Content Marketing 101
NEWS FLASH! Traditional marketing techniques no longer work. Business growth relies on innovation, planning and shared experience. Shared experience happens in the form of storytelling. It’s the oldest way in which humans connect. Enter the realm of Content Marketing!
Now, with the onset of powerful technology, small businesses can use storytelling – in the form of content marketing and creative writing – to catapult their business growth.
Thinking like a publisher
More than any other time in history, humans are hungry for content. We’re gobbling up blogs, online articles, memes, infographics, how-to video tutorials – and the latest trend: podcasts quicker than the business owner can create them.
To ignite your business growth, begin to think like a publisher. Think about the content you produce and how you share your customer touch points. You most likely have a website, is your content valuable to your customer? Is it useful? Do you update content on a bi-weekly basis? Does it have an aestetic graphic design?
Thinking like a publisher will let you view your content and see its aggregated effect. Your content compounds in the mind of your current and prospective customers to tell an overarching story. Content across digital channels has a lasting footprint. This content, over a short timeframe, can either build up or erodes your brand equity.
Ask yourself the following questions.
• What type of personality does my business have?
• What does my business do?
• What values does my business project?
• Who/what do does my business support/encourage?
Act like a journalist
To act like a journalist, you tap into an unbiased curiosity. Thinking like a journalist means finding answers to questions that resonate with your customers. This makes good business practice. A good business sense translates to good business strategy. Good business strategy invites business growth.
Growth is good.
Ask these questions to get to the heart of good stories.
• What is the other side of this story?
• Have I looked at all angles?
• Have I fact checked? Have I edited? Is my content correct?
Be an ethical public relations practitioner
The discipline of public relations is often seen in a negative light. Enter PR practitioners get to the heart of the business story; they see the central nugget of meaning that will resonate with customers and know how to tease it out. Many content writers are in fact PR practitioners.
• How do I listen to online conversations my customers are having?
• How do I facilitate meaningful communications?
• How do I maintain healthy relationships with my customers, suppliers and the media?
The answers to all of the above questions create your business blueprint for marketing and content writing. But not all business owners know how to create content that engages. And content writing takes time to create and to distribute. It’s not only about output; it’s also about evaluating content for ROI, SEO and customer engagement. Each piece of content should stand on its own merit. Content shouldn’t be created for the sake of it. Reporting on your monthly content writing is recommended.