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You've probably heard all the buzz about content marketing, yet may still be wondering what, exactly, it is.
Here's the answer:
Content marketing is simply the new form of marketing that uses informative content, rather than blatant sales pitches, to attract potential customers.
Instead of proverbially bashing people over the head with whatever you're trying to sell, content marketing entices them to come to you to learn more about your product, services, and brand.
So, how the heck do you do that?
1. Create a two-way conversation.
Old-school advertising was pretty much a one-way street with the company doing all the talking. Content marketing turns it into a two-way conversation by actively engaging the audience. Do this by encouraging comments on your blog posts (like this one!) and social media sites, holding contests, announcing discounts and sales, or otherwise reaching out to your audience for input.
2. Keep up your end of the bargain.
Asking for audience participation is good, but it's not so good if you do nothing with the information you gleaned. Reply to audience comments; respond to their requests and needs. Perhaps a certain aspect of your website keeps getting the same complaint. Hold up your end of the conversation by acknowledging the issue and perhaps even tweaking whatever's wrong to better fill people's needs.
3. Make it easy to find you.
Of course, you won't have any conversations at all if people can't find you. In addition to a user-friendly company website, you should set up a blog and accounts on your chosen social media platforms that all easily link back to your website. When you share a blog post or add new information to your website, share the link across your social media channels.
* We practice what we preach! Check out our Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn profiles to see how we put this into action! *
You don't have to go nuts and join every single social media platform out there. Instead, focus on the ones where your target audience is most likely to tread. Learn more by analyzing the social media habits of your target demographic, then go where those folks go.
4. Fuel your audience with quality content.
Keeping your audience engaged means keeping up a steady flow of quality content. Again, you don't have to go nuts trying to post something new and exciting every five minutes, but you do want to add fuel to your content marketing fire with fresh, helpful content on a regular basis.
Note the keyword "quality" here. Provide content that's polished, informative, compelling, and even entertaining. While text may make up a good chunk of your content, also take advantage of the power of pictures and videos. Include them in related posts, or let them fly solo if they say all they need to say on their own.
Since people are none too fond of reading the same stuff again and again, make sure you cover a variety of different topics that are relevant to your audience.
5. Don't bombard your audience.
Bombarding your audience can consist of that aforementioned strategy of beating them over the head to "buy, buy, buy" with every post you create. But it can also include posting at such a rapid and fanatical rate that your audience has no time to absorb, respond, or even breathe.
More is not necessarily better, especially if the more is of poor quality. (Again, note the keyword "quality" here.) Over-posting can not only mar your reputation as a professional, but it can backfire in a big way.
Instead of being attracted to your company, you may instead find your audience fleeing in droves, leaving you with no one left to talk to but yourself. And that's no fun.
Mastering the art of attraction is just one aspect of content marketing, but it's one of the most essential for eventual success.
If you need a bit of advice on how to attract customers to your company, send me a quick email or give me a call - 847.882.4020 Ext: 133.
If you know someone who would find this post helpful send it to them using the link below.
Have a safe weekend, everyone!
Peter "The Printer" Lineal
2160 Stonington Avenue
Hoffman Estates, IL 60169
Ph: 847.882.4020 Ext: 133
Printing, Marketing & Promotional Products with Powerful Execution.