with no beneficial or engaging information. Nevertheless, many businesses continue to publish content that focuses on promoting their own business and success far too much. Customers can see through this and will end up avoiding your efforts. By engaging in too much self-promotion, you could ultimately be driving your customers to your competition if they are providing content which is geared towards their interests and desires.
Instead, take the opportunity to focus 80 percent of your content on what your customer could find helpful or exciting. Your customers are seeking valuable information. This 80 percent of your content should aim to provide useful, relevant and compelling topics and material for your readers. It should be sharable content that is tailored to the interests and needs of your audience. When you truly understand what people want and find helpful, you will be able to connect with your readers in a two-sided conversation and begin to build genuine relationships with them.
20 Percent – Content Promoting Your Business
This is the smaller percentage of content that is about your business; where you discuss your products and services and promote how great your business is. People don’t want to be sold to all the time nor do they want to be pestered with irrelevant content. If a business focuses their content too heavily on promotion as a way to boost brand awareness and sales, the readers will just ignore it. Concentrating first and foremost on producing the 80 percent customer-driven content will help to establish a connection with readers so they may be more receptive to your 20 percent business-driven content.
With only 20 percent of your content sales-driven, take the opportunity to incorporate influential calls-to-action. These calls-to-action should encourage your readers to want to learn more about your business and what it can offer them; this will hopefully motivate conversions later down the road. But just because it’s about your business doesn’t mean you can’t also provide beneficial information. You could include useful statistics about your company, discounts, or special offers which could help to generate increased future sales and revenue.
By delivering content that focuses on the wants and needs of your audience the majority of the time, you will be able to ignite authentic conversations and develop stronger customer relationships. By employing the 80/20 Rule to your content marketing strategy, your content will ultimately be mutually beneficial to both you and your readers.