It’s not new. The fact is that for the past 10 years the world’s marketing influencers have been shouting from the roof tops about content marketing. King-pin himself, Seth Godin (author of Purple Cow) has said, "Content marketing is the only marketing left."
Everyone agrees of course. Customer buying behaviours are transformed. Online search means that the historic role of sales team is now redundant. Potential customers don’t ring the office…they Google you. Hunting for digital proof that you can solve the problem they face. Investigating your ‘persona’ via social media, noting online reviews and checking out a few of your digital articles.
And it’s not just the sales team who are finding their role in the organisation has changed. Traditional advertising does not deliver ROI the way it used to. Media coverage in specialist titles is now greatly reduced (what specialist titles!?) and online is getting harder too. Your once snazzy website is no longer delivering the sales leads you need.
Pause for a moment. Consider this. You’ve not changed, but the world around you has.
This is where content marketing comes in. Digital search needs great content.
Your website will not appear high in digital search simply because you invested in SEO once, when it was first built.
So, how does digital search (Oh blimey, let’s just say ‘Google’) work? Google rewards (and promotes) great content. So, to get ahead now your aim needs to be the ongoing creation of good content. Not excellent…you are a small business owner after all, not the managing editor of BBCOnline. Never pushy or salesy. Unique as possible. Shareworthy. Personal and easily tweaked to suit lots of platforms. (Platform = Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, mobile ap, website etc.).
I like to include these content elements in the plans I run for clients, but there are loads more:
How to guidesInfographics & videosCustomer stories (a fresh take on the traditional case study)Top tipsContent curation – capture the fun, relevant, interesting web and distil it for your audience
I also make sure that the content I am creating is part of a strategy.
This is because without a strategy it is very easy to start to create random content. This means, content which is published for no particular reason. It may read well, it may be funny. But does it actually achieve what you need it to for your business?
If you’re creating your own content strategy, consider these questions:
What do you want your content to achieve?Who are you targeting?What type of information does this target audience want to consume?How can you make sure what you create is valuable to them?What do you want them to do when they come across your content?What will you do, when they do that?
And get in touch. It’d be great to talk through your marketing challenges and put in place a plan to help.
A little more reading. Here’s some curated links on the subject of content marketing…