In today’s digital age, people are simply overwhelmed with content. Some good… some bad. Regardless, this constant barrage of content has caused many to tune it out. That’s not good for small business marketing budgets.
Want to increase the chances that your marketing gets through… and ultimately consumed by your target audience?
One proven way to accomplish this is by creating a deeper, more trusted relationship with your target market. One that connects with them in a way that they want to be connected with — a way that they might notice. This is where the concept of content marketing comes into play.
So… what is content marketing and why should you care?
Let’s start by getting back to the basics… some Content Marketing 101 so to speak.
What Is Content Marketing?
What Is Content Creation?
Content creation is pretty much what it sounds like, you create the content. You are the author. You are the mastermind behind it.
That content could be anything from a simple image you share on Instagram… to a full blown business book you sell on Amazon. From a simple tweet you post on Twitter… to live streaming an event on Facebook.
The key here is that the content originated from you. You essentially take on the role of the farmer for your tribe… you plan it, grow it and share it.
Why Create Content?
Simply put… positioning.
Positioning yourself as the only obvious expert when it comes to what you offer.
First, by making it abundantly clear that you are someone who fully understands the challenges your target market faces. And second, the content you create should clearly indicate that you are knowledgeable and well suited to help.
You have probably heard it said many times before that people buy when they are good and ready, not necessarily when you want them to.
I can certainly vouch for that… it is so true.
Well thought out and positioned content will help ensure that you get found when they are ready to buy.
A second big reason for creating content, especially evergreen content, is that it is an asset. It makes your company more valuable. I’m a big fan of small business owners building their business as if they are going to sell it some day — whether they truly intend on doing so or not. It’s just smart.
On the flip side of content creation you have content curation.
What Is Content Curation?
Instead of creating the content, you go out and find the best stuff available and share it with your target audience.
You essentially take on the role of hunter/gatherer for your tribe. You scour all avaiable resources… articles… books… people, etc. and present your target market with timely and useful content that helps them move the needle… so to speak.
Why Curate Content?
Once again… positioning.
Posiitioning yourself as the go-to resource for everything related to your subject matter. You essesntially become the subject matter expert.
Please note that you do not have to create everything yourself. You do not have to have all the answers. You just want to position yourself as someone who knows how to find them.
And then be that person who continuously adds value.
Be careful here though. Don’t overwhelm with too much or share junk content just for the sake of sharing — share only the best. Think quality not quantity.
Additionally be sure to present that content in a way your audience most enjoys consuming it… be sure to serve it up on your target market’s media of choice as well.
Content Marketing Strategy: Pulling It All Together
Do You need a content marketing strategy?
That’s a resounding YES… every business would benefit from a proper content marketing strategy.
Your content marketing Formula
Finding balance between creation and curation is key. Too much creation only and you may come across as a tad self-indugent. Too much curation only and you risk appearing not to have expertise, or thoughts of your own. Balance the two.
I personally like a 70/30 split for myself, my business, and the type of business I’m in. Your split may differ. Some things to consider…
- Do you prefer creating or curating content?
- Are there already bonafide subject matter experts educating your target market?
- What resources do you have available for this? Think time… money… team… etc.
- Are there undertapped angles not being spoken about regarding your topic?
- Are you comfortable being in the spotlight as the creator?
The Key To A Great Content Marketing Strategy
This one is simple… yet not so easy. Base your content marketing strategy on the result you wish to achieve. What do you want to have happen as a result of employing content marketing as part of your overall marketing plan for your business?
Is it to…
- Stay top-of-mind with your audience?
- Educate prospects on your subject matter?
- Accelerate your sales cycle?
- Increase post-sale value?
Maybe its any or all of the above or something completely different altogether. Whatever it is, it’s okay. Just be clear on what you want and be willing to add enough value to make it a possibility.
So in Closing
Want More Content Marketing 101?
Here’s a video I shot back in 2014 on the subject. For the most part, it’s just as relevant today as it was back then. Take a peek.