Do you own a DVR? If you do, at some point you’ve probably happily told someone else how you can watch an hour-long show in about 35 minutes because you can skip right past all the ads. You ignore banner ads completely when you’re online and the only magazine ad that even has a chance of catching your eye has a perfume sample enclosed. We are programmed to “turn off” attempts to market directly to us. Smart marketers understand that traditional marketing is getting less and less effective by the day and content marketing is on the rise.
So what is Content Marketing?
Put simply, content marketing is the fine art of communicating with your customers and potential buyers without selling directly to them. The content is delivered by website text, blogs and social media platforms. These are feeds that they subscribe to or platforms they choose to visit in search of information. The idea behind this type of strategy is that when you consistently deliver valuable information to prospects on an ongoing basis, it makes them more knowledgeable. They will seek you out as a trusted resource and ultimately reward you with their loyalty and business. Even better – they might refer their friends to you. And it works. Content marketing is being implemented by companies of all sizes. No one is too big or too small to execute a successful content marketing strategy as a crucial part of your overall web presence strategy.
What is Successful Content Marketing?
There are a many elements to ensuring your content marketing is successful. Consider these:
- Be Entertaining Let’s be honest…laundry listing the awesome features of your new product line is boring and forgettable. Exploring ways to solve a problem that’s common among your customers in an engaging or even humorous style creates a commonality between you and your customer. They will immediately identify with you and be more interested in what you have to tell them. They are more likely to read your future content as well. Imagine if your customers looked forward to receiving your marketing…
- Be Strategic Just because your content is entertaining does not automatically mean it translates into sales. It’s important that your content gives your customers a chance to get to know you and like you. Your content should gently help your customers realize the benefits of doing business with you. The goal is to move the customer toward becoming a customer and introduce them to other areas of content you provide on the internet. Your website is a major driver of your SEO results and relevant content and authoritative links will help improve your search results.
- Be Shareable Some of the most effective content marketing sharing is via social media. Your customers will actually happily share your content marketing via Facebook, Twitter and other platforms if it’s interesting, engaging AND you make it easy for them to do it. Make sure you include buttons on your content for your readers to click and share.
- Be Inviting Finally, potential customers like to read reviews and comments before making a purchase. User generated content drives and influences purchasing decisions. Invite and reward comments and reviews with your attention and incentives.
When creating content for your business, aim for being helpful, knowledgeable, informative and entertaining. Do this successfully and you won’t just have customers anymore – you’ll have fans.
Have questions or ideas on using content to market your business? Share them below. We’d love to hear from you.
Our next post will be about growing your business with the advice of trusted advisers and will feature an interview with our CEO, Marnie Ochs-Raleigh.