June 16, 2015
Content marketing is the new buzzword but, the truth is, we’ve been using content to market ourselves and our abilities since we were cave people proudly showing off our achievements on the wall of our local shelter. It was walls then, it’s walls now; albeit digital ones rather than stone ones. But if you’re going to use content to market yourself or your company, then there are four quick lessons to bear in mind.
Generating quality content is not about selling, it’s about educating and informing. So when it comes to your content marketing you need to remove any focus it might have to push your product or service. If you fail to do that, those interacting with the content will see through you straight away and perceive your attempt to inform as really being an attempt to sell. There is a fine line here and often it’s way too easy to fall over it.
Remove Your Brand from Your Content Marketing
People want to hear stories but they don’t want to hear stories about your brand. Your brand is NOT the focus; your customers are. It’s almost as bad as focusing on the ‘sale’ within the content; if you slap your brand all over anything you produce, people will switch off. That’s not to say you can’t mention your brand – you can. But it has to be subtle, easy-going and in tune with the general conversation. And that’s the key word – ‘conversation.’ You wouldn’t keep reminding people who you were if you were in a conversation with them, so don’t do it when trying to educate them.
Use Your Employees
Many people worry that they won’t have the skills or expertise to produce quality content to engage their consumers, or if they do, whether they have the time. Well, if you’re lucky enough to have employees, why not task them to support you? Perhaps one of things you want to do with content is product photos – well, a good quality DSLR isn’t expensive and many of them are simple to operate. Give one to a member of your staff, get them snapping and upload the results. Simple.
Nurture Your Community
They come to listen to you for a reason, so make sure you keep feeding them. The last thing you want to happen is for them to starve. Make sure your content marketing plan involves delivering suitable material to those who have already signed up, and isn’t only there to try and convert prospects.
Simon Dell is a former agency owner and managing director, and is now a freelance consultant under his own brand SimonDell.com. His goal is to help develop and implement strategic digital and creative marketing plans for clients delivering measurable results and fantastic ROI. He also writes for Fairfax Media, MYOB's business portal and frequently speaks at events and conferences around Australia.