“Content Marketing” is one of those buzzwords that being thrown around a lot lately. I’ve even noticed some larger companies looking to hire content marketing professionals. But what is content marketing exactly and should your company be doing it? The answer is YES!
You’ve probably noticed a lot more competition or your potential customers are doing a lot more looking around and research online. And it is increasingly harder to stand out. Customers want to find a company they trust and feel is the best they can get for the money. Online information is the road map potential customers follow. Of all the marketing tools you can use to position your company as the company to trust, content marketing – educating your potential customers rather than blatantly selling to them – is the most effective.
Content marketing will allow you to get in front of your prospective customers without annoying them with sales pitches. Blogs are a great place to start your content marketing initiative. Find someone, if not yourself, in your company that is knowledgeable about your products and services and likes to collect, organize and write information. The content person should have a deep understanding and experience in your industry and be able to relate to your customers. Having strong opinions about your industry and a desire to share what you know helps too.
You need to develop quality ideas. A good place to start is by listening to your own complaints. Find out what bugs your own staff and customers. Listening to your own opinions about your industry and market is helpful. To find out what your prospective customers are thinking and considering, you need to listen to your market.
You should determine the format for your content. And you should multipurpose your content across different media. You could write a blog entry and then use it as a script for a video, for example. Podcasting, blogs, white papers, videos, surveys and events are just of the formats you can utilize to get your message and content disseminated.
You want your message to get to the right people. Some companies will create loads of content and post it on their own blogs and social media sites with the hopes it will go viral. This is an OK long-term strategy. But a better way is to find existing blogs, social media sites and similar modalities to share your content. Do the research to find the right channels for your content. A lot of blogs out there are always looking for good content to share. Make sure your content is written in a way that other blogs can use it.
You should also explore other ways to share your content that you’re currently not utilizing. For example, if you don’t do email marking to purchased lists, you should try it. You never know what audience you could capture by stepping out of your box.
Capitalize on your results and successes but be realistic about what to expect from your content marketing campaign. I recently was working with a president of a sales company who wanted to see a certain amount of leads and sales that he could apply to the costs he invested in content marketing. Because he had no sales in the first month, he cancelled the program. But at the same time I was working with another company who after 9 months of their content marketing campaign had increased their website visits nearly 40% and were generating more leads from their own efforts than they were buying from lead aggregators. Content marketing is a long-term strategy with great results when done right. The company that cancelled the program will probably be back at it in a few weeks once they realize that is how their competitors are beating them.
Starter Content Marketing Plan
Don’t know where or how to start. Here is a simple 3 month content marketing plan to help you get started.
- One white paper: Choose a relevant topic to share with your market.
- The monthly email newsletters: Break up with white paper into 3 ideas and turn each into a newsletter to email out to your own list and purchased lists.
- 12 weekly blog posts: Take each newsletter and break it into 4 smaller ideas for a weekly post.
- 90 daily tweets: Take each blog post and break it into 90 140-character bite sized info for daily tweets.
If you have questions on how to get started or need ideas for your first subject, give me a call or email: J. Todd Rash, firstname.lastname@example.org, 480-330-5902.