“Content marketing is the marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a defined and understood target audience — with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”
With the tools available to individuals and businesses of any size in New Zealand today, anybody can become a publisher of good quality information. Whether your target market is in Auckland, Wellington, Sydney or New York, you can reach anybody, anywhere, instantly – the trick is to make sure you’re interesting enough to warrant their attention.
- Create original content that is educational, informative or inspirational;
- Include longtail keywords and phrases in your content, but the quality of the message comes first;
- Publish those stories (e.g. video, blog articles and podcasts) in multiple places including on your website, guest blogs and the mainstream media;
- Promote that content using email, social media like Facebook and LinkedIn, as well as paid channels such as Outbrain, sponsored posts in the media and Facebook – even Google Adwords;
- Put in place an inbound strategy to capture the details of the visitors who come to your website. The most common way to do this is to offer something valuable, like an ‘industry report’ or ‘eGuide’.
- Set-up a separate landing page for each ‘content offer’ and a thank you page;
- Make sure all your blogs and social media posts have a call-to-action button that invites your visitors to download the high-value content;
- Market to the people who have opted-in by downloading your content. Make sure that everytime you contact those potential clients you are adding value using unique information and education.
If you’re wondering – “what is the aim of content marketing?” It is to turn strangers into customers by answering their questions and helping them solve problems or make better decisions with content that informs, inspires and educates. People are open and receptive to stories that put their needs first.
The rules of content marketing are to deliver information in a format that is helpful, rather than promotional; objective and interesting, rather than a one-sided sales pitch – via the buyer’s preferred media, whether audio, video, visual, text etc.
While owning a television station – like Red Bull – may be a stretch, the opportunity from content marketing is that it can be carried out at low cost, and achieve far better penetration than most traditional marketing channels because it is not intrusive and it empowers — rather than disempowers — people.
It is also the finest form of SEO there is.
The socialisation of media, even the growth in user-generated content, means that the degree of usefulness of the content is more important than the production quality (a platform that lets you make more use of the user-generated content is Livefyre).
People now think nothing of viewing video filmed on a small smartphone screen, so long as the information is valuable, relevant and useful – it needs to answer the questions customers are asking and solve the problems they experience.
Other tools and links you may want to investigate: HubSpot, YouTube, MailChimp, Libsyn for podcasts, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, content discovery platforms, traditional print newsletters, blogs and press release distribution wires, anybody can become a publisher.
Why does content marketing work?
The reason why content marketing is so effective is because it addresses the audience’s needs, problems and questions – in other words, it is about them; it is about things that are interesting and relevant to them.
The result is that your customers develop positive feelings and perceptions about you or your brand because you’re demonstrating that you understand them, that you care and that you are an expert worthy of trust.
Advertising, on the other hand, is more of a conversation about you and how good you are. Good advertising will discuss benefits, but most advertising doesn’t do that; most advertising says, ‘look at me’ and ‘spend your money with me’.
The problem with advertising is that people can, and do, avoid it. What’s the longest five seconds of your life? Waiting to click ‘Skip Ad’ on YouTube.
TV remotes, Ad blockers and built ‘mute’ buttons on browsers all help to kill the effectiveness of adverts – particularly the intrusive ones.
Advertising has its place, but it is not content marketing.