What is Content Marketing – and why using it will transform your business impact and revenue
In Epic Content Marketing, Joe Pulizzi says
“by delivering content that is vital and relevant to your target market, you will begin to take on an important role in your customers lives. This applies to your online, print, and in person communications.”
In a nut shell, content marketing is the process every business (both large and small) must undertake to communicate with the public about who they are and how they add value to individuals and other businesses in the marketplace. Yes I say ‘must’ because the old ways of marketing are becoming antiquated and the internet is driving everyone to embrace a new system.
Specifically, content marketing is the strategy you create to communicate with your target market with the goal of doing several important things:
- Educate and support them with information that helps them know more, understand more and empowers them to solve their problems
- Inspire and entertain through the art of powerful and compelling storytelling
- Engage as you create rapport, camaraderie and increase credibility
- Help them make a decision to say yes or no to investing in solving their problem through your products or services
Content marketing is definitely here to stay
Every business owner should have a content marketing strategy and most importantly, they must use it. In The New Rules of Marketing and PR, David Scott shares:
The web is different. Instead of a one-way interruption, web marketing is about delivering useful content at just the precise moment a buyer needs it. It’s about interaction, information, education and choice.
For me, the most striking part of Mr. Scott’s comment is “The web is different.” In today’s web centered approach to doing anything, far too many entrepreneurs and small business owners think that content marketing is optional or its only for bigger companies that have the ‘budget’ for that kind of thing. That’s actually the farthest thing from the truth. Content marketing must become the life blood of your business.
People Search the Internet for Solutions
Everyone is searching on the internet for virtually anything you can think of — going to the movies, a great restaurant, a car detailing service, new shoes, a coach, a trainer, a speaker to empower a corporate audience… and the list goes on and on. The common thread is most people will look to the internet first and search for a solution to solve the immediate problem they’re having. Without content marketing you run the risk of trying to rely on social media marketing which should actually be a central component of your content marketing strategy.
The Problem with Social Media
The problem with relying solely on a social media strategy to market your business is the social media platforms are constantly changing the way members can access other members and thus market to other members. Basically, more and more social media platforms are moving to a pay to ‘play’ model that means business owners and marketers have to pay for posts to be seen and/or pay for ads to do business on those ‘free’ platforms. Thank goodness there’s a better and more inclusive option for marketers/business owners:
Follow these 5 tips to get started & create a Rock Star Content Marketing strategy:
- Determine the top 5 problems your ideal client/customer has and determine if your business has the expertise and passion to help them solve those problems. Perhaps out of the 5 you want to focus on only 2 or 3. That’s helpful because the further you niche and get specific the greater your chances of dominating in that niche. But, you want to be careful that you don’t niche to far and end up with a market size too small to sustain your business model.
- Think about the characteristics of your ideal client. Who are they. Paint a picture in your minds eye and then write down all the details that come to mind. Get specific. When you get crystal clear about who the person is (down to their imaginary name) you are better positioned to ‘talk’t to that person through your content marketing.
- Set up your blog to be the main hub of your content marketing strategy. All other content communication should direct people back to your home/your blog. Offer something FREE that is holds high value to your ideal customer. Give it to them with or without lead generation attached.
- Set up your blog site with your ideal client in mind. Do research on what visual brand attractors will appeal to them and include them in your site.
- Determine the goal for your blog. Select 3 goals and write them down. These goals will help you define your voice and stay true to the content you create.
Transformational Q & A – share in the comments section below:
- Have you started using content marketing in your revenue generation strategy?
- What challenges are you experiencing with content marketing?