Content Marketing – The creation and distribution of content has become such a significant aspect of effective marketing that it requires a high place in the strategy conversation in most every business.
Some might go as far as to suggest content marketing has become the most effective way to build a business.
The word content is confusing enough as it’s bantered around these days, but it’s also difficult for many small business owners to come up with a big picture view of the role content plays in the acquisition of clients.
Strategically, the word content marketing must mean more than a blog post or a blank sheet of paper each day. You must begin to think of your content as a total body of work that is being built to serve your business over time.
You must understand and create content for the most important keyword phrases for your industry, the essential themes of education in your business, and your company’s core points of differentiation.
You must also think in terms of your content as a tool that moves prospects from awareness to conversion and in this effort there are at least five types of content that you must address. Each type must be considered as part of your overall content strategy.
Content Marketing that builds trust – One of the first jobs of your content is to bridge the gap from awareness to trust building. Your SEO efforts actually marry with this type of content to make sure you are both found and found in abundance.
How to content – specific advice or tips and tricks
Reviews – customer reviews on sites like Yelp and Google Places
Testimonials – endorsements from happy customers
Articles – articles you’ve written or that mention your firm in outside publications
Content Marketing that educates – Once you create awareness and trust a prospect will be hungry to find out much more about your unique approach, your solution, your story and your organization.
White papers – not boring, dry technical stuff, your best writing tying a bigger topic together
Newsletter – Weekly or monthly education that nurtures their interest
Seminars – in person or online, these allow prospects to learn as well as engage
FAQs – some folks just need the answers to their questions and this format serves well
Survey data – results from surveys can be very compelling as a way to let prospects know you understand them
Customer generated content – Getting your customers involved in the production of content builds loyalty and community, creates proof of results and gives you another avenue for content creation.