An introductory guide to the power of content marketing.
We live in an age when internet scams are just part of “being online” and building trust is more difficult than ever before. We are bombarded with thousands of marketing messages every day, some of them personalised with our name and targeted to our demographic and interests. It can be a little creepy!
We are getting wise to marketing motives and simply tune it all out, most of the time.
What can you do to someone’s attention? How can you really connect with potential clients so they become loyal fans of your business? Well, firstly, you need to think differently about the way you communicate.
Rather than pushing your marketing onto your audience, you need to pull your customers in.
And you can do this using content marketing.
The Content Marketing Institute describes content marketing as “a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action”.
Simply translated, it means profitable marketing through education.
Content marketing isn’t new but the internet makes it oh so easy to create and share content around the world. Consumers are hungry for trusted resources to help them navigate through the decision-making maze. They see traditional marketing for what it is and they just don’t trust it. Nor should they.
It’s a competitive advantage you can’t beat.
It’s the foundation of all my marketing. I don’t want to pay for ads that make you feel hustled. I want you to get to know me. I want you to figure out that I know my stuff… because I’m demonstrating that knowledge as I help you.
When you take the time to educate your audience about your industry, best practices, pitfalls and the questions they should be asking, you become the expert in your field. When you do it all without asking for a sale you become a trusted resource.
When the need arises, there you are, top of mind with no one else in sight. And it’s all because you offered solutions to their problems without the hard sell.
So what type of content does content marketing cover?
- Blog posts
- Online articles
- White papers and reports
- Online magazines
- Business videos
- Podcasts and interviews
- Product reviews
- Slideshows and presentations
Content marketing comes with stacks of benefits.
Content marketing is comparatively cheap. Sharing your expertise and knowledge will take time (which is valuable), but that’s about it.
It’s global. Thanks to the power of the internet you can take your marketing from your town to the entire world.
Content marketing builds your database. Collect email addresses and names so when you do have something to offer, you’ve got people who have given you permission to tell them about it.
Content marketing creates valuable resources. What’s more, you own the content to repurpose and reuse however you please.
It taps into the rule of reciprocity. When you help people out they are statistically more likely to pay you back, whether that’s telling their friends about you or buying something down the track.
Content marketing can boost your SEO. Creating and sharing valuable content is the heart of modern SEO. Know and use the keywords your audience is searching on and create amazing resources that people will share the shizz out of.
It can also bring you traffic. For every blog, ebook or podcast you publish, you attract readers back to your website.
Content marketing can work for any business in any industry.
Can anyone do this?
The key to successful content marketing is having a publisher’s mindset – not a salesperson’s. So rather than spending marketing budget on expensive advertising with questionable ROI, create valuable and relevant content that helps your audience succeed.
When your audience succeeds, so will you.
If you’d like to learn more about the power of content marketing, I recommend this post by CMI: Best CMI Content Marketing Ideas.