We keep reading (and writing!) about the phenomenal power of content marketing – that ‘Content is King’, and a key contributor to the success of digital and social media marketing.
Well, you may think it’s starting to sound a little clichéd, but it’s still as true as ever!
Not only are nine out of 10 organisations marketing with content now, those that are putting time and effort into doing it well agree that content is much more than an interesting little extra to offer visitors to their sites. It actually plays a key role in attracting new and repeat visits in the first place, helping to ensure both the success and the sustainability of their overall digital marketing investments.
So, moving beyond the clichés, exactly what is content’s phenomenal pulling power? Who’s wielding it? And what does it really mean for you and your business?
Content is about sharing knowledge
About 400 years ago, the English philosopher-statesman, Francis Bacon, famously declared “Knowledge is Power!” Of course he didn’t have marketing in mind when he said it, but the essence of his idea certainly underpins the real power of a good content marketing plan.
Content marketing is not about selling. It’s about answering questions, exploring ideas, sharing expertise and providing information that is valuable just for what it is – the wealth of knowledge accumulated within a business and shared to advise, educate, enlighten, interest or empower.
It’s about people and their preferences, not your products, and its call to action isn’t a blatant ‘Buy Now’, but an open invitation to join in a two-way conversation. This gives you a virtual, cost effective opportunity to learn more about your prospects while they get to know, like and trust you and your business better. And by engaging in this way, you help lay the foundation for a positive, long term relationship.
If you’ve got it, flaunt it!
Done well, a good content marketing campaign will establish you as the ‘go-to’ expert in your field.
It’s taken companies (and marketers) a while to fully realise the value of knowledge in this broader context as a strategic marketing tool. Up until fairly recently, ‘intellectual assets’ were jealously guarded ‘trade secrets’. Now with the Internet focussing attention on information as a resource, and social media enabling much more interesting, dynamic debate, new ‘thought leaders’ are emerging within business communities, simply through the content they create.
Think about it: we all like to do business with people we trust and who clearly know what they’re doing, whether it’s financial planning, selling real estate, booking a holiday, looking after our health, or simply making good coffee!
Online technology has hijacked traditional marketing media and put the power to publish in the hands of every business owner – and letting potential customers know what you know is a great way to attract them to your brand.
What we’re seeing in this phenomenon of content marketing is essentially the latest incarnation of the Knowledge Economy at work – companies leveraging their ideas, expertise and information resources in new ways to build their business.
The problem for many businesses is that they don’t actually know what content to produce or share until they sit down and really think about it. Talk it through with your team or a professional content marketer, and ask customers to give you fresh perspectives and ideas. This could be the essential first step towards planning a successful strategy!
Writing simply for the sake of publishing has no value-add for your business.
Good content, on the other hand, builds credibility for you, your business and your brand. It attracts followers because it is useful. And the more followers, the more potential customers, content shares, conversations and referral business likely to come your way.
That’s why Content is still King – and the clichés will continue for some time to come!
If you need advice on creating and publishing quality content or monitoring its impact, contact us at any time and we’ll be happy to help.