- You hear that people don’t want advertising when making purchasing decisions, they want valuable information.
- You hear that it’s content that spreads via social networks, generating powerful word-of-mouth exposure for savvy content marketers.
- You hear that it’s content that people desire and seek out, and it’s great content that Google wants to rank well in the search results so those people can find your business.
- You hear that content is the best way to achieve what advertising is supposed to achieve, but doesn’t do so well online — to get people to know, like, and trust your brand.
What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is really about providing valuable information or content to current and potential customers for the purpose of building trust, branding, awareness, and positive sentiment. A successful content marketing campaign establishes you as an expert in your field, and that sets the groundwork for a long-term business relationship.
Simply put, its primary focus is on building the relationship, not the hard sell.
Types of content that typically form a content marketing strategy include:
- Blog posts
- Guest blog posts
- Email newsletters
- PowerPoint presentations
- Standard videos
- Micro-videos (ie, Vine)
- Social media posts
- Live presentations
- White papers
Content Marketing means creating and sharing valuable free content to attract and convert prospects into customers, and customers into repeat buyers. The type of content you share is closely related to what you sell; in other words, you’re educating people so that they know, like, and trust you enough to do business with you.
Basically, content marketing is the art of communicating with your customers and prospects without selling. It is non-interruption marketing. Instead of pitching your products or services, you are delivering information that makes your buyer more intelligent. The essence of this content strategy is the belief that if we, as businesses, deliver consistent, ongoing valuable information to buyers, they ultimately reward us with their business and loyalty.
In short, instead of pitching your products or services, you are delivering information that makes your buyer more intelligent. The essence of this content strategy is the belief that if we, as businesses, deliver consistent, ongoing valuable information to buyers, they ultimately reward us with their business and loyalty.
And they do. Content marketing is being used by some of the greatest marketing organizations in the world, including P&G, Microsoft, Cisco Systems and John Deere.
How to Create Content
Think about the intersection of two spheres: the issues your prospects care most about and the areas where you have a real expertise. Start by generating great content in the overlap zone.
Here’s how to get started with content marketing:
- Gain a solid understanding of your ideal customers and their information needs and preferences.
- Map your buyers’ concerns to you expertise to identify the sweet spot.
- Conduct a content audit to determine how well your content satisfies your prospects’ needs and where there are gaps.
- Create an editorial calendar to ensure you stay on target with your content plan.
- Develop new content and/or repurpose existing content.
- Make your content easy to find, access and share online.
- Measure your results and refine as needed.