I recently spoke for ten minutes about the value of content marketing at my local Working Breakfast group. I thought you might value from the information I shared so I’ve turned it into a blog post. I’d be interested to hear what you think in the comments.
Let’s get started.
Open up a notepad file and quickly note down in a numbered list the different methods you have to obtain new customers or clients for your business. Don’t write down anything that hasn’t actually resulted in getting you a client, only successful methods make the list. An example could be networking or your website, the important thing is the number. Off you go… don’t just scroll down, the exercise is important. Get to it…
All done? Great, we’ll come back to that later.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing is curating and creating valuable content that is of interest to your target market. If this is done consistently and to a high quality it will attract and retain customers and clients. Content marketing is lots of different things; blogs, social media, email campaigns, videos and more.
How does content marketing attract and retain customers and clients?
- The know, like and trust factor.
If you consistently publish valuable content on a regular basis in a targeted way, your ideal customer or client will see your business name over and over and over, which means they get to know you.
They read a blog from your website that gives tips on something relevant to your business and they start to like you and then they see you interacting with other businesses they know on social media and now they trust you.
Your brand becomes known to them, which means that they think of you first when they next need your service or product. If you are posting valuable content, for free, that makes sense; you will be considered a trusted expert in your field. People will want your services over other people in the same industry. If you had the choice between someone you’ve never heard of or someone that you see posting on different platforms regularly that provides, free relevant advice to you.. which would you choose?
Content marketing also brings traffic to your website. How does that work?
If you are a plumber and someone has an emergency, they might Google ‘Plumber Bristol’, but if you aren’t the kind of service that people would know to search for, then how will they find you and your website? You might spend lots of money on a beautiful website, but without links to drive people there, how will they get there? That’s the keyword – ‘links’. How do you achieve links back to your website?
If you create high-quality content (a blog, a video, or something else), then people will want to share it and then viewers will click through to your website. Doing this once will bring people to your website, but doing this consistently and regularly will do two things:
- Firstly it will send people directly to your website, where they get to know, like and trust you and potentially buy things from you, as we just mentioned.
- Secondly, all of these extra link shares on reputable websites tells Google that your website is worth visiting and because Google likes reputable websites, they will move you up in the search rankings, so that more people can find you. The more people going to your website, the more people see your services or products and therefore, the higher the chance of people buying your products or services.
Let’s think about that word for a second “People”. Content marketing, like any other type of marketing, is all about people. Communicating and building relationships.
- ‘It’s all in the follow up’.
That phrase ‘It’s all in the follow up’ has strong associations with in-person marketing, but the truth is, that ‘follow up’ spans all types of marketing. Following up is all about reminding people of who you and your business are and the services that you provide and content marketing does a very good job of that. Content marketing, teamed up with in person networking is a winning combination.
Let me tell you a story. ..
I attended a networking event not so long ago and there were two business coaches there. It’s not unusual to come to a networking event and find two people of the same industry, but it’s up to them to show you why you should work with them. After the meeting, they both sent follow up emails saying how great it was to meet me and pointing me to their services with links to various bits and pieces. Now I don’t need a business coach, I have a mentor from the Prince’s Trust, so I thought nothing of it and moved on.
One of the coaches proceeded to follow me on Twitter and connect with me on LinkedIn. (Always a good idea by the way!) He writes articles on his website and has a business page on LinkedIn which he shares content from, so every couple of days I would see him pop up in my newsfeed with articles and information, most of which wasn’t relevant to me, so I’d just keep scrolling. Despite the information not being relevant to me, I still saw his name and business name every time I scrolled past. A gentle reminder that he exists.
About a week later, he shared a short article that he had written for his business page about getting your finances in order for a small business. Now, I am a small business and I’m new to everything in the business world, I’m sure I’m not the first person to struggle with bookkeeping in the beginning. I’ve no problem with maths, but I’ve not had to do any accounts before so it’s new to me. Anyway, I read the article and commented to say how useful it was and thanked him on his feed.
In the following weeks, he kept popping up in my feed and other business owners I’ve met would comment on his articles saying how useful they’d been and at this point, I had started to see him on Twitter too. So when I was talking to someone who has recently started a business and clearly needed some help, who did I point them to? The person I met once at a networking meeting who followed up with an email, OR the business coach who followed up in the traditional way and then kept appearing everywhere I was online, demonstrating to me consistently that he knows his stuff, is happy to share his knowledge for free and is being endorsed by people that I know and trust all over social media? Safe to say, I went with the person who’d invested time and energy into content marketing.
Since then, I have spoken to him about this and mentioned his content marketing, to which he responded with two things.
- He hates social media but knows it’s important so he gets someone else to do it for him, he has a chat with his agency about article ideas for his blog and for LinkedIn and they go off and do it for him as well as his social media.
- He believes so much in the value of this that he has a deal with an agency whereby he purchases a number of packages at a time and then hands them over to his clients. As a business coach he advises them of the importance of having multiple marketing strategies running at once, but he cannot do it for them, he cannot teach them how to do it and honestly, he truly believes in the value of outsourcing. He has much more important things to be doing.
Wow, how much do I wish that I’d met him earlier? That I could be the one providing these packages to all of his clients?
Content marketing is a delicate balance.
It’s a delicate balance, posting on a regular basis, consistent quality content without putting people off. You wouldn’t go into a networking event and shout ‘buy from me, buy from me, buy from me’ neither would you sit in the corner and not talk to anyone. You have to build that know, like and trust factor, that drives traffic your website and follow up properly.
Now re-open your notepad file from the beginning and have a look at the different methods you have for attracting clients. How many do you have? 3, 4, 5? That business coach recommended having 10 active types of marketing at any one time.
Something else to consider is; what happens if your methods come to a stop? What if your networking group suddenly has to disband? What if your referral partner goes out of business?
Content marketing is something that can be going on in the background, quietly working on your behalf supporting your brand.
What we can do for you…
We hope that you’ve enjoyed the article above and that this has helped you to understand the value of content marketing for your business. If you would like to know more about content marketing or would like to see how your business can improve we offer personal consultations for your business. Additionally, if you would like to see how fully implemented content marketing would work for you, try out our comprehensive “Fully Managed Content Marketing Bundles”.
We would love to hear your thoughts on the article or if you have any questions regarding our services. Please comment below!