Content marketing is one of those buzz words thrown around lately and there are so many definitions of what it actually means.
This creates confusion for small business owners who know this is something they should be embracing but really have no idea on how to get started.
That’s the purpose of this article.
What is content marketing?
There are thousands of definitions about what content marketing is and each is a little different. Just to add another one into the mix, here’s my definition.
Content marketing in it’s simplest form is communication. You are trying to share your core message with your ideal target audience in a way they receive it, understand it, appreciate it and get value from it.
I was fortunate enough to interview an incredible content marketer recently, Chris Marr who shared an amazing insight. He said:
“Content marketing isn’t a tactic. It’s what you do.”
What I love about what Chris shared here is that it really highlights the importance of our mindset and how we approach content marketing in our business. It’s not a tactic to getting sales, it’s about being helpful and serving our customers.
We do that through content marketing. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a tweet or a phone call or a live in-person interaction, it really is just communication and that’s why I like to think of it this way.
Just to build on that from strategy point of view, it’s about thinking of how we can build on that communication in a way that delivers an incredible experience before, during and long after our community (offline and online) become customers.
Often content marketing is though of as putting out blog posts, videos, podcasts and social media posts. It’s not to say that isn’t part of content marketing but those are more about ‘how we do it’ versus what it actually is.
Those are the tactics we use to communicate with our audience but content marketing in itself is so much more than that. It’s about really thinking about every communication you choose to have with your customers and optimising the experience for them in the very best way you can.
I truly hope that helps explain content marketing for you. So now we’ve got that down, let’s look at exactly why content marketing matters.
Why does content marketing matter?
When you start to look at content marketing from the perspective of communication, you can begin to see how important that it is in terms of the relationship you have with your audience.
(Side Note: I say audience versus customers because we need to strongly consider how important it is to be providing an amazing, helpful and valuable experience ‘before’ people are ready to become our customers )
If we had to break it down into a not-so-secret formula, it would look something like this:
- Content leads to conversation.
- Conversation leads to relationships.
- Relationships lead to results over time.
It’s a pretty simple formula but it works. It works because as cliche as it is to say, people do business with other people they know, like and trust. Creating helpful and valuable content makes that whole process a lot easier.
Content allows us to communicate with our customers and prospects on things they want to know and consume.
We have to use it to provide solutions to the problems they have and ultimately make their lives better because when you do that, people have a reason to care about you and what you do.
Through a process of delivering transparent value, they learn our value proposition and whether it’s something they buy into.
That’s what it all comes down too… the buy-in. The more emotionally invested people become, the more financially invested they will be too. You are creating trust through serving value vs. selling an idea.
We tend to overthink and over complicate certain things in business. Content marketing can be one of them. Please don’t let it.
I truly hope that you have found this post valuable.
Much love from my heart to yours.