Content marketing… oh no, not another thing to spend time and money on?
Don’t panic! Content marketing is nothing new. It’s simply information which is of use to your customer/client/stakeholder/prospect/peer. In fact, whoever you have identified as being important to your business. No matter what your business model, these people are your VIPs. They’re your business’s past, present and future – so making yourself useful and opening up the lines of communication with them is so important!
“Acquiring a new customer is anything from five to 25 more expensive than retaining an existing one. Don’t spend time and resources going out and finding a new client — just keep the one you have happy.”
Harvard Business Review: The Value of Keeping the Right Customers
It’s likely that you’ve been producing some form of content marketing since Day One – without even realising that it had a special name. Panic over.
Is content marketing just another buzz word?
In some ways – yes it is. As we’ve said, the idea of content marketing is nothing new. What is new, is the fact that today there are lots and lots of different types of content that you can create for your VIPs. From podcasts and infographics, blogs and vlogs through to the more traditional email marketing, brochures and websites – it’s all content. If you spend time and money on producing any of these things, you want to make sure that it reaches all of your VIPs, don’t you?
Quality over quantity, every time!
Before you get carried away writing, blogging, filming, recording your every breathing moment, there’s a really big lesson to learn here about what useful content is. If you want to be sure that your content is useful, don’t do any of these things:
1. Useful content is not about making noise!
If you’re constantly churning out something that sounds like ‘blah, blah, blah’ there will be only one outcome – shutdown. Your phone calls will not be returned and your unsubscribe button will get a good work out.
2. Don’t talk about yourself all the time
No one likes to be bombarded a sales pitch day in, day out. Where’s the value in that?
3. Don’t bother if it’s not relevant.
You need to show your VIPs the value, otherwise they will feel like you’re wasting their time.
Shout it from the rooftops, or maybe Twitter and Facebook if you suffer from vertigo!
Brilliant, you’ve prepared something useful that your VIPs are going to love, so how do you get it to them? The main thing to remember here is to make sure that you share your content across all of your different channels. You’ve crafted a fantastically useful blog? Excellent. Make sure you give it a plug it on your website and all of your social media channels, drop it into your email newsletter, and add a link to your email footer. Drop it here, there and everywhere! Don’t worry about banging your drum too loudly – remember, this information is highly useful to your VIPs – they will want to hear about it.
Don’t be shy – if you want something, ask for it
One other tip, if you’ve written something shareable, ask your VIPs to share it! Your content will travel even further, and in doing so, so will your reputation as a producer of useful information – reaching those all-important eyeballs of future potential VIPs. Ready? Let’s get creating some new content marketing!
Not sure where to begin? There’s good news here! The list of things that you can create for your content marketing is endless! (A little nudge and a wink here as we share the secret that this blog that you’re reading right now is a piece of content marketing!)
So what are your other options?
- Case studies – write about the experience of your current VIPs, tell their story and the role that your organisation played – we do this in our case study pages.
- Blogs – stuck for ideas? A quick re-write and update of an old blog will save you time, and still be useful to your VIPs.
- Data and statistics – whether you’ve sourced the data yourself, or you can provide comment on some new research, everyone loves a bit of number crunching.
- How to/a guide to… – got some expertise to share? It can be on something niche or mainstream, so long as it’s useful, it’s worth sharing.
If you’re still stuck for ideas – take a peek at your competitors and see if that helps you generate your own ideas.
Freddie Star ate my hamster and the issue with short attention spans
You’ve got only 37 seconds – go! According to NewsCred’s data, the medium time that people devote to reading an article is less than a minute before they get distracted and leave. Multi-tasking, and sensory overload has led to laziness. So what can you do? Hopefully we’ve achieved it here! See the numerous sub titles and attention-grabbing headlines, they’re designed to keep you going right to the end of the article. We have it on good authority, that good, compelling content can beat this 37 second barrier.
Time to give your email marketing the kiss of life
Need to talk to a big group of your VIPs, at a low cost and in a way that shows them how much you know about them? Then make sure you keep using email marketing as a core way to deliver your content marketing. It might no longer the new kid on the block but it’s certainly not worthy of an obituary yet.
“Every $1 spent, email gives back a whopping $38 in ROI, and offers the broadest reach.” CampaignMonitor
Keystone’s 3 golden rules for becoming a content marketing pro
1. Don’t be the annoying self-centred friend
No one wants a friend that only talks about themselves! So don’t just talk about products and sales to your VIPs. Remember, the content has to be useful. Show your VIPs that you care, that you understand their issues and you can help solve their problems – everyone wants a friend that can empathise and help!
2. Don’t take a vegetarian to a steakhouse for dinner
The content that you produce must always match the type of VIPs that you’re talking to. You want them to engage with this content, so don’t produce a sleep-inducing 15 minute how-to podcast if your VIPs are bright young things used to self-educating from snappy 1 minute YouTube videos.
3. You need to keep looking back in order to move forwards
It will take time, but by keeping on top of what content is loved by your VIPs and what isn’t (track, measure, analyse and REPEAT), you’ll soon be able to fine tune your content marketing. Your VIPs will thank you for it, and you’ll feel like the Content King of Your Castle as you will know that you’re allocating your resources in the best area and getting the biggest return on your spend.
If you’d like help from Keystone to take your business’ content marketing to the next level – get in touch!
More juicy statistics
If you’re still craving more proof about the value of content marketing, check out this article looking at 10 statistics that proves its value.