Content Marketing is now regarded as the “must do” activity for all forward thinking digital marketers but since the term didn’t really exist until a few years ago there is no established definition for it and no real specification as to what a content Marketing campaign should comprises of.
So it is my intention to rectify that situation and provide a workable definition plus a guide as to the kind of activities that you should consider if you are to employ Content Marketing as a way of promoting your business online.
A Working Definition of Content Marketing
First, let’s take a crack at that definition, what is content marketing exactly? – how about this:
“Content Marketing is the process of creating and using top quality and relevant text, images, video and other content to attract and engage with your audience and acquire them as customers.”
I think that will do nicely for the time being.
Translating Words Into Action – Putting Content Marketing Plans into Action
Now for the difficult bit; how do we translate the definition into actions – what do we need to do in order to make Content Marketing really work for our business?
Here’s something to think about; research has shown that up to 71% of consumers are more likely to trust products and services from suppliers who provide useful information, free of charge, without trying to sell something.
So there’s content marketing rule number one, if you like rules; “content should be educational“
It’s common sense really, use your content to provide useful information about your product or service but do it in a way that gives the reader much more than just a sales brochure. Don’t talk too specifically about the product or service but, instead, talk about the reason why such a product or service is necessary.
So, for example, instead of describing your new Payroll Software, describe the problems faced by small businesses when employing people and the complexities of the legislation surrounding PAYE, Pensions, National Insurance and then mention the product you supply as a solution to those problems.
Content Marketing Rule number two is “content should be free”
Well, that can be a bit misleading really. Remember the statistic I gave you a few sentences ago – 71% of people are more likely to trust suppliers who provide useful information, free of charge, without trying to sell something? Well, when we provide information free of charge we are really just building trust because we want the prospective customer to feel comfortable about dealing with us and to not feel that we are going to try and force them to buy something any minute now.
In many cases, not all, when you provide information that is valuable to the customer he or she will appreciate that and be much more likely to want to deal with you when they are ready to purchase.
So, for example, the purveyor of golf clubs and other golf equipment would benefit greatly by providing a downloadable guide such as “5 things you can do every day to improve your swing” because, if it was written properly, customers would appreciate the free help they have been given and want to find out more about that business and what it has to offer
The Content Marketing Strategy – Planning For Success
This isn’t a difficult subject, but it is a complicated one because it involves coordinating a plethora of different activities both on and off your website, all of which are necessary in order to achieve success. Every business will be different in terms of how it tackles content marketing. Some will rely on articles, others will concentrate on a blog whilst others will focus on content syndication. Most, however, will need a combination of all of the above.
We’ve prepared some helpful guides, which you can download free of charge, to help you organise your content marketing strategy. In those guides we give you a step by step strategy to formul;ate and execute a content marketing strategy for your business. In those guides we refer to many products and services that you may find useful, some are free, others are not, but we will always let you know which is which.
Follow this link to find out more and start planning, and putting into action, a content marketing strategy for your business.
To see the directory of Content Marketing products and services, click here.