Content marketing. If you’re like many brands you’ve either tried to embrace it (only to give up in frustration), or written it off as a fad.
And if you’re like some others, you’ve dismissed content marketing because you think it won’t work for your industry.
It would be a mistake to do any of those things.
Traditional marketing and advertising have always been about interrupting people.
TV commercials, radio spots, print ads, billboards, cold calls, spam… All based on trying to hijack buyers when they’re paying attention to something else.
That approach used to work. People—or enough people, at least—paid attention.
Hell, they even sort of work today… Throw enough money at any marketing method and you’re bound to get some results.
That means that even now a lot of businesses hang on to “the way we’ve always done things” and forego new approaches.
But we live in an oversaturated, over-communicated world. One where everything seems to show you an ad. (Toilets, even.)
And it’s become normal to unconsciously block interruptions out. As a defence mechanism, buyers just don’t pay attention.
Until they do.
Content marketing. What is it, exactly?
Content marketing is a marketing approach based on strategically creating, publishing and promoting useful and engaging content. The goal is to attract potential buyers and help them decide to spend their money with you.
It’s about flipping the whole marketing and advertising model on its head.
Instead of chasing after buyers and plotting ambushes, you use content to draw readers in by offering them real value—and you do it when they’re looking for the exact information you’re providing.
See, your potential buyers are already out there, searching for solutions to their problems.
You don’t need to interrupt them. You only need to make sure they find your content when they’re doing their buying research.
That’s content marketing.
Here’s the thing: your content marketing needs to be great
To be successful, content marketing needs to focus on quality over quantity. Like Grandpa used to say—if you make 2,000 pounds of crap, you’ll only ever have a ton of shit… No matter how many different piles you put it in.
That means if you’re going to pursue content marketing as a strategy, at minimum your content needs to be a cut above the rest. It won’t stand out, otherwise.
But in order to create content that’s truly great, you need to do some work ahead of time.
First, you’ll have to really think about who you’re trying to attract.
Then you’re going to want to think about what they want to know, and how they want to learn it.
Why they need to know it in the first place will help you determine where and when to publish.
Simple, right? The 5Ws, just like Mrs. Whatsit taught you in first grade.
The best content marketers then take things one step further by relentlessly focusing on answering all the niggling little questions that buyers have at each stage of the sales cycle, thus moving them toward a purchase decision.
That’s a critical thing to remember—there’s not much point publishing great content if you’re not going to make the metaphorical cash register ring at the end of the process.
Find more clients with content marketing
If you like what you’ve read here but you’re still asking “SO WHAT IS CONTENT MARKETING ALREADY?!?!,” you may enjoy a free guide I’ve written. Learn more about the Quick-Start Guide to Content Marketing.