“Content Marketing” has become one of the biggest buzzwords in the online advertising industry today, but what does it actually mean? To be honest, when I first got into this business, I had no clue. I kept hearing this phrase thrown around in so many different contexts that I could not make sense of it. I thought it might be nice to share what I have learned since that time.
Wikipedia defines content marketing as “any marketing format that involves the creation and sharing of media and publishing content in order to acquire customers. This information can be presented in a variety of formats, including news, video, white papers, eBooks, infographics, case studies, how-to guides, question and answer articles, photos, etc.”
Content Marketing is providing helpful information to your potential customers, in hopes that they will view you as an expert source in your field and eventually become paying customers. Clearly, content marketing goes far beyond just sharing helpful information, but I think that is the best place to start in explaining this topic.
Building yourself up as an expert on any topic is no simple task. You may have all the knowledge in the world on a particular subject, but how you convey that to your potential buyers is what is key. The first lesson in content marketing is don’t be salesy. Blatantly promotional content is not what readers are looking for. With that said, linking the content back to a relevant page on your site would probably be a good idea. This way, if people want to know more about the source of the information, it is easily accessible.
You’ll then want to determine what voice you will want to speak to your audience with. Is it sarcastic, serious, insightful, and optimistic? Every audience is different, but I urge you to stay consistent in whatever you choose.
As mentioned in Wikipedia’s definition, there are many channels in which a business utilizes content marketing. What you must consider in deciding upon your preferred channel is what kind of content your customers want and where they want to see it. Some other questions you might ask are: Are your customer’s social media users? Are they numbers people? What do they want to know that you know?
A good place to start with content marketing is a blog. Write about interesting and relevant happenings in your industry. Create as many DIY guides as you possibly can. Telling people how to do it themselves will, more than likely, results in them realizing that they need to hire an expert. Be certain to always keep your blogs and their titles compelling. Adding other types of media like photos or videos is also highly encouraged. Finally, make sure your blog had social sharing icons readily available. A Facebook share of your blog is just as good as a word-of-mouth referral. Another very simple but effective way to reach your audience with content marketing is by using video. Full scale production is not necessary for your videos. Just use your smartphone to record yourself or an employee of your business explaining processes or giving a behind the scenes look at the business and the people that work there. Another successful way I have seen video used is in customer testimonials. If you have an extremely happy customer, client, patient, etc., ask them if they would not mind you recording a one minute testimonial about the products or services you provided them. From an SEO perspective, videos rank very well in searches, and quite frankly, people are lazy. Thus, they prefer video to text.
Here’s an example of video content:
Besides building up your clout as an knowledgeable industry source, content marketing has many other benefits. Quality content will likely drive more users to your site, and any site with decent conversion optimization will turn a portion of those visitors into leads/customers. Also, compelling content you have created may get shared by others, generating a higher authority for your site in search engines. At the very least, linking your content back to your site will give search engines a chance to see what your business is all about.
Content Marketing is the future of marketing. So now that you have a sense of what all of the fuss is about, you can hopefully start implementing your own content strategy. If this seems like one of those things you may not have time for, call us to set up an appointment we can help you set up content marketing for your business. http://www.printingct.com