"You can't buy attention, you have to earn it.The little smart business is going to be able to out run and our compete and out run the big dump business." Sonia Simone, Copyblogger.
Content marketing is build on the idea of creating great content as a method of pull marketing. That is; to pull people to your product or service. However, the question around is it worth the time, effort and creative energy to create this content in its many varied forms?
Well to answer this question Copyblogger Sonia Simone wrote a great blog and also did a podcast. Let me summarise her take and mine on this topical subject.
I guess my take is is content marketing worth it compared to what?
Compared to spending money on print advertising, the yellow pages, trying to trick google, groupon,signage I say yes. Simone explains this "buy or die" hit and miss approach of sending people to a sales page is less and less effective. The ad world have recognised this and now ads are sending people are back to a content experience like email responders so that customer get a greater taste of you before they buy. "No body owes you any attention".
It is worth it because it allows you to "call your own shots" as Sonia explains. It allows you to do your own lead generation and more important to build your own reputation by pulling your ideal customers to you by creating really valuable content that means something to your audience.
It doesn't matter what business you are in. Coaching, consulting, technology, bricks and mortar store, hairdresser, architects, real estate and any small business this is a great way to do your own marketing to build your business. Especially for new businesses with out that referral business, there is one big problem. You need to create awareness!
Content marketing is one aspect of marketing. It is just getting started. Make no mistake it is a hard work. You need to create content that is high value. This takes creative insight and listening and customer understanding. Your content strategy needs to be consistent. After all you are building a following of people that like, know and trust you. However, what could be better than that? People who want to listen. An okay it is time consuming, but as a small business you can make a lot of profit from a content strategy that is well done. The costs can be very low if you are doing the content yourself, however even outsourcing some of the copy creation can still be a very profitable model.
Content Marketing System
Create compelling content to attract customers to you.
It is easier for a small business to be creative, think on our feet, be responsive to our customers. This is our time to take on big business. Our customers want it. They don't want to be interrupted, they want to be educated, to be entertained and have real relationships. Content Marketing allows you to do this. The content mediums have exploded. u-tube, blog, articles, podcasting, webinars, email marketing etc. Choose the medium that works for you and your audience but I would start with a blog. Keep your audience in mind, keep your focus clear and write in an education, informative and entertaining way. By being out there and capturing the audience attention with your relevant content you will be the "go to" broker, architect, graphic designer, garden or dentist in your community! There is a new way of doing marketing and if you choose to you can take your cost of marketing down by doing content/ online marketing. You can get people in the door without spending all of your profit on expensive marketing campaigns like you might have done 5, 10 years ago.
"The days when businesses could get our attention by paying for it, that clock is ticking." Sonia Simone
Use these communication tools. It is run on communication, engagement creative and customer insight. As small businesses we have better access to our customers, we can be nibble and lean and we generally know what our customers want. By providing some insights and learning we can really make that marriage between our ideal customer and our service or product a logical choice. Still not convinced? Well I have spent less than $200 on advertising and my content strategy has me run off my feet with clients. It can work for you too!