In this busy age of digital marketing, everyone is telling you to stand out!, be incredible!, rise above the noise! and submit amazing content every single day. Well, I can tell you from experience that sometimes, it's just not possible to be a rock star all the time with content marketing. Not all of the commercials you see are incredible are they? But, the ones that do resonate, have a lasting impact.
Marketing is about reaching your audience with the right message at the most opportune time by providing valuable resources that solve problems and build trust. You don't have to be a rock star to beat your competition, but you do need to know who's at your concert and what songs they want to hear.
Marketing is about reaching your audience with the right message at the most opportune time by providing valuable resources that solve problems and build trust.
What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is a term that is used frequently. But what does it really mean? Josh Steimle wrote a great article for Forbes, entitled What is Content Marketing? Here is what the Content Marketing Institute describes it as:
Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.
What to the what, what? Sigh. Here is why most people start to glaze over when talking about content marketing. I mean, that's a lot of 'ing' words.
Let's dumb content marketing down to 5 steps:
- Determine the characteristics, traits and problems of your ideal client. Write it down. I said: WRITE IT DOWN!
- Brainstorm about what content would be helpful, educational or entertaining to your ideal customer. Survey them if you need to. Analyze what's been done in the past, what's worked, what hasn't.
- Sit your team down and assign who's going to write something, record videos, take photos or create cool graphics...like, often. Does it meet the needs of #2? TEST: If it's not something you'd share on your personal social media page, keep working on it.
- Put it on social media. Email it out. Post on your networking forums on Facebook and LinkedIn. Add it to your website and blog. Upload your video to YouTube. Do Facebook LIVE. Pin it on Pinterest. Promote it with NO hook, line or sinker sales messages.
- If your stuff is educational, entertaining or both, peeps will buy it. But you gotta keep pushing it out, to pull people in. Consistently.
You can tell if a piece of content is the sort that could be part of a content marketing campaign if people seek it out, if people want to consume it, rather than avoiding it. - Josh Steimle
According to Steimle, there's a BONUS to content marketing. "Content marketing provides additional content for social media marketing and contributes to SEO efforts by generating natural inbound links and building up good content on your website that gets found in search engines. In fact, for many companies the bulk of their SEO efforts should be focused on content marketing." AHA!
Information creates trust. -Jay Baer
So, here's an example.
One of my fab clients is Fiber-Seal Charlotte. They provide incredible fabric/fiber protection for your home, office, carpet, furniture and soft goods. They don't sell 'spray your house with chemicals' they sell peace of mind for people with kids, pets, friends and, well a real life.
When working on their social media, I put together a series of fun images that were light-hearted, relatable and timely. I can use on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as well is pinning on Pinterest. Fabric protection may seem boring until you think of it as your consumer would. Solve a problem. Be there when they need you. Stay top of mind and be easy to share.
So, there's a little more about content marketing. If you have information out there, helpful, educational, not salesy content, you're going to do just fine. And, you don't have to even have big hair (like a rock star...ok, rock star of the 80's)! Just remember The #1 Secret of Content Marketing:
Add value. That’s the secret. It’s not really a secret at all.
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