Content marketing isn’t about you. Or your company. Or your products. Or your services. It. Is. NOT. About. You.
The traditional view of marketing is essentially preliminary sales. This concept is evidenced by the many permutations of the standard sales funnel, i.e. Marketing (influencing/lead generation) > Sales (prospects/evaluation) > Customer. Which was great when audiences trusted sales people. It was even fine when audiences trusted marketing. But nowadays the law of the land is “guilty until proven innocent.”
To build and maintain relationships that garner reliability and reputation your marketing strategy needs to put the focus on your target audience. And you do this by converting your marketing strategy from outbound promotions to inbound nurturing – utilizing content marketing.
…that is NOT A SALES PITCH!
71 percent of business executives said sales pitches in a blog puts them off.
While 74 percent of consumers say they trust branded educational content, that number drops to 45 percent when a blog includes a sales pitch.
96 percent of visitors to company websites are not ready to make a purchase.
But I Already Have a Blog
Yep. I bet it talks a lot about your products and services, too. Or exclusively about topics that are considered to be in your company’s “wheel house.” You work with cash so you talk about cash use trends and why cash continues to matter. You offer security cameras so you talk about security and how video surveillance can make a difference. You have enough content for maybe a post a month, possibly two.
However, studies show that a successful content strategy requires more than an occasional stab in the dark. B2B and B2C (Business-to-Consumer) companies both benefit from higher site traffic and leads increase when articles are posted weekly. And the best way to ensure quality content for your audience is to plan ahead and select a broader topic base.
Upgrading Your Content Marketing Game
Many companies have difficulty in choosing broader topics because they are concerned about their lack of knowledge beyond immediate product focus. There are several ways to deal with that particular issue.
The first solution is to fully utilize employee experience. Many companies have software, hardware, marketing, sales strategy and other experts already on hand. It does not matter if those employees are not particularly adept at writing. You can create an article or video where you interview resident experts. Or you can write an article based on responses you receive through a topic-based conversation with them.
Another way to boost educational content is to bring in outside experts. You would be surprised how many people are willing to make time for an interview or even write a guest post in return for a link back or byline. This is also a good way to bolster relationships with vendor partners, current customers and industry associations.
But both of these options require a detailed content marketing plan.
Here are the next steps to building your 2019 content marketing strategy.
Research Your Target Audience – Interests. Concerns. Sense of humor. General age range.
Determine Your Topic(s) – Loosely related to your business but pulling on research from item #1.
Layout Your Topics/Posting Calendar – When will you be posting? How often? Don’t forget to leave some room for press releases.
Plan Your Posts – Which articles will you be writing? What research do you need to do to craft your posts? What experts can you call on?