We’re continuing a sketch of content marketing here on the blog, and this time, I think it’d be helpful to discuss why content is such an effective way to market.
What is Content?
Content is information that is produced with education in mind. That is—it is not created merely for the sake of marketing, such as an “ad.”
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with a traditional ad.
The point is that, in today’s culture, people like to see value before the purchase. In so doing we allay their fears, persuade them ahead of time that we know our stuff, and compel them to purchase with confidence.
In a book written before its time, Seth Godin spoke of the radical concept of permission.
According to this groundbreaking concept, the future of marketing would rely on prospects first allowing us into their world, rather than interrupting their world (i.e., traditional advertising).
Interruption is annoying, impersonal, and usually lacks meaningful information.
The question, then, is this: How do we get someone to give us permission to talk to them?
Content is the answer.
How to Use Content
Fortunately, the “how” question is answered simply: provide value.
Of course, what’s valuable to one person may not be what’s valuable to another. For example, some people may not find value in blog posts because they don’t have time to read them, or perhaps they suffer from a disability which would make it difficult to read them.
Such folks may find more value in a video or a podcast.
Nevertheless, content is content. And content is king.
There are three rules I follow, in general, when it comes to the creation and syndication of content (adapted from a mentor of mine, Shane Sams):
- Create it consistently. Always be creating. When you’re creating, you’re teaching. You’re sharing your knowledge. You’re providing value. This is the fundamental piece of the puzzle. Without having created, you’ve no opportunity to share your knowledge with prospects.
- Promote it prolifically. After you create content, you have to share. There are many ways to do this. Some ways are easier than others. Many require lots of “hands-on” work. Do whatever you have to do to get that which you create into the hands of as many people possible.
- Pitch persistently. Here, I mean that content should always be goal-directed. Content created for content’s sake is a waste of your time if we’re honest. It’s fun to teach people—but you’re in business. Your time is valuable and the time you spend creating content should be working for you by leading consumers toward a sale.
The above method provides value for consumers while serving the dual purpose of “nurturing” them.
In other words, you are building a meaningful relationship with them whereby you provide them value for free, all while making sure they know you’re available to go deeper when they’re ready.
Closing the Loop
Back to the concept of “permission.”
A person would be crazy to give you permission to constantly bombard them with advertisements.
But useful information?
That’s a different story.
Anyone can find your free content without giving permission. So you create content in order to gain their trust and their affection. None of this is unethical by the way; you want to build a relationship with prospects because you legitimately believe both your free and paid materials can provide value.
Permission comes when someone gives you direct access to them. How does that happen?
You guessed it: email!
Even a big fan of your business will only stumble across the occasional piece of content online, whether via social media or a Google search.
But you want them to interface with every single thing you create if at all possible. While in most cases this is not possible, getting into someone’s inbox regularly is just about as close as it gets.
Once they’ve given their email address (“permission”—usually in exchange for a lead magnet), you can send the content you create directly into their inbox.
From there, you just revert back to the formula above. Create goal-directed content, provide massive value, and make sure those who see your content know that, for a price, you’re willing to go deeper with them.
So, Why Content Marketing?
Because people need to know, like, and trust you before doing business with you.
And nothing can hope to establish such a relationship across the vast distance of the Internet than meaningful, valuable content, that you’ve been given permission to share.
We can create a content marketing strategy unique to your business. We start by taking the time to understand your business, your customers, and what makes them “tick.”
Then, we craft a strategy designed to provide MASSIVE amounts of value before the sale.
You might ask, “will this work for my business?” The answer is yes. There is not a business that would not benefit from a sound content marketing strategy.
I’d love the opportunity to personally prove that to you. Reach out today to have a conversation about how to make this work for you.
To your growth!