There's so much talk these days about content marketing that this issue is devoted to helping understand what it is and how to do it well.
"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. " -Junta42
How does this differ from the inbound marketing everyone is talking about? Well, inbound marketing is a subset of content marketing. It focuses on being found by your ideal client. Content marketing is a completely integrated approach incorporating all of your marketing efforts, not just the internet.
What this really means is that all of your collateral should follow should follow some guidelines:
- It should NOT be promotional - promotional writing does not educate, excite or inspire anyone and these are the objectives of content marketing.
- It MUST be relevant to your ideal client - it should contain information that helps your ideal client solve a business problem.
So where do you start? Here are some important things to think about.
- What is your goal? What are you trying to accomplish for your business?
- Who are you talking to? Do you have your ideal client clearly defined?
- Do you understand the business problems or timing triggers for your ideal client?
- How does your business uniquely solve those problems? What is your remarkable difference for them?
- What content do you already have that you can use and what do you need to create?
- How do your ideal clients consume information? Are they on-line, what groups are they active in or do they still consume in more traditional methods such as direct mail and advertising?
When you begin to write content, one of the easiest things to do is think about writing in numbers like 9 Steps to.... Or 7 Ways to..... The great thing about writing this way is you have your original piece, but then you can break that down into 9 blogs or 7 tweets, etc. The idea is to be able to re-purpose everything your write in another tactic.
Ultimately, you need to select the tactics that make the most sense to reach your ideal client and then create a marketing calendar. From there you need to decide how to measure the impact they have on your business and track it. Just because a tactic didn't work once, does not mean that it was a bad tactic. It could mean that your topic didn't resonate or the piece needs to be reworked. Refine and try again!
If you are just beginning to consider content marketing or need help with an existing content strategy, give us a call. We are here to help!