Content marketing involves creating and sharing content for the express purpose of obtaining new customers. The purpose is less to explicitly sell than to tell your client's story. Content marketing gives their company the chance to demonstrate its expertise.
In today's competitive digital marketing environment, content marketing is not optional. The older forms of marketing, such as TV, radio and billboards, are still around and useful to some extent but the present and future of marketing is moving toward online content--or at least an integration of the two. Your client's company has to have a website that provides timely and useful information, and it needs to promote that information well.
Companies have been telling their stories for years and years. Beginning in the late 1800's and early 1900's businesses such as John Deere, Coca-Cola, Jell-O and many more used magazines, user guides and door-to-door visits to disseminate information about their companies.
hat trend continues to this day albeit in a different manner. Online storytelling is the new way to reach target markets.
Where Do I Begin?
So your client is on board with content marketing. They have a website up and ready to go. What are some of the things they can do to get the word out to the world? Below are some tips to creating a successful content marketing program:
Get to know your audience
If you don't know who your audience is you surely can't put out useful information for them or even know what channels to put your content on. Understanding your followers will allow you to tailor content directly to the people it will impact the most.
Channels to promote your content
After you identify your audience you have to reach them. This can be done using social media (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn), blogs, newsletters, conferencing and more. Find where your audience lives and reach out to them.
Your company generally will have tons of printed material and maybe even audio and video content from more traditional forms of marketing. Reuse and re-purpose this content to fit in your marketing plan today. You can produce white papers, eBooks, lessons, how-to guides and much more to reach your followers.
Everyone is different
There are as many marketing strategies as there are companies. No one size will fit all. There is no perfect plan that everyone can follow. Realize this and know you will have to create your own material in your own unique style and voice.
The "great equalizer"
Content marketing levels the playing field for everyone in the game. You can compete against Goliath! As a matter of fact the smaller you are the better. You can react quicker and be far more agile than larger, more cumbersome competitors.
You can tell your story on multiple platforms and channels. Sometimes this may not be the best strategy for your company. It may be wise for you to choose just a couple of channels, such as a blog and podcasts, and dominate those rather than try to be on every platform.
As with anything else you do in business and even personally you have to set goals. Set these goals and measure their success so you will know if you are heading in the right direction or not. Don't hesitate to try new things in your marketing plan.
Content marketing is key to your client's business success. Getting their message out will establish them as an industry leader. So, when customers have questions and concerns they will turn to your client--and their content--for information. Tell the story and tell it well!