Some companies are notorious for being difficult to work with. After you have a bad experience, it can be difficult to actually get a resolution that you can work with. Today’s blog is going to be all about getting the refunds that companies promise you, but often don’t actually want to give out.
Today’s blog post is taking a slight turn in comparison to my usual blog topics. Today I am chatting about about content marketing and how to make it work for you.
When most people think about content marketing, they think of bloggers or people in the marketing department of corporations. I am here to tell you, though, that content marketing can work for EVERYONE. Today, I am going to break down a few things:
- What is content marketing
- Why millennials need to master content marketing
- How to make content marketing work for you (no matter what your industry is)
If you are ready to tackle those three topics, and more, keep reading!
What Is Content Marketing?
Simply put, content marketing is creating content (blogs, YouTube videos, podcast episodes, etc.) and marketing it to your ideal audience. Understanding content marketing and copywriting obviously takes more skill than that, but it is something that you can learn over time.
The purpose of content marketing: to persuade your ideal audience to do something.
That something may be to hire you, keep reading more of your content, sign up for your email list, or something else entirely. You put out content to get your name out there and get noticed by the people you want attention from.
A big part of content marketing that people often miss, though, is marketing. It’s not enough to just put content out there. The internet is vast, and things often get lost. It’s crucial for you to buckle down and market any article that you put on the internet. Otherwise, you will just be screaming into an empty void.
Why Millennials Need To Master Content Marketing
Employment is not what it used to be.
In the past (one that is far, far away) you could quickly graduate high school, get a full-time job with your education, and support a large family.
This is not possible anymore.
Now you need to, at a minimum, get a college degree (and some people don’t even find a job with that.) It’s honestly more about how connected you are versus what skills you have acquired. Skills are excellent, but you can go your entire life with skills and never get noticed based on your merit alone.
Well-marketed content can change your life. Here’s why:
- Great content can get you on the radar of excellent companies.
- Companies are always looking for people who can write and persuade well.
- Employers are looking for people who can contribute to their company; content proves that you can word your thoughts in an eloquent way that add to the broader conversation.
- Employee content can reflect well on the company, so if you are producing content that your employees love, they will like you.
- Content resonates with customers as well, so if you can produce stellar content for yourself, your employers will know you can deliver stellar content for them.
5 Thought Starters For Making Content Marketing Work In Your Industry
Now that we have covered what content marketing is and why millennials should care about it., here are some thought starters for making content marketing work in your industry.
Do You Have A Differing Opinion?
There is likely a normalized opinion floating around in your industry. Do you have a differing idea that you can eloquently explain through content? Get to work on it!
How Can You Help Your Industry Appeal To The Masses?
Likely professionals in your industry have lost sight of how to appeal to ordinary people. Make a splash by sharing some insights on how you have explained your industry to average people or how you think the industry can.
Has Your Industry Taught You A Different Way Of Looking At Things?
Think about your before and after. Has your opinion changed drastically during your time at college or in graduate school? Use that knowledge to explain how your industry has changed you.
What Changes Do You Wish Your Industry Made?
No industry or person is perfect. Explain the changes you wish to see in your industry. Be specific and give examples of how these failures or quirks have impacted your day-to-day life in the industry.
How Can Your Industry Explain Modern Life?
Times are rapidly changing. Often academics don’t keep up with modern things, or they can’t keep up with them quickly due to the peer review process. Content marketing pieces don’t necessarily need to be peer-reviewed, so using your industry to explain recent occurrences can be a great use of content marketing time.
Here Is An Example
I graduated with a Master’s in Sociology. If I were still chasing this discipline, here are some content marketing blog post ideas that I might try.
