About eight years ago, digital advertising was probably the most talked about marketing tactic. It was new, flash and sexy and it made brands fall over backwards for marketing executives. The only problem is that when the average person cottoned on to the fact what they were seeing was highly targeted responsive advertising, they didn’t like that privacy intrusion. The answer? Ad blockers. Over 200 million people were using ad blockers on their browsers in 2015 so suddenly digital display became much less successful.
It seems quite tragic, but the good news is that this caused a better type of marketing to be explored - one that has proven to have far more significant results. Content marketing. Content marketing is just that - content. The only catch is it should be valuable. Valuable to the reader and valuable to building your brand. It costs far less than outbound marketing (62% less, in fact) but generates over three times the leads. By sharing things that people find value in for free, you’re creating trust with potential clients without actually working with them. When they have a need for your services or products, you’ll be front of mind, they’ll already have trust in your ability and a relationship has already begun.
A content marketing strategy is relatively simple. What do you want to say? Who do you want to say it to? Why do you want to say it? How often can you say it? How do you make sure people read it?
Once you’ve answered those questions, it’s easy to kick your content marketing off. But then small business owners often run into a couple of complications… Where do they get inspiration? How do you know if it’s valuable? How can you make people actually read it?
So today we’re going to kick those complications and make content marketing your most successful marketing tactic - just follow these three steps!
Your biggest inspiration source is in front of you…
If you’re creating content regularly, it can be hard to stay inspired and know what to share next. but if you’re running a business there’s likely to be an untapped inspiration base right in front of you… Your clients and customers! Listen to their feedback, write down their problems, queries or questions and use this to create content - simple! This blog is coming directly from a discussion with one of my clients who wasn't sure how or where to start blogging but knew they wanted to! Listen to what your clients want to know and answer it.
The failsafe way to making content actually valuable…
What people perceive as ‘valuable’ varies from person to person, but here’s a tip for you. If you can do one of the three below things with your content - it will always be perceived as valuable.
- Make the reader feel something positive (give them something to stir emotion be it happiness, nostalgia, inspired, motivated, enthused) this is why quotes and feel good Friday posts are so successful!
- Educate the reader and teach them something new that they can go away and use. For a makeup business, teach them a new technique, for a real estate business, give them home improvement or beautification advice. Right now I’m giving marketing advice to teach you (my readers!) something new that you can use.
- Engage them. If you make the reader respond or take action, you’re changing the dynamic from a monologue to dialogue. It’s one of the most valuable aspect of branding - you make people feel like they can have a say and be heard and they’ll become your most loyal customers.
Get your content out there in front of the people you want to see it…
Don’t just post a blog and walk away from it. Share it on social media from your business pages and your personal pages - this showcases your expertise and builds your personal brand. Send it to your database, if you’re blogging weekly and don’t want to email too much, send a monthly emailer or send it as a personal email with a simple link to your contacts who you know can benefit from the information. If you’ve got the budget, then promote it on social media and select your targeting carefully to match it to your ideal client. On social media use the right blurbs - make them engaging and interesting without being ‘click bait’ - you wouldn’t believe it but Facebook knows when something has a click bait title and actually changes the algorithm to prevent people from seeing it!
And there you have it - three steps to insanely successful content marketing. Give them a go and tell me, what are your biggest marketing problems? What would you like to know?