You absolutely need to consider content marketing to enhance your business building efforts. But, you may ask, what is content marketing and how can it work for me?
First, content marketing is simply using information to market your business. By providing good and relevant information, you are immediately separated from the typical ‘salesy’ approach most use, such as ‘special of the day,’ clearance sale, save more, free, or other methods to entice customers to visit.
So, rather than the typical ‘Interruption marketing’ that is designed to shout louder than your competition, content is intended to engage, to provoke interest, to entertain and to inform. It is marketing for the information age.
Retail examples include Trader Joe’s mailer and Costco magazine. While these items provide product information, they also give interesting information. Service business examples can include tips sheets, checklists, case studies and white papers – all oriented to solving problems or giving the client useful information. An example is Forbes BrandVoice.
The overarching goal of content marketing is to position you and your business as a trusted source of helpful information. Trust is the commodity of today’s branding and image building.
It is increasing common for buyers to research products and companies on-line prior to buying. They can get product specs, reviews and other information to help the buying decision.
Using content is not for everyone, but should be considered as a major part of an overall marketing strategy. Consider these 3 ways that content can work for you.
- Positioning: as mentioned, reliable information creates authority. People would rather buy from someone who is knowledgeable and reliable. They see you as someone who not only has a business, but who can provide objective information that is useful and trustworthy.
- Connection: Content can not only inform, but entertain. Think of the fun stories in the Trader Joe’s mailer. In between them are engaging product narratives. It is a fun, interesting read that also provides product information.
- Web exposure: Content has multiple uses for it can be used and re-used in many ways. Various social media platforms can be used, either directly or by linking back to a blog or article. Special reports can be used as a freebie to build your contact list. And when your content is spread around in various locations, your organic search is enhanced – more people will find you on basic searches.
As you see, the proper use of content can enhance your marketing efforts. Plus, it allows you to show up, not just as another seller, but as trusted authority – someone the buyer can rely upon for delivering reliability and connection – the basis for long term relationships.