- 5 Things _____ (famous theorist) Got Wrong About Society
- 10 Life Lessons I Learned From _____ (any Sociology class)
- How The Sociological Imagination Taught Me To View ______ (poverty, racism, classism, crime, etc.) Differently
- Explaining ______ (something modern like sexting, online dating, Facebook, cryptocurrency, etc.) Through A Sociological Lens
- 5 Ways I Would Change The Discipline Of Sociology For The Better
- 4 Books That Changed The Way I Think Of The Sociological Discipline
Take these ideas and the content starters to brainstorm blog post ideas in your own industry! Dig deep and try to steer clear of basic concepts. You may not want to use the first ones you think of and go with the 5th or even 10th idea you brainstorm, instead.
Miscellaneous Content Marketing Questions
To wrap this up, let’s talk about some miscellaneous content marketing questions you may be asking me right now.
What Content Marketing Avenue Should I Use?
There are many ways to get content out there: you could do articles, videos, podcasts, ezines, books, and so much more. Honestly, it’s whatever you think you could do well. If you want to write a blog, write a blog but if you want to start a podcast, start a podcast.
How Do I Get Over The Fear Of Lack Of Knowledge?
If you don’t have a Ph.D., it may be difficult to approach some topics. At the same time, though, content marketing isn’t always about having all the answers. It depends on the audience you are trying to impress and what you are hoping to get out of an article. Don’t be afraid to jump into the conversation as long as you do your research–which we will talk about next.
What Research Goes Into Content Marketing, And How Do You Do It?
Content marketing research changes depending on the content you are creating. You should be trying to do as much research as possible, though. That may require you going to Google Scholar or other research databases to uncover studies that you can cite.
The research that you must do varies greatly depending on the topic you are creating content around. You likely won’t have to do much research if you are talking about how the industry has impacted your life, but if you are talking about how your industry can explain modern life, you’ll need to do some research to explain yourself.
You do your research like you would do any research paper you have written for college or graduate school.
What Is The Process Of Understanding My Ideal Audience?
There are many audiences you may want to reach:
Before you create any piece of content, you have to understand who that ideal audience is and what you have to offer them.
For example, if you are trying to reach employers, you have to understand their:
- Hangout Spots
- Personality Traits
You will also need to understand the kind of jobs that you are looking for. Where do you see yourself in five years? This will determine the type of content you produce for them.
In the end, you will attract people by the content that you put out there. So, if your content has a laidback vibe, you will often draw in laidback people.
How Can I Get Over Constructive Criticism Or Haters?
You have to know that you will always have those people who ask questions, critique your work, or straight up hate on it. You have to learn how to take the constructive criticism to improve your work and shake off the hateful comments. You will be able to tell a distinct difference between the two, even if it doesn’t feel like you can.
And, just for laughs, one of my favorite comics ever by Steve Macone that I am sure you will understand if you have ever presented at a conference or even seen the comments section of an academic article.
Where Should I Publish My Content Marketing Pieces?
Once you have created content, where should you publish it? Here are a few places:
- Your Blog
- Apple Podcasts
Wherever you share it, make sure to promote it!
Content marketing is a skill that millennials need to learn in this economy. Millennials aren’t as loyal to employers as they used to be, and employers are no longer as loyal to us. If you want to continue to thrive and create great opportunities, you must build your own brands online and in person. Creating content allows you to do just that.
I hope that today’s blog gave you some food for thought.
How will you create content in your industry?
Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Tai Pei, all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
Oh my goodness, can you believe that Thanksgiving is around the corner? After that Christmas is quickly approaching and then the New Year won’t be far behind. I love this time of year because it reminds me to cherish and love my family, but it is v. stressful. Today I have partnered up with my favorites at Tai Pei to discuss all things holiday. Specifically, I am going to be sharing 10 things all millennials should do this holiday season.
So kick back and relax with your favorite Asian food from Tai Pei, and let’s discuss my top ten things:
Many college students are back on campus soon (if not already) so I thought I would share a couple of things that college students need to get used to doing on their own. College life is difficult because there is so much added responsibility, but it will be worth it. Knowing that you need to get used to doing these things on your own ahead of time really helps with the anxiety you may feel about having to do them.
1. Drinking Water Every Day
Starting off with something easy here, folks.
