The Power of Content Marketing Most People Miss

Content marketing isn’t new. The concept of creating and distributing valuable content for free as a way of attracting (and retaining) clients, has been around for years while other marketing fads come and go. It is a loyal friend that has stood the test of time, evolved with new technologies and consistently get good results for many businesses. 

Yet so many people I meet are either not aware of it, don’t understand the benefits or are not doing it ineffectively.

 Personally, I’m a great fan of adopting ethical marketing strategies I enjoy that put me in front of as many of my ideal clients as possible, with the least amount of effort and lowest cost. Particularly those strategies that keep me focused, are kind to my audience and help me attract clients naturally – so I don’t need to ‘sell’. 
 
Does any of that appeal to you?
 
That’s why I love content marketing. Ever since I discovered content marketing in 2008 it has been one of the main marketing strategies I’ve used to build my business. 
 
What is Content Marketing?
 
Here are a couple of definitions of you may find helpful:
 
Content marketing means creating and sharing valuable free content to attract and convert prospects into customers, and customers into repeat buyers. The type of content you share is closely related to what you sell; in other words, you’re educating people so that they know, like, and trust you enough to do business with you. Copyblogger.com 
 
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. The Content Marketing Institute
 
I see content marketing is a strategic blueprint that guides what free content I share (e.g. tips, insights, case studies, research findings), the formats I share this information (e.g. written blogs, videos, podcasts, interviews, reports, ebooks, infographics, quotes etc.) and how I distribute this content (e.g. on by email, social media or through joint venture partners).

10 Benefits of Content Marketing 

When you implement an effective content marketing strategy it unlocks all sorts of opportunities:

  1. New clients and business partners – naturally attract clients and partners who resonate with you, your values and your products/services. Content marketing gives people the opportunity to get to know, like and trust you which are key factors that influence whether people will buy from you, or want to work with you. Honeypots don’t need to ‘market’ to bees… 

  2. Generate more sales – following on from the above, producing valuable content on a regular and consistent basis will help leads, clients and partners remember how you can help when they are looking for what you offer. 

  3. Leverage your time and money – it’s often quicker to convert one piece of content into a range of formats e.g. a blog post, video, live-stream chat, audio, social media post, quote, image or infographic than it is to create lots of new content. 

  4. Increase your visibility – when you create your own quality content you’re likely to get more social media ‘shares’ and presenting content in a range of formats also means you’ll appeal to a wider range of consumers with differing preferences in terms of the type of content they like to consume.

  5. Monetise your knowledge – create content in this way is a good way to test what your audience is most interested in. This may then also lead to opportunities to re-package your content in a number of different ways such as paid books, ebooks, online courses, talks, and workshops. 

  6. Boost your credibility – assuming you’re publishing content your audience valuable distributing this widely this will build your authority and credibility in your field. 

  7. Increase your SEO ranking – when you consistently release good quality content that engages your audience (and is SEO optimised) this will help you rise up the rankings in Google search results. 

  8. Build relationships – when you share good content and encourage your audience to engage with you this will help build relationships with them.

  9. Have clients and partners approaching you  – you’re likely to have more people approach you who already know they want to buy from you or work with you. Instead of feeling like you’re seeking business you’ll be positioning yourself to attract the right opportunities. 

  10. Have an endless stream of marketing content – have you ever had writer’s block? Or been unsure what to share with your audience? When you embrace content marketing you’ll have plenty promotional material you can share as part of your marketing (e.g. in blogs, social media posts, emails or newsletters) so you connect, engage and reach more people.

When done well, all of the above will help you build a following, position yourself as an expert and to generate more income with less effort.

What is content marketing?

Here are a couple of definitions of you may find helpful:
 
Content marketing means creating and sharing valuable free content to attract and convert prospects into customers, and customers into repeat buyers. The type of content you share is closely related to what you sell; in other words, you’re educating people so that they know, like, and trust you enough to do business with you. Copyblogger.com 
 
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. The Content Marketing Institute http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/what-is-content-marketing/
 
I see content marketing is a strategic blueprint that guides what free content I share (e.g. tips, insights, case studies, research findings), the formats I share this information (e.g. written blogs, videos, podcasts, interviews, reports, ebooks, info graphics, quotes etc.) and how I distribute this content (e.g. on by email, social media or through joint venture partners).
 
Content marketing is a strategy that not only attracts business in itself it can help you be more effective in implementing other marketing strategies such as email marketing and social marketing. 

Factors that determine the success of your content marketing

Of course, you’ll only experience the above benefits if you’re savvy in the way you create and distribute your content. Here are some factors that will influence your success:
  • Your audience – what audience are you aiming to reach and help? If you want your content marketing efforts to attract clients or customers for your products/services, make sure you are clear about who your ideal audience is and share content that is aligned to this.

  • Relevance – to the needs of your audience. Once you’ve identified who your audience is, find out what they want so you can provide content that is valuable and relevant to them. For instance, you could share information they need to see or experience before deciding to buy from you. What content does your audience want? 

  • Quality – there is too much drivel and useless available on the internet already. Content marketing is about sharing what your audience want not simply what you want to share. Only share quality content that will add value to your customers rather than clogging up their inbox or social media feeds. 

  • Impact – what difference would you like your content marketing to make for your audience? For example, do you want to share information people can easily act upon or implement by themselves? Or to share content which gives a taster of how you can help them?

  • Consistency – people only buy from you when they know, like and trust you. Creating and sharing valuable content on a regular basis will help with this process. 

  • Profitable customer action – align your content to your paid products and services if you want to convert readers or followers into paying clients. 

  • Strategic Alignment – rather than producing random content have a plan to of what content to release, a sequence and timetable for sharing this, align to your business goals (e.g. to sell a particular product or service) and focus, and incorporate into other marketing strategies e.g. social media and email marketing.

  • Leverage – implementing a content marketing strategy can save you time and particularly if you decide to automate processes, distribute your content on an automated ongoing cycle or delegate certain aspects to others. 

  • Connection – in years past the mantra ‘content is king’ was a commonly quoted however many (including myself) believe that connection and engagement with your audience are just as important. There is no point in producing content if people don’t connect and resonate with what you’re saying. Sending out regular emails or blog posts can build relationships over time, however, these will be enhanced if you also offer ways in which you can interact with your followers. So rather than thinking of content marketing as a one-way communication also consider how you can interact and build relationships up with those who are digesting it. 

I’d love to hear your ideas and thoughts – please do share your comments below or get in touch if you have any questions. 

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Alisoun Mackenzie is The Compassionate Business Mentor, Author, and Speaker who inspires business owners and social entrepreneurs to turn their passions into profits and make a difference in the world. 

She is also the author of two Amazon Best Selling books Heartatude, The 9 Principles of Heart-Centered Success and Give to Profit: How to Grow Your Business by Supporting Charities Social Causes.

Alisoun is also the founder of The Heartabiz Hub a business network and training academy and has written the following free ebooks:

  • The 9 Secrets to Signing Up Clients Without Selling (click here)
  • 101 Ways To Attract Great Clients, With Heart, Integrity & Social Impact (click here)
  • 52 Ways to Raise Funds for Charities and Social Causes Through Your Business  (click here)

You can connect with Alisoun here:

  • Alisoun Mackenzie Facebook Fanpage (for tips on authentic living and business mastery) – click HERE
  • The Heartabiz Hub Facebook Fanpage (for details about our courses and events) – click HERE
  • Give To Profit Facebook Fanpage (tips on supporting charities and social causes) – click HERE
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