If 2012 was about anything in the marketing world, it was
about the surge of content marketing. Whether it is written, audio or video,
brands have started to jump on the bandwagon to become like publishers, radio
stations or TV networks. Whether you sell to consumers or other businesses, brands are waking up to the marketing
magic called content marketing.
What the heck is content marketing?
|What is content marketing? Two way communications.|
Is this the special sauce for most brands trying to differentiate themselves and to increase revenue? Hardly, but it is a critically important
aspect of a fully integrated approach to marketing. Using internet business marketing can help accelerate leads in your funnel and ultimately spike your sales.
In simplest terms, content marketing is about creating your own story with words or pictures and using them to create an engaged community of like-minded people. At the essence is two-way communications.
efforts have existed forever
The old school version of content marketing was the boring
sales brochure that nobody read, cost a ton of money to produce and was filled
with corporate speak and dusty unturned pages. It was a one way communication
and suffered from chronic dullness. Sure it was beautiful to look at but did
anyone really read it? Doubtful.
Even a website can be an old school format when they are
static and just an online version of the corporate brochure. This type of marketing is often about
promoting a category not promoting your distinctive brand promise. You may be
educating people about dry cleaning in the 21st century but it’s not
an effective way to get the shirt off my back.
Walkie Talkie Marketing
|Content marketing is like using a two-way walkie talkie|
What is different about content marketing today is that it
can now be a two-way conversation. I can blog about my brand and in 20 minutes
I can have 10 comments from readers who agree, disagree or just want to share
their point of view. Whether it is on Facebook, Twitter or a blog on a
corporate website, the world has changed because of the ability to engage, to
connect and to build more holistic relationships with customers or clients. My
posts to a Linkedin group about a topic where I have some expertise can be filled with
engaging conversations and I get to share my knowledge. One of my own recent
posts had 50 unique readers in less than 50 minutes.
Talking and Listening
– Walkie Talkie Communications
Almost without exception, someone is interested in your
niche. Whether you run an organic dry cleaners, a law firm for left handed
clients or you sell lakeside property to professional bowlers, content
marketing provides you the opportunity to do several important things:
STORY TELLING: Tell stories about your work and why you are
ADVISOR: Give advice about your special knowledge or niche
SHARE: Share information that can be educational or quirky
ENRICHMENT: Enrich the personality of your brand by
PASS AROUND: Provides an easy way for your brand to be
distributed by your readers to their friends.
CONNECT A COMMUNITY: Sometimes finding like-minded
individuals who share a niche interest, is the most compelling reason for
content marketing activity.
How can content
marketing spike sales?
The problem most companies have
is that they don’t see how this work will translate into more business. How can
there be a connection between words on page, conversations on a podcast or
video hits on YouTube. I feel your pain.
|Spiked Marketing |
But how do you measure all of the current marketing activity
you engage in? Where does your new business come from today and how do you
maintain your current clients? Are you being honest with your current efforts
and measuring everything you do?
Did you measure your return on that ad you ran in the local
Did you measure the benefit of your new phone system and its
Did you calculate the ROI of that trip to an industry trade
A Simple Way To Think
about Content Marketing
I think that content marketing requires a simple, singular
clear goal that allows you to measure progress.
An Example: Perhaps everything you do with your
marketing activities today is geared toward getting potential clients or
customers to sign up for your Tip of the Week email. Today, you may have 50
people who receive your emails with 1 out of 50 calling once a month to get
more information about something you mentioned.
What happens when your content marketing adds to that list and suddenly
you have 250 or 500 people on that list? What happens when instead of 1 you are
getting 10 calls per month for follow up information?
This is how marketing works when you have a clear sales path
defined. So all of the blogging, the podcasting, the videos or the speaking
engagements all help fill your pipeline with self-identified interested leads.
Marketing requires investment and patience. But ultimately you must find a way to track results. If you aren't going to create a KPI (key performance indicator) of success, than don't bother with content marketing. If you measure results with in a simple way tied to lead generation and revenue, content marketing can help grow your business.
So spike your sales- not your hair.
Labels: B2B, Content marketing, Marketing Moments, spiking sales