First and foremost, you really need to get used to drinking water every day (or at least when you feel thirsty.)
Chances are unless you are in an athletic program, there isn’t going to be anyone reminding you to stay hydrated all the time. So, you have to remind yourself to stay hydrated.
Why, because you will probably be walking and getting a lot more exercise in college than you did in high school. Unless you went to a HUGE high school, your college campus will probably be much bigger and a lot of college campuses are set up to be pedestrian friendly–which means they want you to walk around and not drive around. In order to get from Point A to Point B, you will be using a lot of body power (even if it doesn’t feel like it.)
For me, staying hydrated was so important. I went to college in Arkansas and it was still VERY hot during the first month or longer of classes because we went back to school in mid-to-late August which is often one of the hottest months in the south. Staying hydrated is key to surviving southern summers (and falls, heck, most any season).
My Advice: Get a really cute and easy to keep up with water bottle. My favorite at the moment is the Glitter Bomb Water Bottle from Bando. It’s $24, and it’s not made of the glitter that explodes in phone cases (in case you were wondering about that lol.) It’s beautiful and it reminds me to stay hydrated by being easy on the eyes ;-).
2. Talking To Customer Service On Their Own
Customer service. This is something that I dread, but you will probably need to chat with a customer service agent about something and you need to be able to learn how to keep your cool and get your desired result in the end.
Patience is key when it comes to talking to customer service. Getting hyped up for no reason will just make the experience worse than what it should be. Go in with a level head, but if you are getting sidelined, don’t be afraid to start putting on the pressure little by little.
Don’t go in at 100, go in smaller. Sometimes a bit of sugar goes a long way to getting what you want out of customer service.
For example, I recently accidentally overdrafted. I called my bank after I got a refund from the thing that charged me to see if they would be able to take off the overdraft fee. I nicely asked the worker to see if they could get it off, and low and behold they could. I was cordial during the entire conversation and I got what I wanted in the end.
Had I come to my banker with a nasty attitude right out of the gate, she may not have pulled the overdraft fee, even if she could. It’s all about making a nice first impression first, and then if necessary you put on pressure. Many customer service representatives are nice and they want to serve you as best they can. They cannot do that if you are rude at the very beginning of the conversation.
My Advice: Take time to collect your thoughts and try not to take your anger out on the customer service representative. This is just their job, yo! You may also want to chat via email or chat box if talking on the phone is too nerve-wracking for you.
Related Reading: Adulting 101: How To Get The Refunds You Deserve From Businesses
3. Cooking Basic Meals
Cooking during your freshman year may not be as easy, but sometimes it is still mandatory.
The cafeteria on campus isn’t open 24/7 and sometimes you get hungry late at night and you don’t feel like going off campus.
In that time, you need to be able to cook some basic meals so that you won’t starve or ruin your college’s equipment.
Most colleges have a community kitchen in all the dorm halls where you can go to cook some basic meals if you have your own cooking equipment. You may also live in a dorm with kitchens in the rooms if you are lucky.
Learn how to make some basic meals like spaghetti, mac n’ cheese, ramen noodles, Hamburger Helper, etc. These meals will help sustain you when late night cereal, sandwiches, and pop tarts just isn’t cutting the mustard.
My Advice: Recipes are the bomb.com. I am not the best cook, but I can follow a recipe. So find a recipe using the ingredients that you have and I guarantee that it will make you a better cook. Also, have everyday kitchen supplies, because they will make the cooking process a breeze. Here is a great list from Apartment Therapy that has a list of 15 basic tools all kitchens need. Obviously, if you are living in the dorms you may have to skimp on a good bunch of these items if you don’t have a kitchen of your own.
Related Reading: Three Ingredient Slow Cooker Salsa Verde Chicken Tacos
4. Getting To Places On Time
You are in college, which means you are grown AF. You should not be arriving to places late.
I am one of those people who would rather be way early and I value my time a lot. I hate when people are late to events or events start late (which was always hard for me because a lot of events start late in college.)
