From start-ups to multinational corporations, businesses are changing the way they communicate with their customers by focusing on content, and the results only support the latest trend.
- 70% of consumers prefer getting to know a company via articles rather than ads - ContentPlus
- Interesting content is a top 3 reason people follow brands on social media - ContentPlus
- 61% of consumers say they feel better about a company that delivers custom content, they are also more likely to buy from that company - Custom Content Council
What is content marketing?
[Image from ContentPlus]
Content marketing is really quite simple, it's a piece of content - be it words, images, graphics - that adds value to your readership and;
"stops short of a direct sales pitch or call to action, but which seeks to positively influence a customer in some way." - StudioOne
If the content is of high quality, your audience will then share, like and spread your message to their online friends, which is also fantastic for SEO.
Focus on blogging, not flogging
A company blog should be written as if it was for your personal blog.
You have a product section of the website to sell your wares, so leave the blog page as a place for people to learn more about the experience, knowledge and personality of your business.
In the way we hope you find this of this of value, you should focus on giving something to your readers. This then adds to the longevity and - most importantly - the 'shareability' of your content.
If you run a catering business, share a recipe for an ingredient in season.
If you sell design services, make Photoshop/InDesign guides.
If you are a creative, tell people exactly what inspires you every day.
Just add value.
Show your personality
Old Spice demonstrated a sense of humour and doubled sales, $1 Razors displayed their attitude and people noticed and SB.TV's cool persona made the young YouTube blogger a multimedia mogul.
By showing your personality, people can connect with you and your brand on a personal level and will become more loyal to your brand.
Authentic communication resonates better with people. It helps build relationships both in our personal and professional lives. Yes, we hear stories about people blagging their way to the top, but as George G. Blaisdell, founder of Zippo, once said;
"Build your product with integrity .... stand behind it 100% and success will follow."
Imagine your online message is a guest at a party - a very, very busy party! Do you want to listen to someone who only talks about themselves, or would you rather have a conversation with the guest that has something interesting to say and is open to debate?
Yes, the first rule of marketing and PR is to write for your audience. This is important, but we also strongly suggest you write for yourself.
When you are learning, having fun and feeling good whilst writing, it will resonate with your audience.
Enrol people in your messages by giving them the same experience you feel when you think of your business.
If you aren't laughing, learning or pushing yourself with your content marketing, neither will your audience and they will go somewhere they can.
It is nothing new
The most important thing to understand about content marketing is that it is not a new form of marketing that is impossible to grasp.
Michelin did it when they created the Michelin Guides, John Deere's The Furrow magazine and soap operas created by many soap companies.
Content marketing is nothing new, but we appear to be doing it well again.