Content marketing – what is it? (video guide at bottom of page)
Wikipedia defines it as “Content marketing actually relates to any kind of marketing format which involves the creation, sharing and publishing of media in order to acquire customers” So this opens up a whole array of possibilities in terms of what you can do, and sometimes thinking out of the box can pay off in a big way.
It’s been around for a while.
Take these two examples for instance;
The Michelin guides were published in 1900 and they offered (and still do) drivers information on car-care, hotels / bed and breakfasts and other travel tips. The publication set a precedent for both informative guides and content marketing distribution, which is still practised today.
The latest big example I can think of in terms of thinking outside the box has been the Red Bull Stratos campaign when Felix Baumgartner was watched jumping out of a balloon by over 10 million people on Youtube which has been talked about ever since.
Not only is there a serious amount of ‘cool’ by association for the brand with such a big event, the expense of actually buying that amount of publicity through normal advertising channels would’ve been extremely cost prohibitive.
Even if you did go to the extra expense your advertising would soon be forgotten compared with such a big event which will keep on paying dividends for years and years to come.
Content marketing for small businesses- You’re already doing it (probably)
At first glance having read the above paragraphs you could be forgiven for wondering how this relates to you as a small business, but there things you can to increase your web presence with a little lateral thinking.
For those of you that already have a blog or are members of twitter you’re halfway there, because a blog is a clever form of content marketing that helps to build authority within your market. By providing valuable content you start to amass fans and those fans turn into loyal customers because of the trust you build. Once you have a listening audience the products and services sell themselves.
How do I find content people want?
The best way is to find a problem in your niche (and then solve it)
Potential clients are always searching for solutions to problems, if you can be of some help it will certainly increase your chances of getting business. Often searches such as ‘ how to’ or ‘ top tips on….’ and comparison shopping – apple vs windows, oak floor vs laminate floor’ have lower competition and convert into to sales fairly quickly.
In the video below we show you just how easy it is to discover what kind of problems your customers are looking to solve.
If you type slowly Google attempts to ‘auto complete’ and this can give you some great clues to your potential clients’ needs. Combine that with a little bit of keyword research it can really increase traffic to your website.
Solve the problem.
Once you have identified a problem that your potential customer has, it’s just a matter of taking a little time to create a piece of helpful content that solves the issue. This can take the form of a blog post, slideshow, screen cast video (like ours) or even an info-graphic.
Just make sure it’s helpful and not sales oriented, as your aim is to build authority and trust first. When you provide a variety of solutions in enough formats you’ll be surprised how much of an effect it has to the long term sales of your business.
Tell the world.
Social media is now an integral part of content marketing, once you’ve made your great piece of informative and helpful content, leveraging social media and getting your follower base to promote it is the next step. People inherently like to help other people, often one of your connections will know someone who needs your helpand will forward your tweet or post on to them.
The more informative and helpful your content is (and the less sales oriented) the more likely it is people will share it.
We’ve also put together a “Complete Guide To Doing Content Properly” which you can view here.