If you don’t already know, and you own a business, it’s something you should be involved with.
Originally posted here.
Did you know that content marketing is so effective that 90% of the most successful B2B marketers advocate its use?
Or that businesses that utilise content marketing enjoy conversion rates up to 6 times of those who do not? That’s interesting to a business owner, don’t you think? But what exactly is content marketing?
There are many forms of content marketing. All share the central premise of being informative, as opposed to promotional.
Promotional marketing seeks to raise awareness of a brand or a product. Television advertisements, billboards, newspaper ads and many online ads are promotional. They present a product or a brand, along with an attention grabbing byline.
Many will tap into emotional motivators such as sex, money, power, health, excitement. The key is that a brand, product or service is being presented to improve your life. Promotional marketing is outbound marketing — you are reaching out to potential customer.
Drawing in, not pushing out
Content marketing stimulates interest in a topic. It does so by providing informative, relevant and valuable information to an intended audience. This information serves to educate, and even entertain, but also addresses prospective customer’s issues and guides them towards a solution.
Content marketing comes in many forms. Blog posts, case-studies, white-papers, emails, ebooks, how-to guides are all perfect vehicles for content. Visual forms, like video and infographics, are also popular, as are podcasts. Content is inbound marketing; it draws people toward you, as opposed to outwardly targeting people as promotional marketing does.
People seeking information on a given subject come across your content which answers their queries and informs them of your existence and expertise.
Good content is engaging, informative and can entertain. It provides value above and beyond the product or service which the company offers. It is an exercise in information rather than persuasion. I mentioned earlier how content marketing stimulates interest in a topic. This topic does not have to relate closely to the business’s operating sector.
Rubber and restaurants?
Take Michelin. What do we know them for? Tyres and restaurants. Easy. Wait, what? What has a tyre manufacturer got to do with eating out? Well, when the Michelin brothers started the Michelin guide in 1900, there were only around 2000 cars on the road in France. They were a weekend novelty rather than the everyday travel essential of today.
The brothers hit upon the idea of producing a guide to hotels, motels, mechanics and fuel stops, hoping that information would spur car-owners to travel. In 1926 they included fine-dining in the guide and the rest is history. By providing valuable information related to road travel, they sought to encourage more car, and tyre, use.
Not all content marketing campaigns are so devilishly esoteric. Most stay closer to home. And that’s always a good place to start.
A regularly updated blog will keep your website fresh with informative content which will get you noticed by the search engines and, in the long run, drive traffic to your site. This will help keep your profile visible and will get your name or brand known, providing you are posting informative and engaging content.
Where there’s a subject, there’s content
And whatever business you are in, there are plenty of subject opportunities, no matter how mundane they may appear to you. In the business of office furniture? Then write about desks — the different finishes, sizes, cable organisation, etc. If you really believe that your subject is dull then inject a little humour into your posts. Posts to not have to be long — 400 to 500 words is enough, but they have to be regular as this is a long-term strategy.
Hiring a professional writer is always a good idea. The cost of a monthly retainer for a few posts a month need not break the bank. And you don’t have to worry about constantly coming up with ideas or finding the time to sit down and write.
Another great tool for content marketing are case-studies, which I wrote about here. Case studies do a fantastic job of presenting a story to potential clients about how your products or services solved a problem. Case-studies feature input from real-life customers, which really builds credibility; seeing others who have benefitted from your business increases confidence in potential customers.
Content marketing is a great way to increase awareness of your business by providing informative and enjoyable material which gets your name known, keeps you visible, and promotes trust.
For a free, no obligation appraisal of how Abundant Creative can help with your content, get in touch today!