Content Marketing is a marathon. It takes a long time to harvest the fruits of your labours.
Content marketing is when you create content which you post to attract potential clients. But how should you do this? This is the question we asked Melissa Donnelly of Affinity Communications in Brisbane.
Here is what we learned but please listen in as Melissa explains all this much better than we ever could.
To listen while you drive, walk or work, just access the episode through a free podcast app on your mobile phone.
Content marketing is the creation and distribution of valuable and relevant content to attract and retain an audience.
Ideally it is a clearly defined audience you try to attract. Clearly defined as per your marketing strategy. But it doesn’t have to be a clearly defined audience to be content marketing.
Content marketing is a marathon. Don’t expect to post a blog post and your phone starts ringing. It can take years. Persistency is crucial. And for this reason choose a channel you enjoy. Be it video, audio, writing or Twitter. It is much easier to last the distance when you enjoy what you are doing.
One statistic says that we make 75% of our purchasing decision before we actually deal with the company we are going to purchase from. Google claims that 87% of buying decisions begin with research online.
Even if you don’t believe these numbers and cut them in half, then you still have a huge number of potential clients who will check you out online before they engage. And at least as many potential clients who will google a problem they have without you in mind.
Content is what they will see and judge you on. For both you need to have content that addresses their problem.
This idea of creating and they will come – NO. You can create all sorts of content but it needs to find its way to the right people – your target clients. And it needs to be relevant to them.
Free v Paid
Content marketing goes through three steps – Creation – Distribution – Offer. And at each of these steps you face the decision Free v Paid. The answer depends on your audience’s position in the decision-making funnel.
You can create content yourself or pay somebody to create it. If you pay to create content, you will probably use this content at the top of the funnel where you try to reach a lot of people. As they come down the funnel, you are more likely to show your own content and use your subject matter expertise.
You can distribute your content for free on your website and your social media pages and rely on your SEO and the strength of your content to work its way up.
The alternative is to advertise via Google Ad Words or on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and the lot. Advertising can amplify your reach.
But keep an eye on costs though. It’s easy to think, ” Oh, let’s look at radio, let’s look at this and that”, and suddenly you face a huge advertising budget.
Social and digital spaces give you helpful statistics about how your content is doing. You can adjust the program. This allows you to keep a handle on cost so that you are not spending thousands and thousands of dollars.
You can offer your content for free or ask for an email address in return or even require payment for your content.
At the start of the funnel, when you want to get found – you are targeting a lot of people – you need free content in a comfortable format. So that is your website content. That is your social media post. That is you standing at a conference and speaking. You are talking one to many – all free.
As your potential clients come further down through that decision-making funnel, they need more targeted content. You are talking one to a few. And those few will be more willing to trade with you – content for an email address.
But be careful around timing. It is a fine balance. Ask too early and you lose them. Ask too late and you miss an opportunity to engage.
But you can also argue that you don’t need this horse-trade of content for an email address in the first place. If your free content and offer is strong enough, the right clients will contact you out of their own volition.
So this is a short summary of what we learned in this interview. Please listen in as Melissa explains this all in much more detail.
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Last Updated on 18 May 2020