What is the first thing you think of when you hear the term, content marketing? Does it simply mean written text or are there other factors to consider?
Images, video, podcasts, radio, charts, infographics, and text, to name a few, are all considered content. Before you post or link content to your site or social media platforms, determine if it fits your overall content marketing strategy. In a HubSpot survey, over 65% of marketers indicated the challenge of generating traffic and leads in 2017. In the same survey, 60% said that blog creation was going to be their number one challenge for the year.
First of all, let’s clear up the difference between social media marketing and content marketing. Social media marketing uses social platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for relationship selling, a type of selling that is based on how well you manage and nurture relationships with your social contacts. Content marketing uses social platforms to help promote goods and services.
Content marketing, therefore, is a type of marketing designed to drive traffic and sales. It is also a means to generate and maintain social contact with visitors, prospects, and eventual customers.
Does this type of content help in any way with search engine ranking and optimization? You bet it does. Search engines are looking for relevant content, updated content, rich and engaging content, and lengthy content. These aren’t the only things a search engine looks for but the content is one of two or three elements at the top of the list.
If this is true, then how can we quantify the advantage of a sound content marketing strategy. We would certainly think about the following.
Content marketing directly links marketers and visitors to explore the potential for a meaningful and personal relationship. This valuable commodity is not found in any other means of marketing. Expand your reach with do-it-yourself videos that you can post on your website as well as on YouTube or Vimeo. Create press releases using images, infographics, or E-newsletters. Encourage visitors to leave comments and answer all comments in a personal tone. Create conversations with your visitors. Form relationships with your customers.
Hopefully, your chosen niche is something that you are a bit of an authority on. For example, if you are a musician, then you should understand most things musical. Your e-commerce musical selection could then be based on many different musical topics of interest. CD’s, musical instruments and music lessons are a few things you could incorporate in your store if music is your thing. But this opens the door to ask which comes first: the target market or the product? What if I am a musician and know all things music, but for whatever reason, I am unable to find a large enough target market to compel with my musical content. Do I keep trying to push music down everyone’s throat? Or do I drop back, punt, and reconsider my strategy before I get the ball back? This writer believes that doing field research first will reveal and unravel the details in finding cohesive products or services once you determine who your target market is.
Yeah! Stand up, sit down, everybody turn around. Jump once, jump twice, now, everybody be nice. Now that I have your attention here’s something important to know: Don’t post content just to be posting content; ensure that it means something to your target audience and to the visitors coming through your pipeline. The key to posting great content is how to make it interesting and relevant. Stay away from posting comments that have nothing to do with your brand or niche and ultimately with your target market.
Content marketing enables small business to have the same visibility as a larger corporate firm. Unless you plan to grow into a large corporate entity, about the only advantage of keeping up with a larger than life business is the exposure your brand receives. That is an advantage that is hard to put a price on. The most significant and beneficial advantage is that content marketing enables you to remain in close personal contact with your target market. It also keeps you on the cutting edge of what is trending.
In order to succeed in today’s quickly changing economic environment is flexibility. That’s one of the differences between a brick and mortar store and an online e-commerce. The brick and mortar cannot change their product line but E-commerce is more supple and can create variety. But be careful to not be a flash in the pan. Just because Costco is selling military flashlights today doesn’t mean that you need to find a way to offer them to your target market. Stay focused and reach more global prospects.
Inexpensive, But Not Free
Unless you outsource, your content marketing strategy should be inexpensive. Because of the drop shipping services of many wholesale outlets, such as aliexpress.com, many e-commerce ventures do not even need to carry inventory. Furthermore, most social platforms that you will use are relatively free. E-commerce platforms are pennies a month compared to the high cost of other types of advertising.
Everyone Uses Content Marketing
Think about the following words: Everything is content. Or if you would prefer, Everything is Copy, which is a 2015 documentary that portrays the life of author and screenwriter Nora Ephron. Nothing escaped Nora’s imagination. She saw a story in everything. The world is a glass house, transparent to the core. It is possible to know just about anything about anyone or anything. Privacy issues are a monumental pitfall but this is the way the world is now and we all need to adjust to the manner in which we live our lives. Keep a notepad and a pen with you at all times. During the day make notes of what you experience. Keep a camera nearby. If all you have is a smartphone camera then so be it but plan on buying a real camera so you can record life as it is happening without the wiggly-blurry effects of a smartphone.
Do you love or hate content marketing? Let me know in the comments below.
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- 7 Questions to Help Your Content Marketing Strategy
- How to Create an Awesome Content Marketing Strategy
- How to Make Your Customers Beg for More Content
- Should You Spend More on Content Marketing?