The old way of marketing was about pushing your wares into the market. The "mass market" had no choice but to put up with increasing volume and pressure from the "mass media." The biggest agencies with the biggest budgets got the best and loudest exposure. The unwitting consumer was being bombarded by hundreds, and eventually thousands of advertising messages in a day.
The Internet has changed all that. Now the consumer searches, researches, compares, and decides on the basis of information she or he gathers online. Therefore, if you want to be found, you need to produce content.
A study from the Content Marketing Institute has shown that over 90% of B-2-B marketers in the US are using content marketing in their campaigns, with 73% of them producing more content than last year.
Content is any form of information that meets a need. It could be tips, recipes, product info, news or information that improves a person's life. It could be in the form of a blog post, video, audio podcast, infographic, white paper, or even an ebook.
Apart from entertainment, people go online to address issues and problems. Content is what they look for - information to help them solve those problems and deal with those issues.
When you publish content, people get to see what you know - and you may be surprised yourself by how much you really know! Plus, a person who has put themselves out and published to the public is viewed differently; they are seen as someone who has "arrived."
If you publish content in a personable, readable style, it is very different from corporate brochures and other bumpf that we are used to. It has human appeal, because it is more obvious that it comes from a human. More and more consumers are craving human contact in business.
Giving away information is scary for some business people; but giving information for free gives consumers the impression that you really are a helpful business. Some of the most successful online businesses say they give away up to 90% of their information in order to build trust.
Google's declared intention is to serve up "content that is useful, compelling and shareable." If that is what you produce, Google and the other major search engines will promote your website more. Plus, other websites will start linking to your information, driving up your site's "authority" and search engine rankings. The search engines are what connect you with your targeted consumers - it therefore pays to focus on content.
If you think you don't know much, ask your friends! Once you start the ball rolling, you will be surprised by how much you know and can share. For instance, if you are a fishing supply store, you surely have great tips on the best lures and how to look for good fishing spots.
When you have a good list of topics, you can then plan to publish them weekly or fortnightly - whatever works for you best. By having the schedule, you can ensure that your content production becomes part of the business practice.
It has been said that the hardest part of writing is the sitting down and starting! Write from your heart, write what you are passionate about, write what you know. If you really can't write, get someone to write for you. They can interview you, or you can send them some notes and they will do further research. You can find article writers on sites like elance.com
Don't think you need slick productions - unless you are a big corporation, and even then... Nowadays, you can record a video or audio podcast on a smart phone. With some practice, you may even get very good at it! There is a huge range of editing software from which you can produce finished videos or soundtracks. If you need help, get in touch with us.
Nowadays, viewers like it simple and fast. They don't mind a bit of roughness around the edges - in fact it gives your content more credibility and authenticity.
By creating content regularly, people will start noticing. Then they will start looking out for your content. They will subscribe to your mailing list, like your Facebook page, connect on Google+. Your website will start to get higher and higher rankings, Your influence will expand. You will become the "go-to" person or company for your industry.
People are always looking for great content. The more "useful compelling and shareable" your content is, the more likely you are to get connected with the people who are specifically looking for you - your ideal customers. Start your content marketing campaign today.