Content marketing has developed into one of the most commonly used means within which a marketer will aim to create new business or to generate “leads”. The power of content marketing has grown particularly rapidly in recent years as the typical person has become more cautious of engaging with traditional marketing messages and tactics.
In principle a content marketing strategy works by creating an asset or piece of “content” such as a guide, an article, a blog, a newsletter, a video on a specific subject related to that organisation. The aim of this piece of content will typically be created as a tool to solve the needs or answer the questions of a specific audience – not to sell a product. Instead of simply trying to sell or promote a product or service, that content is hopefully valuable to the audience/ potential customer and therefore the goal is more to build a connection rather than to convert straight to sale.
It can often be difficult to create a piece of content that is truly valuable to the recipient WITHOUT including an obvious hook, link or message that is trying to sell anything. The temptation to think you are missing an opportunity to include a way in which a potential customer can be told about your product/ service would seem an obvious one, but truly great content marketing is done by approaching things differently. The only way to deliver a genuinely effective content marketing strategy is by creating high quality content that your audience will find valuable and therefore want to engage with. The benefits of creating great content are many and the ways in which it can be used include a number of different elements of your marketing strategy including:
- Social Media. If you’re not saying anything interesting and relevant to your audience – in other words creating valuable content – your potential customer base won’t see any value. When it comes to social media, think “content” before you think you think “strategy”.
- SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). Creating great content is hugely valuable for optimising your SEO as search engines such as Google and Bing, amongst others, greatly favour quality content.
- PR (Public Relations). As you’re focusing on creating content that is valuable as a resource and not a sales pitch, this will be highly beneficial as part of your PR strategy
- Delivering Organic and Inbound Leads/ Traffic. The more content you put into the world and the more it is valued, engaged with and shared, the more this will benefit your organisation by creating positive perceptions and therefore more inbound leads.
Don’t feel overwhelmed when it comes to thinking how to build a content marketing approach to your strategy. Keep it simple, remember to avoid pitching and selling too hard and always ensure you create something that your target audience will value. The rest can be flow from there.