Creating quality content is the foundation for all content marketing strategies. Your visitors won’t know which marketing gurus you follow or what strategies you use – they just want amazing, fresh content.
Content marketing is like creating a restaurant for people who know they’re hungry, but don’t know what they want. Your job is to get them to look at your website and say, “This is what I want!”
In order to get people to look at your website, you need to get people to click on your link. Most marketers refer to this action as “driving traffic,” although that paints an overly simplistic picture.
If you’re like most internet marketers, you’ve been taught that traffic is everything and without traffic, your site will die. So, before getting into authenticity as a content strategy, let’s quickly dissect the traffic myth because frankly, traffic isn’t everything. You need to unlearn this myth before you can understand authenticity.
Don’t drive traffic like cattle
According to Wiktionary, a cattle drive is “the process of transporting a herd of bovine animals by compelling them to walk across a significant distance of countryside.” The animals don’t know where they’re being led or why; they’re just following the rest of the herd.
If you’re driving traffic to your site that isn’t converting, you may as well be driving cattle. You’re just moving people from one website to another; they don’t know where they’re going.
A low conversion rate means the people you’re targeting aren’t interested in what you’re selling. You’re probably targeting mass numbers of people in the wrong demographics using non-buying keywords. They probably clicked on your link because of a clever ad, and when they arrived at your site, they just bounced.
Stop thinking of your visitors as “traffic”.
Referring to your visitors as “traffic” makes them seem like a crowd of insignificant people who are only numbers and stats to you. You may not know your visitors personally, but thinking of them this way makes it easier for you to say, “Oh well, there’s plenty of fish in the sea” when your efforts to “drive traffic” fail to convert. You perpetuate the cycle of driving mass amounts of traffic, hoping for a few sales.
Authenticity as a content marketing strategy
If the marketing guru you’re learning from doesn’t focus on authenticity, you’re wasting your money. With millions of websites sharing the same type of content, only those with unique voices become a success. A unique voice doesn’t come from a checklist; it comes from authenticity.
What is authenticity?
Authenticity is being true to your passion in a way that benefits the people you’re trying to reach. It’s having no ulterior motives in what you do, even in business. If you’re going to start a business to make money, but you market your product to people as if you’re in business to help them, that’s being inauthentic.
When you’re honest and your intentions match the way you market your product, that’s authenticity and that’s what people want. Nobody wants to read a blog about how to make money online unless the content is original, unique, and authentic.
Success in a saturated niche
Achieving success in a saturated niche is possible when you’re authentic. How many review websites are out there? Yet, Tim Schmidt does it differently. He makes a great point about the lack of useful reviews. Schmidt says, “I’ve never found a go-to source for information. Somewhere I could read REAL reviews of products that people actually used. In specific, products I buy. Sure, Amazon is a decent place to read reviews, but there is just zero VOICE out there and you don’t know who is behind the product reviews many times.”
Schmidt offers something you can’t find on Amazon – authenticity. In addition to reviewing the product with video demonstrations, he provides enough background information for visitors to discern who is reviewing the product.
Similarly, Dave Asprey created an internet empire around coffee by adding his authentic flare to the heavily saturated niche. Sure, his brand name “Bullet Proof Coffee” is catchy, but that’s not why it took off.
Asprey used his passion for improving biology (also known as “biohacking”) to inspire the world to change the way they drink their morning coffee. He wasn’t trying to get rich by dominating the market; he used the market to help people transform their lives.
It’s not that traffic isn’t important, it just shouldn’t be your priority. Authenticity should be your number one priority. Once you’ve found your authenticity, your visitors will have a reason to buy from you.