Be honest, are you totally in the dark about content marketing even though everyone on your team seems to be buzzing about it?
Have no fear; this new concept of our digital world doesn’t have to be overwhelming for you and your team to get on board with. In fact, it’s one of the best, most dynamic marketing strategies you can implement for your company.
If you devise a content marketing plan, you’ll be able to promote your brand, build your email list, and convert visitors to your website more often. And you can do this all while measuring a steady ROI.
Let’s talk about what it takes to make content marketing work wonders for your brand.
Hang On, Isn’t Content Marketing Just a Fad?
This myth couldn’t be further from the truth.
In fact, as Seth Godin, author and entrepreneur, says, “Content marketing is all the marketing that’s left.”#ContentMarketing is all the marketing that’s left. Click To Tweet
You could say that content marketing is the result of too many commercials. Think about all the annoying ads you have to block on a daily basis.
From buying special DVRs so we can fast-forward through the commercials interrupting our favorite shows, to paying extra for premium subscriptions that eliminate ads altogether, consumers are looking for a way out because we’re sick of being sold to.
If you spent money on Facebook ads or banners on popular websites, you may not have seen the kind of return you were hoping for, and this trend against ads would explain why.
You can’t compete with all the ad-blockers on the internet — and you probably can’t afford to keep running ads just to be ignored.
Enter the world of content marketing; it’s a totally different approach, but it guarantees results.
So What is Content Marketing, Anyway?
Basically, you’re going to make your brand’s website a destination for valuable content that’s relevant to the members of your target audience. Then you’re going to share the bananas out of this content to your email subscribers and social media followers.
The goal is generating content that’s so helpful, informative, and actionable that it actually starts to market your brand for you.
Bet the name content marketing makes more sense now, right?
Think of your content as a conversation you want to have with your ideal customers. This content will live on your website and work to sell for you all the time — even after hours, during weekends, and holidays.
Your content will become more valuable and hard-working than some of your sales employees (just kidding!).
The beauty of content marketing is that the subject matter and delivery method is totally up to your brand. Not a wordsmith? No problem. You can use anything for your content marketing strategy, as long as it works for your target audience, including but not limited to:
- Blog posts
You’ll need to experiment with this media to see which works best for your audience (i.e., higher comments, more shares, etc.).
For your content marketing strategy to be most effective, it’s best to start with a very defined brand niche and target audience — the more specific, the better.
Luckily, you’re probably already a leading expert in your field so you’ll just need to focus on doing things differently than your competition.
Use your differences to make you stand out and share a story that no one but you — with your history, background, and personality — can share via carefully created and curated content.
Here’s What You Absolutely Cannot Do
Content marketing is not about the pushy sell; it’s about the subtle sell.#ContentMarketing is not about the pushy sell; it’s about the subtle sell. Click To Tweet
As Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer at MarketingProfs, notes, “Content marketing is anything an individual or an organization creates and/or shares to tell their story. What it isn’t: A warmed-over press release served as a blog post.”
If your content is just a giant ad for your service or product, it may get you a customer or two. But if your content specifically addresses a challenge facing your customer, you’ll start to build a following.
This tribe will be loyal and turn into customers as they move through your sales funnel.
Though you may feel as if you’re “giving away the house” with all your free content — which, let’s face it, takes lots of (non-billable) time to create — just think of your content as educating and helping your customers as if they were standing in front of you asking for your sage advice.
When your audience sees how your advice helps them overcome their obstacles (for free!), they’ll be curious to know what kind of results they’ll get with your paid services.
5 Ways Content Marketing Guarantees Results
Every business can benefit from implementing a content marketing strategy; you’ll not only attract an audience, you’ll build and foster a loyal and dedicated tribe of followers and customers.
Here are five other benefits your business will see:
More Brand Awareness & Authority in Your Niche
The more content you publish about your niche, the more you’ll be seen as an authority in your field. Visitors will be more likely to trust your expertise when they can see it for themselves.
Your ideal customers will start to assemble a picture of your brand based on the information you’re sharing. If your story compels them enough, they’ll seek your team out and you’ll never have to chase another lead again.
More Traffic to Your Website
When a visitor from your target audience performs an online search for keywords relating to your brand, make sure your website pops up high in the search results.
How do you do that?
Create content that’s keyword-rich in terms visitors from your audience will be interested in. Your site will be a hub of organic traffic stemming from these simple keyword searches.
More Email Subscribers
An increase in traffic will bring more email subscribers and newsletter fans since your new visitors won’t want to miss any of your content.
The trick to keeping these email subscribers engaged is hidden in one word: consistency.
Your audience will come to expect and look forward to your posts so don’t let your content feed go cold.
More Social Media Followers
Creating content means your company will always have something to post on your brand’s social media accounts. Posting often guarantees higher engagement rates since your content will be scrolling through your visitors’ feeds more often.
When visitors become subscribers and followers, you’ve already gained their trust. There’s no need to “sell” to them any further. Which means when they have a project they need help with, you’re going to be the first one they call.
Say goodbye to the hard sell, high-pressure negotiations, and stress—you already know these clients want to work with you because they’ve seen how valuable your insight already is.
The best part about content marketing is that you don’t need a huge budget to accomplish all of your goals. All it takes is a deep understanding of the kind of content your target audience is craving and a desire and dedication to deliver it to them.
Your ultimate goal shouldn’t be selling your brand or services, but to give your target audience the tools to solve their problems thanks to your content and share your wisdom with others.