It is old news that most people don’t want to be hit with a constant barrage of selling. They want to make the decision about when to check out a product. They avoid the ads on Facebook, they never click on sponsored links (ads) at the top of the Search Engine results page. So how can a company let its audience know about its services and get noticed?
Content marketing is a good way to connect with your prospects or clients without the heavy sell. Briefly, content marketing is the process of writing and sending out interesting information to position your company as an expert in its field.
Content marketing is a big term and may seem overwhelming. Where to start? At the beginning.
STEP 1: Develop a cornerstone (A Big Idea)
Although a good idea isn’t always simple or easy to come by, it is really the only step in content marketing that really matters. With a sound idea to focus on, your content campaign can be easily developed and managed. Quick tip. Make sure it is something that is useful and relevant to your audience.
What is a cornerstone? It is a good idea in its largest form. A cornerstone is both the idea and the delivery of that idea.
Examples of cornerstones:
A how-to guide
A trend report
A video series
A factory tour video
An expert speaker
Step 2: No hard sales pitch
What should content do:
- Educate – People love to learn and your content can provide answers to questions and help them understand their problem better or find something in your content to help them solve a problem. This will build trust.
- Help someone solve a problem – If you help a reader to fix a problem, they will.
- Answer objections – your content can be created to answer possible objections that readers may have during the sales cycle.
Possible content that can be used to educate or entertain:
- Case study
- Q&A interview
- Events such as an awards show
- Survey report
- Research results
Step 3: Decide how to deliver the content
- Blog posts
- Articles in the media
- A book
- Podcast / audio interviews
- Slide presentation
All of the above. The more ways you get the content to your audience, the greater the impression. The goal is to build content that will develop trust with your customers or prospects that will support future sales.