You're sitting in traffic or at a stoplight daydreaming about your trip to Mexico, a dream home or maybe that concert you are going to tonight…what happens next? Someone toots their horn, and you feel a mix of embarrassment and anger.
People and businesses are constantly doing their best to get your attention, sometimes to wake you up and other times to interrupt your day, so they can sell you something. Emails and ads in social media come in two flavors, either in the form of welcomed and expected information and offers, or those that are just random horn toots trying to get your attention.
Content marketing is about producing great, useful, educational and helpful information that is welcomed on a regular basis by the people who know, like and trust your business, brand or products and services.
Whether you know it or not, you are content marketing. Did you send an email today or post to Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter? Did you write a blog, create a video on YouTube or make a podcast today? If so, then you are a serial content marketer.
Consumers Consume. Marketers Market. Chances are if you are reading this you are both. Then, do you consume as a marketer or market as a consumer?
Welcome to this meeting of CCNSA (Content Creators Not So Anonymous) Club. We have the perfect “Three Step Program” to make sure you don't go unnoticed or fall through the cracks of the internet.
What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is simply generating content with a purpose. These purposes vary, but ultimately should result in sales. Some are direct purposes – link to a sales page, a webinar with an offer, or getting customers to a live event where you are charging a fee or selling something. Indirect purposes include – getting them to join your email list, subscribing to your blog or podcast, or something that keeps them in the loop for future buying opportunities.
Why Use Content Marketing?
There are many reasons to use content marketing, but they all revolve around creating a plan and purpose for marketing your business online. Putting out great content does several things: it establishes you and your expertise or brand online, it can draw traffic to your website, event or sales page, and it can help you grow your list or get butts in the seats of your next live event.
3 Best Practices
- Purpose – Current estimates say that there are about 450 million “active” English language blogs on the internet today. What is the purpose of yours? How can you rise above the noise? Pick your audience, then pick your battle. Writing for everyone and everything is a great answer, but it is not an effective strategy. Choose a niche audience, like small boutique clothes stores who want to learn about customer relation strategies, and you will have a niche that will find you. They will search you out, because they have a laser focused need.
- Process – Posting one blog this week, none next week and then three the next Tuesday is not a process, it is chaos. People respond best to consistency. Post one video per week to YouTube every Tuesday morning. Post your blog every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 7am. Add an article to eZine Articles daily (hint use last year's blog posts slightly modified). Some people think you can post too much, which is true. If you post once per month, that is only 12 touches a year, weekly is 52 touches and daily is 365 touches. Your audience will tell you what is too much (by unsubscribing), but generally will not respond when it is too little!
- Payoff – I posted a weekly blog for six years with no call to action, and guess what happened? I was noticed and occasionally got a phone call or an email, but that was a lot of work for a minimal return. Start monitoring your content with analytics, add a call to action, and you will be much further ahead than most. A call to action that constantly sells is not as effective as a simple ‘visit our website' or ‘download our free Ebook'. Make it simple, get them focused and then watch what happens.
Content marketing is inbound marketing that can support your outbound marketing. It is all part of a mix of things you do to create top of mind awareness for you, your products or services. Randomly firing out blogs, posts, podcasts, etc. without some sort of system or plan, can just be more noise in a very noisy internet world. Plan the messages and the audience, then measure the outcomes and successes.
I would love to hear your thoughts, comments and some of your best content marketing tips and successes. Comment away!