By Emma Johnstone
So content marketing … is it just the new online buzzword? It feels like it’s fast becoming a superfood of the marketing world and everyone who is anyone is having a dabble. Get online they say, it will be worth it they say. But what happens once you’ve launched your website, set up your social media accounts and picked your all time favourite photo filter? It’s all very well having an extensive online presence but the world wide web is a fairly crowded space.
How do you make sure that once you start talking, people out there are actually listening and even better engaging?
Stop the sell
It’s no secret that consumers are more marketing savvy then ever, able to spot a hard sell at 20 paces. And you can be pretty sure they’ll be running for the hills and hitting the unsubscribe button if a business starts an online conversation simply to tell them just how marvellous they are. The philosophy behind content marketing is simple; stop the hard sell and add some value. Content marketing is all about making your target consumer more informed, smarter and better off for having interacted with your business … without so much as a whisper of a product or service you’re selling.
We get that your business expertise can also be your currency but don’t be afraid to give a little away for free. Share some tips, industry insights or relevant cheat sheets that your target consumer will be genuinely grateful for. For example, if you’re a family photographer, impart some little pearls of wisdom on how to master the perfect shot at home – from best time of day and most flattering angles to mastering the timer and clever tricks on how to get your little cherubs to look at the camera. Does that mean your target market is going to then take the photography world by storm armed with their family SLR? Unlikely. What you’ve done is started a relationship, gaining trust from your target consumer that you know what you’re talking about and enriching their lives without any money changing hands. Next time Great Uncle Bob is in town, you may just be top of the list to capture it.
The ultimate aim of content marketing is to attract and retain consumers through the building of quality relationships. This is no online fling; you’re entering into a committed relationship that needs to stand the test of time. Schedule some ‘quality time’ with your content marketing – if you’ve committed to blogging monthly or posting everyday then do it. And the clue really is in the title – it’s all about the content. Get quality, well-researched and relevant content out there and you and your consumers are likely to go the distance.
So is content marketing just a buzzword? I don’t think so. As a marketer, It’s pretty darn exciting to have another opportunity to engage meaningfully with target consumers; but the key is to do it well – not just to tick a box. By creating an online footprint of valuable and relevant information, articles and resources, a business can expect increased visibility, deeper brand engagement and ongoing brand loyalty … and there’s nothing faddy about that.