The Cheapest, Most Effective Form of Marketing That Consistently Gets Results

small business officeby Sydni Craig-Hart

Content marketing.

Yep, that’s it. Plain and simple.

What is Content Marketing?

Award winning content marketer Amanda Maksymiw defines it this way: “Content marketing is the process of developing and sharing relevant, valuable, and engaging content to a target audience with the goal of acquiring new customers or increasing business from existing customers.”

Understand that your customers don’t care about you, your products, or your services. They care about themselves, their wants and their needs. 

Content marketing is about creating interesting information your customers are passionate about so they actually pay attention to you.

Content marketing comes in many different forms. It looks like an email newsletter, a blog post, a special report, a whitepaper, a webinar, a podcast or a video. Even social media posts are considered content.

Why Content Marketing Should Matter To You

Says Amanda, "The value of content marketing lies in the engagement between the customer and your company. Essentially, it is about the creation and participation in meaningful conversations and development of relationships. Content marketing can benefit your company by increasing sales leads and positioning your company/brand as a thought leader, in addition to increasing the number of visitors to your website."

Studies show that:

    Inbound (content) marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing methods. - Hubspot

    Companies that blog have 55% more website visitors than those that don’t. (This means the more keyword rich content you generate, the more search engines will find and love you.) - Hubspot

    68% of marketers agree e-newsletters are the top email messages that help to achieve their business goals, up from 45% in 2011. - DMA "National Client Email Report"

    Because 61% of consumers say they feel better about a company that delivers custom content, they are also more likely to buy from that company. - Custom Content Council

    90% of consumers find custom content useful and 78% believe that organizations providing custom content are interested in building good relationships with them. -TMG Custom Media

Clearly, the numbers speak for themselves. Content marketing is less expensive than traditional forms of marketing, it’s more effective than traditional forms of marketing and you can get started quickly (or outsource it to someone who can handle it for you).

How to Get Started With Content Marketing That Makes You Money

1.     Make a list of the issues your ideal client is struggling with and passionate about.

2.     Make a list of the key areas where your company has results focused expertise.

3.     Take inventory of what content you already have (case studies, whitepapers, product or service descriptions, presentations, etc.)

4.     Analyze your ideal client’s behavior patterns. Learn everything you can about how and where they consume content. Once you know that, decide which content marketing platforms you’ll participate in that are sure to reach your target audience. (NOTE: You should at the very least have a blog.)

5.     Create an editorial calendar for your content based on the “sweet spot” of what your ideal client is interested in and the solutions you have to offer.

6.     Allocate resources (staff, time, money – or all of the above) to develop new content or repurpose existing content according to your editorial calendar. Be sure to include a strong, specific call to action in each piece!

7.     Measure your results and adjust as necessary.

Ideas to inspire you

    A nutritionist could start a blog with recipes and tips on how to make healthy choices.

    A financial planner could create a special report on "simple ways to save" to help busy families manage their budget more effectively.

    A photographer could create a video tutorial series on how to prepare for a particular type of shoot.

    A life coach could record an audio of affirmations to help prospects and clients take positive action each day.

    An interior designer could create a checklist of 10 mistakes to avoid when starting a decorating project.

    A virtual assistant could create an infographic featuring 5 organizational tools to help her client save time.

    A wedding or event planner could compile a list of 7 questions you should ask when hiring vendors.

If you don’t have a content marketing system in place, follow the steps noted above and GET STARTED. Don’t think about it, just do it. If you already have a content marketing program in place but it’s not as consistent or comprehensive as it needs to be, determine where you need to make adjustments and take action!

As you can see, content marketing isn’t the future. It’s the present. If you want to attract more ideal clients, maintain a full pipeline of leads and increase your revenue, you can’t ignore this simple strategy.

Sydni Craig-Hart, The Smart Simple Marketing Mentor, is founder of Known for her easy, strategic and results-focused approach to marketing, she also has the unique ability to find untapped profit centers in her client's businesses so they can create money NOW.

Photo credit: CreateHer Stock

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