Like me, your inbox is probably full of emails from marketing consultants claiming to know the latest trends and future digital hotspots for 2016. A trend I’m seeing is the almost daily discussion on content marketing and its emergence as the tool for engaging your customers.
In the 80’s marketing plans were full of press ads, direct mail (shudder) and events.
The 90’s gave us broadband and an exponential leap in online activity and integrated marketing plans. Businesses were now able to reach customers through Press, TV, Radio, Online and any other clever medium that they thought of.
Y2K and the millennium bug did not bring the world crashing to its knees… Facebook’s global insurgence in 2006 however did cause a bit of a stir, woohoo we have social media.
Ericsson Mobility Report: 70 percent of world’s population using smartphones by 2020.
So it’s 2016 and the term content marketing may be a little overused. But what is it? Will it replace marketing plans, should it be part of your strategy and will it ultimately result in more sales and business growth?
The Content marketing institute say: Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
Well that’s cleared that up! Let’s delve a little further:
Does your company have a blog? It should be full of interesting, relevant news and articles about your industry. Blog posts can be short, long, whatever you wish. But above all, they should be relevant. Your readers, which are hopefully new and existing customers, want to hear about industry relevant news, not how you feel about the price of school shoes… unless you’re Clarks of course.
LinkedIn – Post updates, link them back to your website. You don’t need us to tell you it’s a great tool for the business world.
Twitter – Tweet not only with words, use images and videos. Plus share and like interesting content.
Facebook – Try and keep your business hat on and your private posts for your family page.
Youtube – Hooray for video, unique content on your channel is very cool. Video is the most liked and shared content on the internet too!
Pinterest – A fantastic tool for the creative industry to use visual boards. We’re not sure how relevant it will be for say service firms, but you could always give it a go!
Instagram – It’s on the up, but be careful with personal images.
Articles are a great place to start your content marketing. You can use them in your blog, on other websites, promote them on social media and even publish in industry journals.
The best strategy is to write new and unique content. You’re an innovator, a leader in your field. You got there by thinking outside of the box, by finding a gap and being clever enough to create a new business around it… use that skill in your writing.
Forbes call White Papers ‘The Holy Grail’ of content marketing. White papers do take time to compile. Research, analyse and report, the subject matter is your field, but whatever it is, make it detailed, current and above all else correct. This is not a place for personal opinion, quantifiable content is key.
So that’s it, get writing, tweeting and blogging. Your company has a brand voice and there are over three billion internet users waiting to hear all about it!
PS Read this article On Brand for a few tips on writing content.