Since it seems that not everyone knows, or understands, content marketing a primer with the basics may be necessary.
Content Marketing is a form of marketing that focuses on creating, publishing and distributing content for a specific audience. Instead of creating need for a product or service, content marketing addresses the existing need of the customer.
Content that Connects
Content is all about reaching, engaging, and influencing prospects, but it’s not just about any content. Prospects are overwhelmed by low quality content that doesn’t delivery on its promise, or even serves any recognizable need. What they need, and want, is content that is deeply relevant and provides actual value (in the form of education, resources, solutions, and/or entertainment).
Today’s buyer is savvier and more demanding. They expect more. If you don’t provide content they can use, they’ll go somewhere else.
Just to stay on the buyer’s radar, content must be current, frequent and consistent. To earn trust, that content had better be worth consuming. Each piece published must demonstrate expertise, though leadership and/or provide a solution to a specific problem.
What Makes Content Great
The best business content tells a story: the reader becomes more engaged, more invested, and more likely to take action.
- True – Good writing is about telling the truth. The content should feature real people, real situations, genuine emotions, and facts. As much as possible, it should show, not tell. It should show products and solutions as they exist in the real world, and how they add value to customers (ease troubles, or meet their needs)
- Relevant – What’s the purpose of your content? What is its key message? Why are you telling it and what do you hope to accomplish? Try to express the gist of a piece of content in a single sentence. This will help focus on what it’s about, and what the reader will take away from it.
- Human – Good content must have a human element to it. Because your readers are people, which means they’ll relate better if you’re on their level.
- Passionate – You have to care! If you don’t care about what you’re writing, neither will your audience.
- Original – Content should give new and fresh perspectives on our topic. What’s new about it? Why is it important?
- Surprising – Good stories have an element of the unexpected. Arouse curiosity and surprise your readers. This also drives viral sharing and enhances a company’s personality.
Great. So now you have oodles of content. What do you do with it? How often? This is also called a Channel Plan.
There are three types of channels:
- Owned Media
At the very minimum you probably own a company website. This is the home for all of your content, on landing pages, in a Resource section, News or Blog.
You can drive organic traffic to the website with things like Email Marketing, Social Media and Paid Distribution.
- Social Media
This is media that isn’t owned, but you can “borrow” it to put our content here. You put micro-content here, and link back to our website. As a strategy, a social media presence is crucial. 55% of buyers are looking for information on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and others. When 84% of CEOs and VPs are using social media to direct them towards purchasing decisions, you need to be active and engage in social conversations. (webbiquity.com)
- Paid Distribution
This is exactly what it sounds like. Anywhere a company has to pay to put their content. ie. Google Adwords, promoted Tweets, LinkedIn solutions, or even the advertising video you see before a movie on a plane.