Photo credit: Foter.com
Welcome to Marketing Monday, where I give you tips and tricks for being your own content marketer.
Everyone knows at this point how important content marketing is to any marketing strategy, but not everyone knows exactly what it does. Some people seem to expect content marketing to be some sort of magic wand they can wave and bring in tons of customers, but it doesn’t work that way. Here’s what you can expect.
Build Brand Awareness
People like what they know, which means they’re more likely to buy from/do business with people and organizations with which they’re already familiar. With so many people and companies out there, why should anyone work with someone they’ve never heard of?
Content marketing can solve that problem by getting your brand in front of customers, and hopefully getting in front of them consistently. The more they see your brand, the more they’ll like it. If they don’t need your product/services right now, they’ll think of you when they do need them and they’ll be more likely to work with you because they already know you.
This is linked to building awareness. You need to show people, not only that you’re available, but that you know what you’re doing. That takes time. A few blog posts and a couple conversations on social media aren’t going to cut it. You need an active blog, current social media feeds, and you need to keep updating them. Telling people you know one thing is great. Coming back day after day (or week after week, or month after month) to continue the discussion about what’s happening in your industry is what it takes to convince people you’re an authority on the subject.
These days marketing is all about building relationships. It’s not enough for people to know what you do and how well you do it. They want to know about you as a person and they want to know you care about them as people.
Social media is great for this because it allows you to interact with your customers and partners in real time. This doesn’t mean you should spend all day on social media stalking potential customers, but you should be posting regularly and answering any questions or concerns they may have. Larger companies can afford to hire people, or even teams, to handle this aspect of their marketing. If you’re not at that point yet, but you’re getting some traction on your posts, set aside some time every day (it doesn’t have to be more than a few minutes) to see what people are talking about on social media. Then get back to work.
Email is also great for this. Not only can you get into your subscribers’ inbox, but they can respond if they have anything they want to ask you directly. And thanks to technology, emails can be personalized so you’re only sending each subscriber the news that most interests them.
Let it Grow
As hard as you might try to reach your ideal customers, you’re never going to reach all of them. But you might reach their mom or brother or cousin or roommate. When your customers do need you, they’ll tell the people close to them, and if those people have heard of you and all the awesome work you’re doing, they’ll pass on your name .
It won’t happen overnight, but by consistently showing up to demonstrate your knowledge, create shareable content, and distribute it online, people will respond.
The saying, “If you build it, they will come,” is true, but the saying, “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” is equally true. Be good. Be consistent. And keep building until they come to you.
Still have questions about content marketing? Let’s chat.