Contributed by Alyssa Peiser
You’ve probably heard of content marketing. It is one of those “buzzwords” that sounds fancy but is really a very simple idea – one that can have significant impact and results. Below are a few questions about content marketing you might have, along with basic ideas for how to implement in your industry.
What IS content marketing? Content marketing is simply providing and publishing useful content for your audience – for the purpose of generating leads and expanding your reach. It shouldn’t be intimidating! It is really pretty simple. One great thing about content marketing is that you can create one piece of content and then repurpose that in a variety of ways – more on that later.
What is the value of content marketing? Why even DO content marketing (CM), you may be wondering? It can seem like a lot of work without “immediate” results. We view CM as one part of many in a holistic approach to marketing. It is just one step (indirect) in the sales process. When you are regularly putting out content (as we will mention later – there are literally hundreds of ways to do this), you do a few things:
- You share value to your audience. You are providing them with information they need – which is you addressing their pain point – or want – fun, informational, unique content keeps them interested.
- You prove yourself as relevant. Regularly putting out content in and of itself keeps your brand fresh and up to date with your audience. We all know that if we visit a website or Facebook page that hasn’t updated with anything new in a couple months, we are much more likely to write them off. Note: Inherent in this is putting out original, relevant to your audience and valuable content. – aka, not just reposting someone else’s articles (although there is a place for that).
- You stay in front of your audience – and future consumer. Part of the reason we place a high value on creating and distributing content regularly is that it puts you and keeps you in front of your audience: you are constantly showing up so you are on their mind. Since this is also a way to generate leads, staying in front of a potential client is important.
What are some doable examples? A good starting point is writing a blog, or filming a short vlog. Be a guest on a podcast. Write and distribute a press release. You could host a Q&A with an expert or detail a FAQ page. More in-depth and time intensive, you can write white papers or conduct a webinar. Here is a short list of some other ways to create content: newsletters, social posts, customer appreciation, highlighting a service or product, employee spotlight, before/after graphic, infographic, industry specific holidays or big holidays, podcasts, case studies. Remember that content marketing is a long-game strategy. The goal is to consistently make available something of value.
How to repurpose content The great thing about creating content is you can redistribute it and get a lot of mileage out of one piece. For instance, let’s say you write a blog. Right there you are producing content for your website (which Google likes to see when it ranks websites). Then you can post it on your social sites – Twitter, Facebook, Instagram – so it is getting out to your audience again and it links back to your website, which again, is great for SEO purposes. When you send out your e-newsletter, you can include the blog there too – thus driving more people to view the content. Depending on what the blog is, you can write and send out a press release. These are just a few examples of how to make the most of content and make it work for you.