Content marketing is the creation and free distribution of value-based content to a group of willing recipients and potential buyers. This type of marketing puts the hard-sell advertising message on the back burner and provides the reader with valuable information that will either help them in some way or teach them something new.
A few key things to understand about content marketing:
1. It is permission based.
This can also be defined as opt-in. This means that the customer has given you permission to talk to them. Traditional media, such as TV and radio are not permission based. At Todaymade we call these efforts push marketing. Social networking and email marketing are both great examples of permission based marketing.
2. It is customer focused.
The number one question that is asked when preparing this type of marketing is: “will this provide my customers with something they need,” and not “will this sell my product.” This is fundamentally different from how we usually think, but is very important in content based marketing.
3. It is value driven.
Valuable content provides a clear answer to the question “what’s in it for my customer?” Value can come in the form of written training, video, a free report, an informational blog, a digital download like an ebook or an email course like our Facebook marketing training.
4. It follows the 1% rule.
Content marketing spends 99% of the time providing useful information and 1% of the time selling a useful product. Simple as that.
5. It is motivated by customer relationships.
Content marketing is not an in-and-out sales tool, it is an a long-term strategy used to build trust relationships with potential buyers. While at one point or another you will have to ask for a sale, your primary goal is to develop relationships and build trust.
5. It doesn’t happen overnight.
Relationships take time to develop and content marketing is the same way. It won’t happen overnight, so that makes this a long-term strategy that will also have long-term rewards.
When should I use content marketing?
More and more everyday the answer to this question is becoming: always. Social media has really changed the game here. Customers are more aware of your marketing spin than ever, so it is more important now than ever to start figuring out how to make this type of marketing happen for your business or organization.
Our Social Media Field Training workshops teach a content-based strategy from start to finish, but most of the topics are covered daily on our blog and in our podcast. It is worth your time to figure this out. Long term-relationships almost always guarantee long-term sales.