I took a road trip to Wisconsin on August 22, 2013. My last road trip was three years ago when I drove back from Chandler, Ariz. to Parma, Ohio.
Rush hour traffic in Chicago (that’s another blog post) was unbelievable. It was bumper-to-bumper without an end in sight. I couldn’t believe it.
As I was driving back from Wisconsin and hit Chicago’s rush hour traffic, again, I thought about my road trip and content marketing.
For example, when you’re on the road, you have to pay attention to the drivers around you while you focus on your own lane. If you lose focus for one moment, you may hit another driver.
You have to strike a balance between keeping an eye on others and focusing on what you are doing.
Below are seven lessons from my road trip and what they can teach you about content marketing today.
How to Navigate the Content Marketing World with Lessons from a Road Trip
1. Use a map and GPS system.
If you get into your car without a map or GPS system, you may not arrive at your destination. Or you may go over the river and through the woods when you could have taken a more efficient route. You need a map or GPS to point you in the right direction. It’s the same with content marketing. If you don’t have a plan or strategy, you won’t be successful. You’ll also get frustrated and aggravated and give up. Create a content marketing plan and use it. Make changes when you must, but stick to the plan.
2. Stay in your lane.
Like the open road, the content marketing world is filled with many twists and turns. Stay in your lane! You don’t have to follow the crowd. For example, there’s no reason for your business to be use all of the social media networks available. Choose one to three that are right for your business. Test them for about six months to one year. Dive into analytics, Keep what works and toss out what doesn’t. Remember… Others may drift into many social networks, but you don’t have to follow. If you feel yourself drifting, correct yourself and get back on track. Stay in your lane.
3. Watch your speed.
When you’re driving on the highway, you may notice a sign with the verbiage, “Trucks and slower traffic use the right two lanes.” If you want to drive slowly, you must stay to the right. Or you could move over to the left lane, just watch your speed. It’s the same with your content. You can create a local marketing strategy, first, and then create one (overall) to use at the national or international level. However, if you decide to speed up and reach your audience on a national level, make sure you’re not going too fast. Why? Because you could crash and burn. Watch your speed.
4. Take a break and regroup.
Sometimes, you need to pull into a travel plaza or rest stop and take a break from driving. You need to get out of your vehicle and stretch your legs. You need to sit down and have something to eat and relax. It’s the same with marketing your content. Sometimes, you need to take a break and get away from it. Go for a walk or a weekend trip and relax. If you’re uptight about getting it right, you’ll drive yourself crazy! Take a break and then regroup. Review your marketing strategy. Keep what works and toss out the rest. You can’t do this if you’re uptight and stress. Take a break, relax and regroup.
5. Stuck in traffic? Chill out.
Traffic congestion due to a rush hour and/or construction happens when you’re on the road. There’s nothing you can do about it so you may as well chill out and listen to the radio/MP3/iPod or sit in silence. You can also chill out when you’re feeling stuck with your content marketing. Review online marketing information or contact a consultant to help you move forward. It’s not the end of your content marketing world if you hit an obstacle. All you have to do is go around it.
6. Missed your exit? Get off at the next one.
When you miss your exit, either due to incorrect directions from GPS, or due to a closed exit, it’s both nerve wracking and scary at the same time. The good news is that you can get off at the next exit, turn around, and head in the right direction. If you miss an online marketing strategy or completely wreck it, you can always start over and get back on the right path. It’s not the end of the world. You can still boost your content once you’re on the right path, again.
7. Focus on the road ahead.
Instead of focusing on the drivers next to you, behind you, or in front of you, focus on the road in front of you. Pay attention to your lane. This doesn’t mean that you completely ignore the other drivers around you, but you need to focus on where you are going. Otherwise, you may miss your destination or go off the beaten path. It’s the same with your content writing and marketing. Pay attention to the industry and what others are doing, but more importantly, pay attention to what you are doing. You don’t have to use every social media platform. You don’t have to write in-depth articles because they may not be right for your audience. But you do want to establish your authority and become the go-to expert in your field. You also want to focus on what you are doing today and make changes when necessary.
Head in the the Right Direction with Content Marketing
Apply the above lessons from my road trip to your business and you’ll be on the road to success. If you make a wrong turn or miss your exit, turn around and go in the right direction. Don’t panic because you will find your way, again. While technology changes day-to-day, one fact is constant. Provide your clients/customers with exceptional content and customer service, and they’ll tell others and come back for more.
Got any lessons from a road trip that can be applied to content marketing? Let me know in the comments below.
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