It’s estimated that we on average experience 7,000 pieces of marketing each and every day. Psychologists believe that as we evolve in the new ‘internet and advertising’ era we are actually becoming more and more adept at blocking out these marketing messages.
So the big question is: How do we get heard, how do we make noise and gain traction in a world saturated with marketing?
The answer: Content.
Content marketing is a strategic and value driven marketing approach specifically focused on creating and distributing valuable and relevant information, advice and support with the ultimate goal of creating long-standing relationships ultimately resulting in customer acquisition and retention.
Simply put, content marketing is you putting out free content that is both valuable and relevant (i.e. needed) to build up credibility with a client base who go on to become customers.
Content marketing can take many forms but here are a few examples:
There are a few reasons content marketing is so powerful, here are just a few;
Most people don’t like to be sold to. They like to be able to form an opinion in their own time and make a decision. Equally most business owners don’t love selling. They love helping others, they love their area of expertise but they don’t love selling itself.
Content marketing takes care of both of those issues. The business owner is simply providing helpful, useful content. By doing so, they become the ‘go to’ expert in their niche and form an incredible reputation.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO), the internet is huge. Absolutely enormous. In a lot of industries getting found online for just your brochure site is incredibly difficult if not impossible and takes years. However Google and other search engines love content, after all their remit is to provide their users with what they are looking for. When we google something we want answers, we want information, therefore Google will reward websites with high rankings when they are providing great quality content.
The law of reciprocity says that when someone does something to help you, you can’t help but want to do something back in return. Therefore when you help someone with free content, they want to help you and therefore are much more likely to buy from you directly than shop around for price. They value your service and you are no longer just a commodity.
We all want to see ‘The Expert’. Whether it is the hairdresser or mechanic, we don’t want to be someone’s guinea pig. By producing content you automatically go to the top of the expert pile and people will queue and wait to see you. You can also increase your prices.
Most of the purpose of strategic content marketing is for the reasons above and although they do not directly contribute to your bottom line, done systematically and consistently you will see a considerable increase in inquiries
However there are a few other ways you can monetize your content:
Did you launch a podcast or write an eBook? Who can you partner with that has a complimentary business to sponsor the show or book?
Throughout a book or how-to guide, you can insert helpful links to products that are appropriate for the topic. They might be your products or they could be affiliate links to other people’s products.
At the end of any content piece you can insert a call to action that may be booking a free or low cost strategy call or introductory session.
If your content requires someone to ‘opt in’ or enter their email address you can then follow up and offer them other offers that may be interesting and relevant for them.
Whichever route you take, content marketing offers a unique ability to compete and beat the big players with a minimal budget.