Guest Column | December 20, 2019

What Not To Write About: 4 Content Marketing Traps VARs & MSPs Should Avoid

Mercury RetailNOW Presentation Highlights The Power Of SEO And Content Marketing

It's hard to pick content marketing topics that will truly engage your customers. Avoid these four mistakes that may turn your customers away.

If you already have a strategy in place for determining what to write about, the work doesn’t end there. And if you don’t, you can read up on how to generate great content ideas here, in part one of this article.

If you want to influence end users through content marketing, then you’re going to need a lot of content. You can’t toss a few articles on your website and call it a day. And you need an ongoing, unbiased way to evaluate the quality of your existing content.

Take a close, critical look at your library of existing content and your plans for new content. Don’t fall into any of these traps.

  1. Don’t write about what you want your end users to know about what you do. Your customers can and will research that information on their own before they ever engage with you. Content that is all about you can’t help a customer solve a problem that is entirely about them. Know the difference between writing about what your company does well and writing to help your customers overcome their challenges. For example, if you’re a solutions provider who wants to be loud about your deep expertise in the healthcare vertical, don’t write about your deep expertise in the healthcare vertical. Instead, write about how healthcare end users can implement X, Y, and Z technologies to save money and get better patient outcomes.
  2. Don’t write about what everyone else is writing about. Of course, if you have a unique and compelling stance on a topic, then it’s fair game. But just because your competitors have a white paper out about cybersecurity doesn’t mean you need to write a blog post about the top cybersecurity threats facing SMBs. If you follow the crowd, your content will get lost in it.
  3. Don’t write about themes. Write about pain points instead. A theme is moving to the cloud. A pain point is helping a customer understand (and solve) the challenges that cloud migration has on their business. Writing about themes doesn’t build up your credibility but providing a solution to the pain caused by that theme does.
  4. Don’t write about things that are interesting to your customers. Topics that are interesting might generate a lot of clicks. Your lead technician might love cryptocurrency and have a great idea for an article about it. But realistically, are your independent restaurant owners/end users really going to benefit from accepting cryptocurrency through their POS? Or do they care more about the headaches of staff scheduling and marketing? Interesting content won’t win you more business. Helping your customers solve their challenges is what helps you win business.

It will take time and hard work to build a list of customer challenges and relevant industry topics. Once you have that list, decide how you’re best positioned to add unique, educational insight to that topic in a non-promotional way that is different from what your competitors are saying. Then, write about that.