Content Marketing is the buzzword in my line of work. And while it will never fully eclipse traditional marketing, it actually lives up to the hype. It’s a key way for marketers to strategically reach their target audience without intrusive, uninspired advertising (sorry, advertising clients! Love you!!) or paid placement. Essentially, it’s providing the kind of relevant, worthwhile content that your audience will love — for free. It’s like giving something to someone they want so they like you. But not in a desperate, creepy way. What you get in exchange is exposure and visibility that will hopefully drive traffic, deepen engagement, and transform your general audience into customers and customers into repeat customers.
If you’re unsure of the kinds of content included in content marketing is, hold tight. It’s basically anything you can generate, publish, and share, including blogs, editorials, videos, white papers, webinars, microsites, social, podcasts, ebooks, conferences, tutorials, magalogs, newsletters… the list is nearly endless. Even this blog is technically content marketing. It’s less about the medium and more about the connection you’re creating with your audience and how the content adds another layer of value to your brand.
Sold! Sign me up! Where do I begin?
- First, create a plan. Answer the following: Who is your audience? Where do they live, work, play, and spend time online? What are they interested in? What platforms are you on, not on, want to be on, really don’t want to be on. It’s as much about creating realistic goals as it is about creating meaningful content.
- Have a firm grasp on your brand messaging and how you can communicate some form of that in every single piece of content you share. If you’re a florist, it’s brilliant to create a video on flower arranging, but make sure it reflects your brand. Do you only work with sustainable sources? Have a unique aesthetic? Focus on weddings? Make sure to message on that.
- Once you have a content marketing plan in place, it’s time to execute it. You’ll want a publishing platform to keep you organized and on a regular schedule (shout out to Hootsuite) and a skilled copywriter (shout out to us). Explore different platforms, mediums, lengths, images, information, and voices. This diversity will keep your audience on their toes.
- Go forth and create! Write your case study, blog post, tweet, upload videos, host an in-person class, whatever it is, do it with purpose and skill. Make it educational and entertaining. Give your audience something they will come to rely on or at least appreciate, and definitely want to share.
When it’s done right, content marketing is proven to genuinely help strengthen relationships with target audiences and that can only be good for business. Reach out if you want to explore how thoughtful, engaging content can easily integrate into your current marketing mix.