Digital Marketing Trend #2: Content Marketing

Content Marketing is the bee’s knees these days, but with all you must do to run your business, you may not know exactly what it is, why you need it, and especially how to do it.

As always, I’ve got your marketing-lovin’ back.

What exactly IS Content Marketing?  To begin, it’s one of the Top 5 Digital Trends that I’m featuring this month.

 

 

WHAT IS CONTENT MARKETING?

Content Marketing is a type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online materials like videos, blogs and social media posts that does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in the business’s products or services.

Another way to say it is that Content Marketing is marketing in which creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content is designed to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience with the objective of driving profitable customer action.

These are very important words – Valuable, Relevant, and Consistent.  Chief among them is “valuable.”  Almost any form of advertising or marketing can (and should!) be relevant and consistent, but valuable is most important of all.  

IS IT VALUABLE?

It’s pretty easy to tell if the content you have in mind is the sort of thing that could be part of a content marketing campaign.  Do people seek it out?  Or do they seem to avoid reading/watching/listening to it?  If they search to find it and share it once found, you will know that you’re on target with an effective Content Marketing piece.  

Understanding this is critically important.  Once you really “get” it – you’ll find an endless number of content marketing examples and ideas for your business.

The goal is to provide as much Value from your Content Marketing to as much of your Target Audience as possible.

EXAMPLES

Now for some of my favorite examples:

Infographics – You’ve seen those long, vertical graphics that include statistics and charts or graphics and lists.  They’re called infographics and the more technical your product or service, or the more steps or tasks involved in understanding it – the more useful an infographic can be. In this day and age of marketing, people love to absorb information through scanning. A visual infographic gives a ton of information at a glance.

Webpages – Case studies and other engaging content can be an important part of a Content Marketing Campaign.  And don’t forget FAQs.  Change it up a bit!  One creative company created short, animated video answers to each of the questions in their FAQ.  In content marketing as in all things, creativity counts.

Blogs – When is a blog more than a B-O-B (Boring Old Blog)? When it is hosted on your website and repurposed on your social media channels including Facebook and LinkedIn.  And don’t forget to highlight your most interesting blogs in your email marketing newsletters.

Podcasts – Podcasts are unique because they offer visibility in a completely different world – like the enormous audience on iTunes.  And podcasts can be the “traditional” variety (just audio), or a blend of visuals with sound. Be aware that podcast companies can get you up and running quickly and make you look (and sound!) professional with a branded look.   Many also offer access to distribution channels and an established audience for even more reach.

Videos – Please do consider videos of every type and for every reason, including explainer videos, testimonials, product demonstrations and so much more.  If you are (as I am) a fan of video, tune in next week when we’ll focus on Video Marketing as one of the top five Digital Trends we’re focusing on this month.  

Books – Think books are relics from the Luddite age?  Au contraire!  I encourage you to think of selling books not just to sell books, but as extremely effective marketing tools. The Dicks Nanton Agency (dicksnanton.com) is a full-service author marketing agency that got their start with best-selling book marketing and it’s still one of their top services.  Clients include Brian Tracy, Jack Canfield (author of all those Chicken Soup books), and online marketing uber-success Lisa Sasevich among thousands of others.

Dicks Nanton assists clients in turning their books into best-sellers.  The Agency also founded the National Best Selling Authors Academy and members receive their “Quilly” award in a best-selling authors event similar to the Academy Awards.  And that’s just the beginning.  For months prior to the book hitting the charts, the agency helps them leverage the book and award into comprehensive marketing campaigns that consistently help businesses achieve double, triple, or even four-digit (think 1000%) growth!

AND SO MUCH MORE

Don’t see your favorite type of marketing content in this list?  The six types of Content Marketing above are just the beginning.  Are you an excellent public speaker who enjoys the thrill and feedback that can only come from a live audience?  With a well-crafted topic, your presentations could become the cornerstone of your Content Marketing campaign.

The same is true for ebooks, webinars, white papers, and mobile apps.  Almost anything can become the basis for a successful Content Marketing campaign when correctly implemented. Now, don’t get overwhelmed.  There are experts at almost every price range and in every field who are eager for you to tap into their expertise and resources, so that they can help you shine.  I encourage you to use them to your advantage!

Access your own skills, or your team’s talents, dig in or delegate, and choose a content platform to jump-start your own special brand of marketing content.

BENEFITS OF CONTENT MARKETING

Some of the very best benefits of Content Marketing:

  • The ability to sell effectively without being “salesy.”
  • Potential clients find your content before talking about specifics, and are already half-sold by the time they meet you to discuss details and cost.
  • If it’s interesting information for them, it will more likely be interesting for you to create.  And since you’re in this for the long-haul, this is an important consideration!

CONTENT MARKETING GEMS

As you can see, this is a very big and important topic.  To recap, the three qualities most important in Content Marketing are: Consistency, Relevance, and Value.  Here is a quick infographic to bring it home to you.

CONSISTENCY

An event is consistent when it happens in a predictable pattern and delivers what is expected.

In Marketing: Article or blog publication once/day/week/month, and email blasts, podcasts, or YouTube videos sent on a regular schedule with consistent branding and consistent quality of content.

Example:  A regularly-produced podcast, blog, or series of speaking engagements.

RELEVANCE

Relevance means that a thing is closely connected or appropriate to what is being done or considered.  It also means that it is appropriate to the time, period, or circumstances.

In Marketing: Any marketing piece that speaks directly and compellingly to the target market.

Example:  A viral video or infographic that

members of your target market find compelling enough to share with others.

 

VALUE

A thing is valuable when it is very useful and important.  Priceless.   

In Marketing: Any marketing piece that directly serves the target market in such a compelling way, that customers seek out this and similar information.  Customer immediately feels the benefit and believes they will experience long-term gain.

Example:  Any blog or article that the reader

found valuable enough to print and post on a wall, or “like” or “share” or better still “comment” on.  The information must be valued enough to inspire interaction.

 

Of these three essential qualities, VALUE is the most important in Content Marketing.  And there’s a simple way to know when the value is there – if your customer seeks out your articles, videos, blog posts, or Facebook posts, and if you hear “buzz” about your pieces from your target market in the form of likes and shares and comments, you are absolutely on target!

When it comes to Content Marketing – reach for the Moon!

What is your favorite type of Content Marketing?  What successes (or challenges) have you had implementing it?  Sharing your experience can help those who are new to the topic.  

Tune in next time when we talk about Video Marketing.  That’s the next topic in our five-part series about Digital Marketing Trends.

Can’t wait…  

About LynAnn King
Marketing Strategist with KingSings PR
Certified Solution Provider with Constant Contact

LynAnn King
Marketing Visionary, Strategist, Publicist & Entertainer
Phone: (650) 550-0090 | www.KingSingsPR.com
Email: lynannking@kingsingspr.com

LynAnn King partners with successful small businesses and empowers entrepreneurs to deliver compelling marketing communications, special events promotions and media campaigns. She brings her visionary leadership in rolling out creative marketing campaigns that create visibility and media coverage. Her clients partner with KingSings PR as their marketing and publicity expert.

Having honed business-based skills in the high-tech industry of Silicon Valley, she holds a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing from San Francisco State University. Sometimes called the Bay Area chanteuse for her many singing/nightclub performances, King says it is her public relations agency and marketing company she founded that really gives her perfect pitch.

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