Ahhh the Internet – the greatest time saving invention that was ever added to our to-do lists.
Online marketing, in-bound marketing, social media strategy, blogging, SEO – it sounds like a bunch of jargon that ultimately adds up to more things you don’t fully understand, yet feel obliged to do anyway – right?
But content marketing is quite simply taking the knowledge and expertise you have in your business and turning it into content that is attractive to prospective clients.
Content marketing has been one of the biggest psychological changes to the way businesses find new clients – give to attract, and not sell sell sell. But while audiences are rapidly becoming very sophisticated in their expectations of what businesses should offer as content- business owners themselves are like learner drivers at the wheel of a Ferrari – they know the power is there, but they have very little idea how to use it.
By understanding the how the relationship economy works and building a strategy that is relevant to your business AND 100% focused on helping your potential clients meet their needs, you can start to create a content-first strategy that finally makes good use of the power of the (predominantly free) online tools at your disposal.
The beauty of a content-first strategy is when it is done well, the beast feeds you, rather than you constantly feeding the beast. By creating the right content and publishing it in the right places, you start to see the right people looking for you, connecting with you and building relationships with you.
A content-first strategy starts with 3 foundation elements. The stronger and more detailed these 3 elements are, the more robust your strategy will be.
1) Who are you?
What is your business personality? Who you are helps you create a unique voice and style for your content strategy. A great example of a strong business personality is MailChimp.
2) Why create content at all?
Why are you blogging for your business? SEO? Marketing? Brand awareness? Because everyone says we should? Your blog needs a focus so you can measure what is working so you can constantly refine your content strategy.
3) Who are you doing this for?
This is the most important question to answer. It is no longer good enough to create products and services and hope that someone might be interested. You need to know precisely who needs what you have. Who will this help, who desires it, and who can afford it – the more precisely you are able to define individuals with problems you can solve, the more relevant your content will be.
These three elements create the foundation of all the content you will create. The purpose of this content is not to sell a product or service. The purpose of this content is to build relationships with people who like you and want what you have. Great content will draw more visitors to your site, and help you find people who really like what you have.