What is it and why should I care?
Well basically because CONTENT IS KING!
(And I am not talking about some guy Con Tent who has just usurped ole Charlie and Willy from the Royal Throne.)
No instead I am talking about it being the bees knees, the head honcho, the ducks nuts of a marketing strategy. It's is a must have.
Okay so we've established it's importance but what actually is it?
Well the online Oxford Dictionary defines content marketing as:
“a type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online material (such as videos, blogs, and social media posts) that does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in its products or services."
Robert Rose, the Chief Strategy Officer of the Content Marketing Institute (see content marketing is SO important it has its OWN institute!) says:
“Traditional marketing and advertising is telling the world you’re a rock star. Content Marketing is showing the world that you are one.”
In essence, content marketing is about creating your own press.
You no longer need to rely completely on traditional media outlets to spruik your own goods and wares. You can now do it yourself.
BUT why should you really care?
Well when done properly and regularly content marketing can:
- Increase your search engine optimisation: when someone searches on Google for a product/service your content will help your website be found
- Generate inbound traffic to your website: which means people are spending time on your website and not your competitors
- Establish brand credentials and experience: it is an opportunity for people to get to know your business, your level of expertise and what you can do for them
- Engage your target audience, retain existing customers & build customer loyalty: think of it as keeping in touch with friends so they will always be friends; and
- Drives sales: with the power of Google people really research before they buy - content marketing actually helps with that decision making.
So without a doubt every businesses – of all shapes and sizes - should be shifting their attention to including content marketing in their existing marketing strategy.
Where to begin?
Types of Content
The possibilities of the content you can produce is endless. Here are a few common examples:
- A blog: provides a voicethat can cement your brand, establish your credentials and position you as a thought leader in your industry
- Case studies: an excellent opportunity to provide examples (or brag!) of what you do, who you do it for and the results you achieve
- Free White paper / e-Booklet: designed to attract your audience to your website and collect email addresses in exchange for a free informational booklet/paper. These should be positioned to help solve a customers pain points, for example: “How to choose an accounting system” or “How to publish a book online for free”
- Email marketing: great for interacting and maintaining relationships with your existing database of customers
- Infographics: a great way to tell a story visually, quickly and in an entertaining way. Good ones are likely to get shared.
- Videos: can make stronger emotional connections through telling a story, people are more likely to pay attention and are more likely to be shared
- Social media: posts on Facebook, tweets on Twitter, articles on LinkedIn, photos on Instagram etc. All content!
Sounds like a lot of work!
Well don’t fear – it is a lot easier than it sounds because content can be re-purposed in multitudes of ways.
A video or podcast interview can be transcribed and end up as three different blogs, be the catalyst for an e-booklet or even be turned into an infographics. Blogs and case studies can form a part of your email marketing content and be shared across social media.
Get the drift?
But wait there is a catch - (yes there is always a catch!)
The important thing to note: to get content marketing to really work you have to be in it for the long haul.
One blog – every couple of months will not cut it. You need to be consistent and regular.
Your website and your content marketing should never be static. It needs to be continually evolving so that your business and sales can continue to evolve along with it.
It may seem daunting, but content marketing hasn't been crowned King for nothing.
If you haven't already, start now.