Ever Wondered What Is Content Marketing All About?
You’re not alone, with most SMEs admitting they’ve heard of it, but don’t know what it is. Let me give you the short answer and the long answer.
First up, the short version:
Content marketing is all about giving information away to people you want to become clients or customers. You do this in the hope that they’ll love the information you gave them so much, they’ll start buying your products or services.
Then, the long version:
Content marketing, also known as content strategy, is a well thought out plan on how you are going to create and distribute content to grow and keep your target audience. It is done with the aim of getting your clients or customers to purchase from you. This type of marketing is incredibly effective and used by businesses of all sizes. A form of digital storytelling, it helps show the world just how great your business is.
There are three main reasons it is good for your business:
- Grows loyal customers or clients
- Saves your business money
- Sells more of your products or services
Your Business Won’t Get Noticed Overnight
If you want results tomorrow, you’d better leave Spotty Lizard’s website now. This type of marketing is not a quick fix. It’s designed for businesses who are serious about increasing their sales and are prepared to put in the effort. For it to work, you need to have great content and a great plan.
When it comes to talking about what is content marketing, it is fair to say it is not about pitching your products or services. Yes, the aim is to sell them, but you are doing by giving your buyers the information they need to become smarter. They use this information to help decide how they will solve their problem and in turn, reward us by becoming a customer when they need what we sell.
How long does content marketing take? The bad news is that it is never ending. You will always need to be creating unique and useful information for your target market. The good news is that you could start to see results in around six months. Now, I’m not just talking about chucking a few blogs up on your website and calling that your marketing strategy. It will give you back what you put in. Yes, that’s going to cost you either in time writing the content or in money, paying a copywriter to create that content for you.
Here’s What Successful Marketing Looks Like
Marcus Sheridan, one of the most famous content marketers, took his pool company on the brink of bankruptcy to the most successful pool company in America. His secret, he created hundreds of blogs and became the ‘Wikipedia of fiberglass pools’, as this YouTube video shows.
Marcus created the They Ask, We Answer type of marketing. It’s one which resonates so closely with me, being New Zealand’s naked copywriter. It focuses on being honest and answering questions to the best of your ability.
Yes, you’re going to give away information which took you years to learn. Yes, some customers will learn from this and do it themselves, instead of hiring you. But in the process, you become a thought leader, the person in your industry who people turn to for help. You become the go to business whom everyone wants to do business with.
How Content Strategy Planning Works
Your business’ biggest asset is your customers or clients. You need to invest producing something of value your audience will love. A subscribed audience, or one which is fully ‘into’ the way your business works, will seek information from you before somewhere else. A marketing investment which builds an engaged and subscribed audience does charge a high price: your time. Yes, you can create the content yourself. Yes, you can interact with them on social media. But without some serious planning into why, when, where and how your business will do this, it’s too high a cost to pay. How exactly do you plan a content strategy? In five steps, that’s how.
- Identify the Reasons
Why the content is being created and what value it will provide
Who is the content for and what do they get out of it
What you’re going to write about
How you’re going to do everything and when it’s going to be done
How you will measure how successful your content has been