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The Most Powerful Content Marketing Question To Ask Yourself

Content marketing may seem like an impossible mountain to climb but it becomes simpler and more effective when you ask yourself this one question.

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BY Joe Escobedo - 18 Sep 2017

 content marketing

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

What if the secret sauce to getting your brand messaging right lies in one simple question?

A question that, when answered properly in every content you publish, will create more followers and loyal customers for your business.

That step doesn’t come easy though. With the amount of online interaction, how can your business compete with all this activity?

To give your business the best chance, ask yourself: What’s in it for them?

Asking what’s in it for your audience will help you connect and relate better with the people who can make or break your business. In a digital world saturated with content, your audience’s attention is strategically more important than their money. But that attention still needs to convert to a measurable business metric.

The Dangers of the ‘Me’ Mentality

The most common mistake brands make when developing content is that they mostly think about themselves and what they want. For instance, it’s not uncommon to hear these phrases during a content planning session:

"I want to build my brand awareness."

"I want to become a thought leader and influencer."

"I want to sell more products or services."

Let’s break those down. Let’s say you want to build brand awareness. You want to post about the exciting things you’ve done and about to do. The reality is that your audience doesn’t care. And why should they?

Remember: What’s in it for them?

Now perhaps you want to be a thought leader, someone who people can expect to come up with fresh new ideas. Why would your audience care about your ideas? Are your ideas applicable to their daily lives?

Remember: What’s in it for them? 

If you’re worried about your bottom line and need to up your sales, the same question applies. Why is your product or service worth purchasing?

Remember: What’s in it for them?

The danger of the ‘me’ mentality is that businesses get stuck in a bubble of self-importance, failing to realize that the money is outside that bubble.

Putting this Question into Practice

What practical use does this question have and how can it be applied to your content marketing?

Try this: Each time you draft a post, list the real and perceived benefits of your content. Once your draft is finished, go back to the points and ask yourself if you’ve delivered on those points.

But don’t let it end there. There’s one other follow-up question that’s just as crucial to your brand messaging.


What Next: The Power of Action

So you’ve injected value to your content. What do you want your audience to do about it?

Converting engagement to sales is where most businesses fail.

Give your audience an option to do something about your blog or social post by putting in non-committal call-to-actions. Be mindful of the message and choose your verbs wisely, such as:

  • Join our A, B, C to receive X, Y, Z
  • Save A, B, C by doing X, Y, Z
  • Try A, B, C and get X, Y, Z
  • Share A, B, C to boost X, Y, Z
  • Need A, B, C? Then X, Y, Z

Effective communication is two-sided. There has to be something in it for both parties.

So when in doubt, just remember: what’s in it for them?


*This piece was co-written by content strategist, Megan Leung

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