You’ve heard a lot about content marketing, but what is it? Allée founder and CEO Melissa Harrison recently presented a webinar on content marketing to Minnesota Women in Marketing and Communication (MWMC). If you missed her presentation, no worries, we broke it down into a short, 6-question Q&A for you:
What is content marketing?
Content Marketing is creating customized content with a key audience in mind. It’s really about two-way conversation. It’s educating; it’s entertaining; it’s connecting. It’s about proving your worth and showcasing your brand/company/self as an expert. Ultimately, content marketing should move your audience to act in some way—whether that’s by leaving a comment, downloading your e-book, making a purchase or requesting your service.
Who should be using content marketing?
Everyone! It’s for everyone and it isn’t going anywhere. Whether it’s e-newsletters, social media, blogs, podcasts, infographics, E-books or whitepapers (and that’s just the electronic versions of content marketing), everyone should be working to establish their own content marketing plan.
Why should everyone be doing content marketing?
Your customers are not just looking for a sale and they’re not interested in your push marketing agenda. You need to show that you are real and create engaging content. Customers want to be heard. They want to know their opinions matter. They want to have a great experience with your brand and your products. Likewise, you need to be an expert on the services and products you provide to show your customers why they should trust you. Content marketing helps you do that.
What are three content marketing tips?
- Customers want real-time information—that means they are looking for it in their Twitter feed, on Facebook, Google+. If you aren’t giving them the content in the ways they want, they won’t see it. You need to find your audience where they already are.
- Another trend is to embrace your competition, let them know when you notice they created great content; collaboration can be beneficial.
- Last, know your limits and resources. If content marketing is something you want to embrace, know where your resources are. This may mean using current members of your team or outsourcing some of your content marketing pieces. It takes time and once you start, you need to be in it for the long haul.
There are so many brands out there on social media already. How do you make your brand stand out?
Know your audience and understand your niche. You can’t be everything to everyone—nor can you be everywhere and do it well (unless you have a massive-sized content management and social media team). Choose the platforms that make the most sense for your audience and stick to making those stand out. Ask your customers for feedback. Be real. Engage. Give them information that solves a need or problem.
What do you suggest for people just getting started with content marketing?
Think about your goals and objectives, establish priorities and develop a routine by using content calendars, social media conversation calendars and master editorial calendars. Set up a way to track your results—this is very important. Creating content takes time, though there are also great ways to repurpose content that can help when it comes to time management. Be patient. It won’t happen overnight.
When it comes to content marketing, we’re talking about being social, making your brand social. You need to think about what value you can add for your customers by socializing, but perhaps even more importantly, when your customers are engaged, they add value for you.
Do you have a technique that works well? Leave a comment, share it with us here.