Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Building Your Audience Through Content Marketing

Have you ever generated a big marketing push, spending hours on content creation that you hoped would move the sales needle, only to find that your hours of content creation went nowhere? Maybe you got an initial response, followed by the sound of crickets chirping. Does that mean the content itself failed? Well, maybe, but it more likely means that you didn't pursue a smart, effective content marketing strategy. Let's look at some basic aspects of content marketing so you can see where you might need to adjust your approach.

Hunting Versus Farming

We networkers use the phrase "hunting versus farming" to describe the careful process of establishing an identity and building trust with potential buyers, as opposed to just making a big splash and grabbing whatever instant business there is to be had. Think of the difference between holding multiple in-depth conversations with people and simply throwing business cards in every direction at a chamber event. Content marketing works the same way. By posting or distributing multiple pieces of relevant, meaningful content that reveals your mission, message, and ideals, you slowly but surely forge a bond between your brand and your target audience. This strategy could make all the difference between one big but short-lived "quick kill" and the creation of an ever-broadening base of repeat customers. 

Don't forget the power of referrals as they relate to content marketing. The more authenticity you establish, the more frequently your audience will share your content and recommend you to other interested parties.

Adding Value Through Relevance

What sets you apart from your competitors? Of course, you might just be better, faster, or cheaper than the other guys. But let's say you sell the same products and services, at the same price and quality level, et cetera. All other things being equal, what additional "special sauce" might you offer? Perhaps the answer lies in the quality and quantity of your content marketing.

Regular blog posts, videos, email articles, and other tidbits of genuinely useful information can provide legitimate added value. Think about all the times you needed quick, free advice or guidance on a particular subject. Chances are that you went online, did a search, found a brilliant video or article, and bookmarked the source of that information for future reference. Maybe you even came to rely on that provider as a trusted expert. That's the power of relevant content. The more helpful your content proves, the better the odds that your impressed, grateful audience will choose you as their go-to source for related products or services.

Reinforcing Your Image (With Variations)

I once fielded a query from a client who wanted to produce an email that would say everything there was to say about her company and produce a massive one-time response. I pointed out to her that (a) that level of information belonged in a landing page, not an email, and (b) content marketing works by feeding the audience small chunks of easily-digested content, one bite at a time.

Imagine how overwhelmed (or even annoyed) you'd feel if a company tried to ramrod everything you needed to know about them down your throat all in one go. Even if your potential customers welcomed that level of information overload, they'd probably retain only bits and pieces of it. So why not introduce those bits and pieces individually? With each new article or video, you can either expand on the piece that preceded it or introduce a new concept, building a complete picture of your brand over time without ever tiring, boring, or confusing your crowd.

Now that you know how to make content marketing work for you more effectively, all you need is the content itself. If you'd rather let an experienced freelance copywriter take that burden off your shoulders, contact me today!