You've heard the buzz. Many business and marketing leaders that should know better think they have found a new shiny object in content marketing. They're all hyped up about it and thinking it's the next best band-aid for the broken business. Maybe even the thing to help them become the Twitter, Facebook and social media super star they have always dreamed of being.
In some circles it is spoken as if it is a secret, something only the super duper smart people know. I even read a blog post the other day that referred to content marketing as the next shiny new object.
If you spent a day in a marketing 101 class you should know that successful marketing requires content.
Sorry folks but if you think content marketing is new we need to talk. If you are new to marketing and business then I am not stating you should know better but I do hope this post will help you separate the shiny from the real.
Please note before you read this post that I am NOT stating that content marketing is not the bomb, doesn't rock or that it can't provide tremendous value to your business. It absolutely can when created and integrated into a marketing and business strategy focused on providing relevant and compelling content that resonates with your target audiences, clients, partners and stakeholders.
- Your audience has specific goals and objectives they want to achieve in their life and/or business.
- There are specific products and services your audience needs and wants to help them accomplish these goals and objectives.
- Sometimes your audience may not know they “need” a product. However, they know they need educated so they can make an informed decision to purchase the product or service that is going to help them achieve their business goals and objectives.
- Social media combined with an integrated marketing plan executed efficiently presents tremendous opportunity for you to get the right content in front of the the right audiences and increase your chances of connecting with the right decisions makers and buyers who will become interested in your brand and either become a friend, evangelist or customer.
- If you can provide good content that will educate and inspire them to further connect and learn about your brand, the chance of them buying a product or service from you increases exponentially. This is obviously assuming that your products and services can help them achieve their goals and objectives.
Example goals for leveraging content:
Develop the best possible content that will:
- Help you inspire and connect with the right people to grow and sustain your business.
- Inspire your audiences to connect with you.
- Inspire your audiences to do the double click on your website or blog to learn more about you.
- Inspire your audiences to check out some of your other social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Pinterest.
- Inspire your audiences to engage and connect with you via the content you provide.
- Inspire your audiences to take action such as joining one of your social communities. This could include “liking” your Facebook business page, following you on Twitter or Pinterest, subscribing to your videos on YouTube, commenting on your blog and the list goes on and on.
- Educate your customer to make an informed purchase decision.
- Maximize business efficiencies including time and money by leveraging content marketing. This can happen via content distribution strategies such as your own integrated online platform that works when you are not working.
Creating good content doesn't require a crystal ball.
What is required to create compelling and relevant content that helps your business? As much as some may want to make you believe that creating good content requires a magic crystal ball that only a small set of gurus have access to, don't believe it.
Bottom line it comes down to smart business and smart marketing.
Yes, there are many strategies, tips and tactics you can leverage to create, syndicate, measure, monetize and reap return from investing in content. However, I don't have time in this post to help you with all of them. I would have to know your business goals and objectives, target audience, and many more details.
- What are your business goals and objectives?
- Who is your target market (audience)? If you are just getting started, select the top 3 audiences and go from there.
- What does your audience want and need to meet their goals in life or business?
- How can your products and/or services help them meet their business goals and objectives?
- What mediums does your audience like to read, review, engage with and share content? Any good agency who understands and has experience with social media should be able to help you identify and understand where your audience is hanging out online. Who are they talking to? What is the tone of the conversation? How can you become part of the conversation?
- What is the intended action you want the audience to take?
- What content will be required for you to educate and inspire your audience to take action in a way that benefits them and moves them closer to meeting their business goals?
- Why should your audiences or anyone for that matter read your content? Why should they trust you? Why should they give a rip about anything you have to say or share? WHY is one of the most important questions you must ask.
- Where can you get your content published for maximum visibility and leverage? How will you disseminate your content? Will you syndicate content? Guest blog on top industry niche blogs and platforms?
- How will you measure results so that you can continuously optimize?
- When hiring an agency or consultant to help you, check what is behind the black curtain. Check their blogs, email marketing programs, and social platforms. Are they creating content that is driving action and business result? Are people engaging, communicating and talking with them or are they hosting a one way talk show on their Facebook page with nobody listening on the other end? If they are not creating and effectively leveraging content in their own business, the chances of them being able to help you do such are slim to none.
What are your thoughts? Are you effectively using content as an integral part of your marketing and business strategy? Do you believe you understand how to effectively create, integrate and disseminate content to the right audiences? What tips can you offer others? What questions do you have that myself and our community can help answer?
Blog Post: Is Your Content Worthy of a Like, Share, Pin, Retweet or Google +1? (includes definition of content marketing)
Blog Post: Inspiration Made Simple: Pick 3 Things
Report/ Blog Post: Content and the new Marketing Equation (Brian Solis)
Website: Content Marketing Institute