I'm passionate about Content Marketing, the practice of offering information to put yourself in front of your target audience so you can be seen as an expert resource. And I'm not the only one abuzz about this hot marketing trend.
Wikipedia defines content marketing as, "an umbrella term encompassing all marketing formats that involve the creation and sharing of content in order to engage current and potential consumer bases. Content marketing subscribes to the notion that delivering high-quality, relevant and valuable information to prospects and customers drives profitable consumer action. Content marketing has benefits in terms of retaining reader attention and improving brand loyalty."
The Content Marketing Institute says that, "Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience - with the objective of driving profitable customer action."
No matter who you ask, or how they define it, content, and the marketing thereof, is what sets you apart from your competitors. Say you and theotherguy both sell the same widget. If you post a PDF tutorial on how to use the widget, plus a video of 10 different ways to use the widget, and theotherguy doesn't...chances are good that customers will give you their business, because you helped them do something they already wanted to do.
More than likely, you're in whatever business or industry because you love it, and know a lot about it. Now is not a time to be stingy with that information. Share it. Offer it freely. Dole it out in great heaping mounds. Because when you do, your audience will start to see you as an expert resource. They'll know they can come to you with questions about how to use your products or services, and trust that you'll be able to respond knowledgeably, and with a fair amount of insider insight thrown in. When you can shorten someone's learning curve with your been-there-tried-that counsel, you've just saved them TIME, which is often worth more than price of the object.
The types of content marketing you can offer are limited only by your imagination and technology. This series of posts will highlight some ways to distribute content, including:
- White papers/"special reports"
- Social media: Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, et. al.
Be sure to chime in on the Comments section below with any questions you have about content marketing, and I'll try to cover them in future posts.