If you’ve been in business for any length of time, you’ve probably heard about content marketing. You may even know what it is. If you’re reading this thinking that you should know but you feel silly asking, this blog is for you.
What’s content marketing?
The truth is, you see content marketing all the time but don’t realise that’s what it is. If you’ve ever received an email newsletter, read a blog post or downloaded a free guide, you’ve become part of someone’s content marketing strategy (yep, even mine).
Content marketing is anything that goes beyond what you might think of as a traditional ad. It could be a video, e-book, blog post, article, newsletter, case study or even an eye-catching infographic.
What’s wrong with ordinary adverts?
So why should you use content marketing rather than just investing in more traditional advertising space? Whilst advertising messages still have an impact people have become much more sophisticated in their responses to media. No-one likes to feel that they’re being sold to. We’ve all become much more adept at screening out ads, particularly those that seem to be shouting at us to buy.
Content marketing bypasses that effect by offering the customer something genuinely useful whilst raising awareness of your business.
Valuable content is key
The most important consideration in content marketing is whether it’s valuable to your customers. Does it take them beyond ‘these people want to sell me something’ to ‘these people understand my life and want to help me’?
It’s important to remember that you may be offering something that enables your customer to replicate your services themselves. They may even go to someone else. Of course, the idea is that you make yourself so valuable that they trust you and will come to you when they’re ready to buy – that might not be straight away.
How do I start using content?
Focus on your customer (or the new customers you want to attract). Who are they? Where are they, either physically or digitally? As with any good marketing, you need to demonstrate what problem your product or service is going to solve or how it will enhance your customer’s life.
Your content should be designed to show that you understand your customer’s needs, for example by talking about a time when you were in a similar position to them and how you moved on from it. You could talk about things that they’re interested in. This could be really simple. If you make lovely jewellery or beautiful shoes you want to attract people who are interested in those things. Your content could be a series of images of your latest products with a bit of background about the materials you used, or a video showing how each piece was made. You might regard your day to day work as being ordinary but your audience won’t.
What could you offer your customers? Get in touch, I love to hear new ideas!
If you want to try a new approach to your content marketing, I’m for hire! Get in touch or register here to receive regular updates, special offers and a free copy of my guide, ’10 Tips to create copy that converts’.