Content marketing. It’s one of the more hyped about buzz words nowadays, and is batted about in small business guides and network meetings everywhere. But what exactly is content marketing, and why do you need it? Simply put, content is words – and marketing is selling something. So in essence, content marketing is using words to sell your product or service. Put that way it’s fairly boring – when in reality, it’s somewhat exciting.
Where is that content?
Content marketing can be used on your website, in your blog or on your Facebook page – or in a combination of everything. For example, if you’ve written a new article for your blog, you can mention it on your Twitter account, post the link to your website and add a summary of it on your Facebook page. The more ways that you get the word out, the more chances you have of someone reading it – and the better chance you have of impelling someone to contact you.
No more sell, sell, sell
The days of hard sells and used car salesmen techniques have come and gone. Customers don’t want to be pushed – they want to be enticed. No one likes going to a used car lot to be told, “Do I have the perfect car for you!” Because in fact – they do not. How would they know what you’re looking for? Just because you have your three-year-old son in tow doesn’t mean that you automatically need an SUV – what if you are starting your own horse transportation business and need a fully loaded truck to carry the trailer?
Solving the problem — service
It’s all about what the customer needs – not what you want to sell them. The easiest way to advertise – and the most productive – is to target what the customer’s problem or dilemma is – and how you can solve it. This works for any sort of business – service related or product related. For example, our new horse transportation business owner – her client’s problems are fairly simple. They need a horse moved. But what if we made the advertising more specific than that? Say, our “cowgirl” was an expert at natural horsemanship – and could get even the most ornery horse to trailer well. We then have our angle – troublesome horses that need to be moved.
What can I sell you today?
The same idea works for products as well. Restaurants – “Hungry? We’ll feed you!” But again, we can go into more depth than that – say that you own the one and only Persian restaurant in town – your “angle” would be a new experience, a cuisine that’s delicious but different. Another product example is a bookstore – say you specialized in ordering in books, so that customers would always find the book that they want. The idea is to have content that uses your business’s strengths to an advantage – and sells them in every way possible.
Get your fresh content today!
No matter if we’re talking about a blog, the content on your website or your newest Facebook post – just like that coffee you’re drinking, fresh is better. Your clients will like it (who wants to go to your Facebook page or website to continually find the same old content?) and so will Google. In fact, Google will boost the search engine rankings for pages and blogs with fresh content over stale content every day.
Relevant content – it’s key!
But fresh content aside, keep in mind that content needs to be relevant. This doesn’t mean that you cannot post on your blog about the events and happenings in your town – it just means that you have to tie in your business to that event. Our cowgirl could post about the horse show in town next month – and mention that she’s available to haul for the week beforehand. Our Persian restaurant can take the same event and provide coupons to attendees – it’s all about perking the interest of your readers, and keeping it there.
Keyword stuffing – a no-no!
Long, long ago, keywords were the be all to end all in SEO. Now you say keyword, and many SEO experts will grimace. Keywords are important – yes. But unfortunately computers do not purchase your products or services, actual real people do – so you need to write your content for a reader’s eye, with a few keywords thrown in to ensure you’re found on the search engines. Want to know if you’re content is too keyword heavy? Have someone else read it, see if they can figure out what your targeted keywords are – they shouldn’t be able to pick it up right away. When inserting keywords into your copy, add them naturally – not just plunk them wherever they might fit. It shows—and it turns off many a reader if your writing is disjointed.