There’s Nothing New About Content Marketing. Recently there’s been a big buzz around ‘Content Marketing’. We’re being told that that we must do content marketing, that it’s the next big thing for marketing and that we’re missing out if we’re not using this great new marketing tool.
Allow me to let you into a secret. Content Marketing is not new! It’s been around a very long time – it just wasn’t always called ‘Content Marketing’. When I set up my business in 2000, I spent most of my time writing marketing copy for clients – brochures, press releases, websites, articles and newsletters. I helped my clients to attract new clients and retain existing ones by sharing useful advice with them. We filled their marketing materials with practical tips that prospects could put into practise straight away.
No sales; just useful advice.
Now they’re shouting about this new technique, called Content Marketing. It’s not new – it’s the same technique, just with a new name!
Content Marketing is still just about attracting and retaining your clients by consistently creating and curating relevant and valuable content for them. The most effective marketing tools for coaches, consultants and trainers will always be asking for and generating referrals (the A in my ABC of Marketing) and business networking and speaking (the B in my ABC.) Content (the C) is about backing up A and B, so that when potential clients look you up online, they find valuable content that boosts your reputation and encourages them to pick up the phone and call you.
Some people get confused about what content they should post, where and how often. Here’s a simple way of looking at it. Start at the bottom and work up, interacting with fewer people as you move up the triangle.
|Chat: 1 to 1 conversations. Building relationships. Needs to be immediate, a reaction and can’t be planned. Us, Us, Us.|
|Curate: Sharing other people’s comments and content. Some posts can be scheduled and others immediate. Them, them, them. |
Create: Published content. Broadcast often using articles, blogs and case studies. Can be planned ahead. Me, me, me.
The Four Elements of Success
To help you to figure out what to put into each layer of your triangle, consider these four elements of content marketing success:
Simplify the process of content generation by creating a content calendar. Audit what you already have, repurpose and repackage where necessary and plan ahead as to when to publish it. Align your content to events over the coming year, which are relevant to your clients.
Aligned to your calendar, plan your content generation and stick to a regular routine. Deliver the content your clients want – solve problems, answer questions, share thought leadership. Think about how to get your content noticed, consumed and shared, using attention grabbing headlines.
Deliver content via different channels, including your website, social media, your email newsletter and guest blogging. Make sure that each piece is repackaged and optimised for the targeted platform – don’t just post the same stuff everywhere. Promoting content is a mixture of sharing your own and curating content published by others. Commit to a solid, consistent stream of content. Remember quality and consistency over quantity.
One of the secrets of great marketing is to do more of what works and less of what doesn’t. This means that you must track and report on the effectiveness of your content. This will drive you to create better and more targeted content, which will bring potential clients to you, while also keeping your existing clients happy to recommend you.
So much has been written about content marketing over the years that it would be easy to become overwhelmed by what you should be doing. Keep it simple with a plan and a content triangle and you’ll find it much easier to create great content, curate and share top quality content and chat to the people you would like to turn into clients.