This article was adapted from The Truth About Content Marketing for Manufacturers by Allison DeFord, Founder of FELT Marketing.
What everyone is saying about content:
“You’ve gotta be a thought leader. Content is king! Content. Content. Content.”
The reality of what YOU actually think about content:
“I’m a little confused, what does content marketing really mean?”
“I think we probably need to do it, but what are we going to talk about?”
“What topic(s) are we going to ‘lead’ with? How often? How much? What formats?”
“It feels a little overwhelming. So, we’ll just circle back next quarter. We’ve got other fish to fry.”
Content is THE MOST IMPORTANT part of your marketing strategy. It’s the substance. The creamy nugget. It’s what convinces and converts. It’s the all-important ongoing conversation you have with your audience — before, during, and after the sale. Furthermore, it’s not a trend. Now we have SO MANY more ways to spread it around. So, why wouldn’t you take advantage of this and fire up the content engine? One little word…
You don’t know where to start and aren’t completely certain what to say. If that’s the case, then you should:
- Start with a framework.
- Work with a professional if you don’t have the capability in-house.
- Create a content engine, engage consistently, adapt regularly, and keep marching forward.
Believe me! Your competitors are doing one of two things — whispering or shouting at the top of their lungs. Either way, you can use this to your advantage and make meaningful content for the people who will care. Be the thought leader in your category or industry. Lead the conversation at every turn.
5 great lessons on content marketing:
- Know your niche
Most brands think that to become big, they need to appeal to everyone. Or that content marketing has to be relevant to everyone. It does not! You’re appealing to a very specific someone.
- It’s not about you
Remember this! It’s not about you. It’s always about your audience. It’s amazing how many brands forget this. Sadly, this is how many brands talk: “But enough about me. What about you? What do you think of me?”
- Continuity trumps virality
Many marketers think of content marketing as “the viral video.” You can’t create a viral video. But you can create quality content that may or may not go viral. Content marketing is a commitment. Continuity is more important.
- Create social objects
It helps to think of content marketing as the creation of social objects. We’re creating objects that are the reason for people to socialize, something for people to share meaningfully with each other. With each other, not with the business.
- Uncommon quality
Remember, you don’t break through the clutter by adding to it. You break through the clutter by creating something remarkable. This is the power of earned media versus paid media. The keyword is “earned.” You have to earn it.
The conversation is happening with or without you. And leaving it to your competitors is like leaving money lying on the sidewalk. You can step over it and keep consuming from the sidelines, or you can pick it up and take it to the bank.
A successful campaign strategy is built on big ideas that take advantage of the best media channels to bring those ideas to life. Your content doesn’t have to live everywhere. Just in the places where your audience is consuming. You have the golden opportunity to be the thought leader in your space. The trusted resource worth talking about and sharing.
Unless, of course, you already have more sales than you know what to do with.
This week's #B2BTuesday Tip:
Develop a content strategy to determine what you’re going to say, to whom, where, and how often. Establish your key audience and develop guidelines for engagement.