For quite a while now everyone – O.K. not everyone but most people have been saying that “traditional methods of marketing are out and content marketing is in.”
If you ever want to confuse the heck out of people especially newcomers, tell them this and watch their faces. On second thoughts maybe you should be kind and break it to them gently!
Before delving into the mystery of what is content marketing lets understand why people would be saying that traditional methods of marketing are out.
By the way I don’t agree that all traditional marketing methods are not working and in fact when it comes to certain forms of marketing such as email marketing, personal interactions and website SEO, they are very high on the list in creating a good success rate for any business
The downside to traditional marketing these days? ..when it comes to advertising such as banner advertising, print advertising , the fact is they are not nearly as effective as they once were. Why? To my way of thinking the people on the internet are a lot smarter now. In effect they have grown up and we are now living in a consumer based world – offline as well as online . People can do their own research on different products and services and they don’t like being “pushed” into anything – on the other hand they do appreciate being informed.
Funny thing, when I first heard the term content marketing, I had no clue about the meaning, never mind the understanding of its importance. I can say in all honesty that the term really made no sense as I was used to understanding that marketing meant selling and the word content had me thinking about chapters in a book that after reading left me with content… very strange indeed!
I have a feeling that many people had issues with the meaning of this new/ not so new phrase also.
A factoid Moment
1.In 1999, author Jeff Cannon wrote,“In content marketing, content is created to provide consumers with the information they seek”
2. Seth Godin stated in 2008 that ‘content marketing was the only marketing left”.
Many people have had their own definitions of “content” such as Rufus Dogg ( don’t let the name fool you) when he said ” words,photos video,sound” or then there is Jason Connell who said ” Relevant information – whether it be written or auditory or visual that someone wants to digest, and dissect and experience.”
A while back I had read a post by Lee Odden on the TopRank blog where he also had been curious about what is content? Learn 40+ definitions (and where I found out about Rufus as well as Jason). If you were smart and took the time to read all of these people’s definitions, do you see the same or similar theme in what people are saying?
I sure did! I kept seeing words such as information, communication, useful, easy to consume, relevant, engagement, educate, build trust and for the first time I really got a sense of what content can mean when on social networks, blogging or hmmm marketing.
Is it really that hard to do content marketing? Well I have heard from people that you have to create great..better than great content to become a “master of content marketing” and for this method of marketing to be successful , well that might be true, then again I have met some very cool people who write content that informs, educates and all the other terms I had mentioned before and they are not out to write a best seller every day of the week. I guess the adage what you put in will is what you will get out is the moral of the story on your own definition of great content
I think the real trick to content marketing is making sure that you are being relevant in your information to your target audience. When you communicate “with” your customers and share useful information with your pre customers then you will find that content marketing can be profitable as well as a satisfying way to market.
For me personally I love the idea of not having to pitch to anyone and I love the idea of sharing information that will hopefully help others.
If you are having problems coming up with ideas for content marketing here are a few ideas for you – 10 of them
~ Create a beginner’s guide with helpful, doable information and tips.
~ Review a recent book that would be relevant to your audience.
~ Compile Top 10 resource lists for your niche: Top 10 blogs; top 10 companies; top 10 tools, etc.
~ Ask your readers to submit a story of their experience with your product or service.
~ Think of lessons you learned the hard way and share with those who are just starting out
~ Give reasons why someone should or should not follow a certain tactic or strategy.
~ Create quizzes and interactive lessons and then post a walk through of how to arrive at the correct answer.
~ Give advice for a hypothetical client or user.
~ Share customer testimonials.
~ Gather content that shows the best examples of what people should be striving for.
If you are still having problems coming up with ideas for your content marketing strategies, I highly recommend this resource for you to bookmark.
It is titled Content marketing ideas: five key tools and one killer tip. It was written by Chris Lake and I have to say WOW! As some of you might know I love finding tools that are useful and the ones that Chris shares have me drooling I loved the last line of his post that I hope he doesn’t mind me repeating –
Mine the gaps! Use the tools! Prioritize your ideas! Create!
Now that my friends is content marketing!