Overall, you should be striving to get to places on time, because it’s not always an option to arrive late. When it comes to things like class, sorority chapter meeting (if you decide to Go Greek!), group project meetings, etc. being late is not classy. Being late in general is not classy, even if it’s not the things I just talked about.
Be on time (or even early) and you will stop a lot of stress in your life.
My Advice: Take into consideration all the things that could go wrong that could make you late and try to adjust your time properly. It’s better to be way early than way late.
Related Reading: 7 Tips To Help You Be On Time For Once
5. Turning In & Remembering Assignments
Your parents will not hover over your shoulder to make sure that you turn things in on time. More than likely, they won’t even know what your assignments are unless you tell them. For the most part, my parents only knew when I had large-scale assignments, not any of my day-to-day work.
You are responsible for remembering your assignments and getting them turned in. Don’t expect that your college professor will say anything either. They did say something, when they gave you the multi-page document at the beginning of the year known as the syllabus. I don’t remember a professor being that cruel and not reminding us of an assignment until I went to graduate school, but some professors in college may not remind you.
It is your responsibility to read the syllabus and be prepared for any assignments that come up there or throughout your time in class.
My Advice: Get a planner. I personally love the Erin Condren planner, but there are so many cool planners to choose from. If you cannot afford a planner, use a digital planner by using Google Calendar, Asana, or Trello.
6. Reading Contracts
Reading contracts is the absolute worst, but not reading them can really come to bite you in the butt in the end.
When you are signing contracts for things like apartments, insurance, loans, etc. you need to be aware of every line that they put into the contract. If you are not, it can all come to bite you in the end.
An example from my own life. When I lived in my apartment my sophomore year we had to get Renter’s Insurance per our housing agreement. We didn’t feel like shopping around so me and my roommates signed up for the insurance that the apartment was pushing.
A few days into our lease, people came into our apartment while we were sleeping and stole some stuff from our apartment. The most expensive thing they got was a case of DVDs from one of my roommates. Other than that it was small stuff like food and laundry detergent. Alas, it was still a scary experience to have someone in your apartment just feet from you while you were sleeping peacefully in your room. Thank goodness for dogs who sense that things were off and barked. Remember to lock your doors, y’all!
What does this have to do with reading contracts? Well, if we had read our insurance contract more heavily we would have realized that it was really only a liability insurance which means it would have protected the apartments stuff if it got stolen. The apartment was furnished so if they had stolen a chair the apartment bought, it would have paid for that. Also, even if the insurance did cover our stuff, the premiums were so high that it wouldn’t have made sense to claim our kool-aid packets and case full of DVDs losses.
That left a sour taste in our mouths for the apartment and we were so ready to move out (but had to stay the entire year.) Reading contracts would have helped us realize that maybe we needed to shop around a bit to find some actually good insurance if we ever wanted to claim any of our own losses on the insurance.
My Advice: Take your time when reading ANY contract. Signing even the simplest contract when you aren’t sure what it means can have devastating consequences. Bring up your questions, get solid answers to them, and then reach out for help if you aren’t satisfied with the answers you get.
7. Acknowledging When It’s Time To Ask For Help
Last, but certainly not least, understand that part of being an adult is acknowledging when you need help.
You have SO many wonderful people behind you: your family, friends, professors, and I are all here to help!
I definitely wish that I acknowledged this enough in college. I didn’t want to bug my parents when I was hard up for cash or ask a professor as much when I didn’t understand something. You are not in this alone and you need to acknowledge that to succeed.
My Advice: Know that you can’t do everything by yourself. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your family, friends, and even strangers. So often we have help right around the corner, if only we ask for it.
Being a young adult is difficult. There are some things that you should be able to do on your own, but sometimes it’s not that simple. At the end of the day, you must be willing to acknowledge when it is time to ask for help so that you can succeed. The people around you want you to grow, not drown in adulthood. Reach out to those around you for help if you need it.