Last week I had the honor of presenting at the inaugural Zurie Business Series. It was great to reconnect with the creative community in my hometown, and share about one of my favorite marketing strategies: content marketing.
Many business owners, including myself, have a tendency to propose on the first date. Every other social media post or blog entry ends with a loud, mildly desperate-sounding invitation to buy or book RIGHT NOW!
But think about how the viewer feels. They may have just surfed onto your Instagram account or website out of curiosity about something you do, and BAM! You’re asking them to spend money and trust you with their home, health, business and/or child. It’s a lot to ask.
Content marketing can bridge that gap.
Content marketing provides information, improves customer experience, and builds trust by offering potential customers content that they value.
In other words, the goal of content marketing is to help your potential and current customers know, like, and trust you enough to feel comfortable committing to a sale or booking.
There are three major components to content marketing.
This is what you share with your audience. You can create your own content and also curate content created by others (with permission and credit, of course). The topic of your content should be the intersection of your target market’s needs, question, and pain points with the benefits, skills, and knowledge that you provide.
Simply posting content is not enough. The interactive and invitational aspect of content marketing is very important. You build community through your CTAs (calls to action). Those CTAs should form a logical pathway – Know, Like, Trust – to the final ask for Commitment.
Most business owners have a contact form on their website. (And oh, how we dance when someone sends us a message!) But it’s also important to have a way to contact your audience. Blogs and e-mail lists have subscribers, while social media gives you Followers (which are more nebulous). For those who use social media as a primary marketing platform, I highly recommend setting up a supporting e-mail list to keep in touch with your fans in case Facebook changes their algorithm or Instagram evaporates overnight.
You can leverage these three components into a consistent content cycle so you aren’t stuck asking, “What should I post about?”