Content Marketing is one of those terms you have probably heard but never really thought too much about, particularly when time is a challenge in your business. In today’s Tips On Tuesday post we’re sharing some detail on why it matters to all businesses.
So first up, what is content marketing?
Content Marketing is a practice whereby you as a business create and share information that will be relevant and useful to your target audience, in turn this helps to boost your visibility and reputation as a brand.
There are many different formats this content comes in such as –
- Blog posts
- Lead magnets
- Slide decks
- Social media posts
Unless you have a dedicated marketing department or budget, within small to medium sized businesses it’s quite normal to select those which are suited to your company but more importantly are designed to suit your clients or potentional clients.
As a business owner you’re trying to connect with your audience. You will need to build a relationship with them and generally that relationship kicks off before you’re even aware that they exist. How many blog posts have you read before hitting the contact button? How often have you spent a bit of time on Google before you hit buy? This is just one area where creating content gives your customer an insight into your business or expertise before they buy from you – or your competitor who is just a click away!
When you start sharing your content on social media you’re reaching a range of different people, people who are familiar with your brand or who may have been previous customers or people who don’t necessarily know a thing about your business – yet!
Think of all those social media images that grabbed your attention enough to have you click a link? Or the podcast you listened to because it came highly recommended as a great place to hear about your favourite sport? Or the video from your favourite clothes store that you shared for a second opinion from a friend? These are all very different types of content, all created to inform or entertain an audience who may now or in the future be in a position to buy from you.
Frequently I’m asked why would you create and give away this content for free and could a business charge for it as it does take up one of your most precious resources, time? Well if you think about any service you subscribe to, Spotify being an example most of us know, there is a period of learning. At the moment over on Spotify’s website you can get one month of their premium service for free in the hopes that you will enjoy it and then subscribe to their premium service for €9.99 per month. You don’t have the marketing budget of Spotify so you will have to work a lot harder to get people across the line as a subscriber or customer, that’s where your content will help providing your products and services are right for the audience your content is targetting.
Content marketing takes time, content marketing done really well takes even more time but it’s one of the most powerful ways of growing your visibility among your target audience, your peers and as a business owner you’ll be glad to know that search engines like Google appreciate it too.
There are many factors to take into account when it comes to your content marketing, that’s where spending time putting together a strategy which takes into account your goals, how you plan to reach these goals and how you will define success can make all the difference. Technically there’s more to it but this post is just a brief look at why you should incorporate it into your business whatever industry you’re operating in, we’ve got a more detailed post on this topic planned for later in our calendar.
One quote I think sums the reasons behind creating this content is this, written by Rand Fishkin who may be a name you’ve never heard but trust me, he is quite the authority on all things online;
Great marketers have immense empathy for their audience. They can put themselves in their shoes, live their lives, feel what they feel, go where they go, and respond how they’d respond. That empathy comes out in content that resonates with your audience.
You don’t need to sign up to a podcast service or recruit a designer to take care of your infographics right now, you should however look at your business, what you have to offer and how you’re updating people about your products or services.
Do you have great images of your products? Is it possible to share videos or customer reviews? Have you built up a strong following on social media? Is your email list engaged? Or do you randomly share updates in the hope that somebody will bite???? If it’s the latter you’re late to the game but should do yourself a favour and make a note in your diary today to spend some time looking into this area.
If you have a blog attached to your website, even where you might not ever have logged on to it for years this is the time for you to take another look as this is sitting there waiting for you to post updates that will take litlte more than your time. For those who aren’t sure how to use their blog, consider a little training to cover blogging as you will reap the benefits where you invest in you.
For those who are quite happy to go live on video or livestream, think about how you can inform and educate as opposed to simply selling – for now!
Where you might have a great report based on some research you conducted, do you think your potential customers would like to know about it? This can make for a great lead magnet i.e. people are asked to share their email in exchange – a word of caution here though, the address can’t be mandatory just optional. Reports like this can also make for great infographic, share the detail in one large image that’s easily digested – can work well for people who are mobile in their work and more conscious of their time.
Content Marketing is all around us, in a business setting however not everybody would put a name to it and more often that not they’re missing opportunities because it’s unfamiliar or time consuming and they’re not quite sure of the benefits.
A little thought on what you would like to achieve in sharing content or information about your business, a plan on how you will do this and what you hope or expect to achieve is your starting point. A look around your industry is also a little bit of research that might help you on your way too, just remember though that borrowing ideas is quite different to borrowing text or images so ensure all of your content in whatever format you choose is yours to use.
You will need to plan, review what’s popular and adjust over time to make the most of it. I can idenfity posts on my blog here at The Marketing Shop from several years back that still drive traffic to my site, I also know which posts don’t grab the readers attention regardless of how important the content might be so this helps me craft posts that I know will resound with my audience and that’s what you’re aiming for too.
If you’d like to learn more about content marketing, at The Marketing Shop we can train you to create content, work with you on creating a content strategy or manage your content for you so you can make the best use of your time. Read more on the Content Marketing services we offer on our new website at https://thesocialmediashop.ie/content-creation/
And, if you’d like to avail of our complimentary consultation you can schedule a zoom or phone call at this link,