What is Content Marketing, and why does it matter?
In this fast food, quick-bite, information age, it seems like the majority of our exchanges for goods and services are executed from behind our computer screens rather than face to face. This means there’s often no handshake at the end of a sale, and no personal connection to give the experience meaning beyond some basic emotions your website may have evoked.
In advertising, even though much of our work can be done remotely, there’s no substitution for face-to-face contact, and we find so much value in maintaining a dialogue — it’s how we connect with our clients to make sure we’re serving all of their needs.
What do you do if grabbing lunch or having an on-site meeting isn’t geographically possible? What do you do if the majority of your business and customer interactions take place through email?
We see Content Marketing as a euphemism for Customer Service, but tailored specifically to an internet-based consumer culture.
Think of it this way — Content Marketing is what helps keep your business’ name on the tip of your audience’s tongue. Even the best of friends need a nudge to remember each other’s birthdays anymore (Thank you, Facebook!), so it makes sense that maintaining digital contact would add value to your interactions.
Here are just a few ideas for boosting your online presence through content marketing:
- Posting regularly on Facebook and Twitter, preferably 3-5 days/week. Using a social media management tool such as Hootsuite is great for this. Posts should include company news and product releases, but make sure to share information related to your industry that might not be specific to your company as well. Sharing things such as articles by respected authorities in your industry adds legitimacy and value to your platform.
- Creating regular, industry-specific blog posts, monthly or weekly. You don’t even have to do this yourself. You can hire a freelance writer who has specific knowledge of your field, or have an agency find the right one for you. Creating regular blog posts or articles that you can link back to using social media adds an immense amount of value.
- Sending regular newsletters, weekly or monthly. For some businesses, newsletters don’t make sense, but for many, this is a powerful way to stay in touch. It’s more personal and direct than social media posts, and the people you’re emailing have already opted-in one way or the other.
- Create videos! Hire an agency to plan, script, create, and edit beautiful videos that feature the work your company is doing, and share them in all of the above — newsletters, blog posts, and on your social media platforms. There’s no better way to connect emotionally with your audience than through video, because it enlists more than one of your senses and really allows viewers to be swept up in the romance of whatever it is you provide… even nuclear materials!
Content Marketing makes it possible for your audience to stay connected and learn what’s new with you without having to search.
This might seem obvious, but it happens to the best of us — make sure you don’t have any ’empty’ platforms out there just collecting dust. Having a Facebook business page with outdated or missing information, or a Twitter feed with no posts, can actually be a value detractor. It’s about quality, not quantity, so if you’re going to have social media platforms, load them up consistently with up-to-date, relevant information to help your customers trust that your finger’s on the pulse of what matters most to them.
Looking for some tools to help you on your way? Here’s a list of resources that might help you strategize and organize your new content marketing plan…
…or, you could just let an agency do it for you!
|SEO Analytics: Moz||Blogging: WordPress|
|Organizing: Evernote||Social Media Management: Hootsuite|
|Web Analytics: Alexa||Webinar Tools: GoTo Meeting|
|Email Marketing: Mailchimp||Conversion Tools: Optimizely|
|Networking: Linkedin||Collaborating/Task Management: Asana|