We’ve all been there. Everyone is talking about the latest movie, fitness craze or current event and instead of admitting we have no idea what they are talking about, we nod knowingly and pretend like we do. After all, who wants to come across as out of touch?
Many small business owners admit to feeling this way when the conversation turns to content marketing. While content marketing has been around for a while-and has proven itself to be a powerful tool-there is no shame in admitting that you aren’t exactly sure how it works.
Thankfully, you don’t have to admit this in front of a large group of people. In fact, read the primer below and you won’t have to admit it at all!
- What is it? Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach in which businesses create and distribute content designed to appeal to a particular audience. Unlike advertising copy that tries to entice a huge swath of consumers to buy goods or services, content marketing helps a business connect, educate and inspire a particular group of people. In other words, it attracts people who are likely to be interested in what a business is selling, and when they are ready to make a purchase, they will think of that business first.
- Who should use it? Everyone. The best thing about content marketing is that it works for every business, no matter what the industry. Whether you sell hair care products or farm implements, content marketing can work for you. The key is to provide your audience with a steady flow of unique information that helps solve a problem or improves their lives. In the process of helping others you come to be seen as a thought leader in the industry and someone people can trust.
- How do you get started? The first step in content marketing is defining exactly who your target audience is and what they need. Only then can you begin producing content that will draw your target audience in. You also need to make sure your target audience finds this content. This is accomplished by determining where they hang out online. Do they watch videos on YouTube? Read articles on LinkedIn? Frequent online industry publications? Once you know where they are, you will know where to post your content.
Content marketing isn’t complicated but it does take time and effort. The most important thing to keep in mind is that you won’t see results overnight. After all, it takes time for people to get to know you and learn to trust you.