First of all, what is content marketing?
The way I can best define content marketing is the art of communication with your audience without trying to sell anything. What a marketer is trying to do here is educating the audience, you are delivering information that increases the intelligence of the receiver.
A logical question is what do you get in return for this effort? well, I am sure that this strategie works due to the fact that I believe in rewarding those who put effort in you. Is is not a fact that customers like it when they get special attention or are offered special services. The main goal is to gain business and loyalty by delivering, consistent, ongoing valuable information to buyers.
Content marketing is being used by some of the biggest marketing organizations around the globe, think of IBM, American Express, Coca Cola and Philips and becomes now more important than it was before. Where ten years customers would still fall for a simple sales pitch the audience now expects honesty, due to the rise of the internet it gets harder and harder to judge which messages are reliable and which aren’t and due to the amount of scams that have been covered in the news the audience is also more warned than ever.
The thing that makes content marketing different from other marketing techniques is that it is relevant and valuable.
Click here for a brief overview of the histor of content marketing.
Below you will find a step by step plan in which I will discuss the important things to keep in mind when applying content marketing!
1. Be honest:
In the world of sales there are a lot of lies being told everyday, I myself used to work for a call centre and noticed after a while that my boss liked me a whole lot more when I accidently ‘forgot’ to tell potential customers how to unsubscribe from our services. With content marketing it is different, present the product as it really is, use customer reviews, tutorials and show how the product really works, so no conventional lies.
2. Use data:
To make your story more credible always use data, not only tell the audience how something works or how well it works but also tell the audience why you think a customer should want to buy it.
3. Be professional:
There are a lot of factors for people to decide whether or not they do or do not dislike information that is presented to them. It is up to you to reduce these factors as much as you can. Present your information well organized, designed and well written, if you lack in any of these it can have negative results for your business, customers may judge your company as unreliable or unprofessional.
4. Multiple perspectives:
Don’t be afraid to discuss multiple points of view, if you are trying to sell only one the customer will find out and will hear the other perspectives from third parties. This makes your brand unreliable. Be transparant and honest and you will see the customer will reward you for it.
5. Hidden Agenda:
Always be clear on what is the reason for someones point of view. Who is the interviewee(e.g. ompetitor or investor). what are his or her goals and thus what are they really saying.
6. No mumbojumbo:
what bothers a lot of customers is complex and difficult information, it is your task to speak in a language they understand, assume the reader is not yet informed about the topic or anything related to it but don’t assume the reader is unintelligent. Inform the audience about the simplest things but make sure you don’t give them the feeling of being stupid.
7. Creative ad:
We can say that today we live in a virtual world where people may expect someting of your ads. Millions of people are exposed to millions and millions of ads on a daily basis, make sure that your message consists out of visual elements as well to make it stand out from the rest.
8. Measure your results:
This counts for all kind of marketing campaigns you launch, measure the results, check if your efforts are paying of and if not use these results to to improve your game.