What’s Content Marketing? Building Relationships with Your Writing
We hear a lot about content marketing these days—how it’s a “more meaningful way to engage with your audience”, but that sounds like a bunch of hooey. What’s content marketing? Think of it as writing your way to relationships. And we all know that relationships are the way that we build and grow our businesses.
You’re probably already using content marketing
If you’re posting to social media, writing a weekly blog and sending out a regular newsletter, you’re employing content marketing. The idea is to share valuable, relevant content on a consistent basis to get people to not just read what you write, but to become customers.
The goal is conversion
Through the course of your postings and articles, your followers will recognize you as an industry expert and want to work with you, which will, in turn, drive profit. While the goal is conversion, content marketing is not about hard-core selling techniques; rather, the emphasis is on education and information-sharing.
It’s all about building relationships
Think about the relationship between advertising and content marketing. Traditional advertising hits you over the head with brand messages and calls to action, while content marketing distinguishes itself by providing useful information and entertainment. It’s much more subtle. Both of these media build relationships with their audiences, but the great thing about content marketing is that you have the opportunity to establish an intimacy that the old forms of marketing—direct mail and advertising—never afforded.
Intimacy: is that too scary?
We live in a world where many of us work virtually; we spend way too much time hunkered down in our home offices, yet we still want to know about the people with whom we’re doing business. We’re interested in their politics; we love that they, like us, are Giants fans, starting to get World Series fever as we power our way through September baseball.
While we tune in for business insights, It’s the occasional posts about sports allegiances, the silly things their kids are doing or community activism that humanizes people–and we love it. We begin to look forward to their newsletters and blogposts because we know we can expect something that’s smart, perceptive and funny. We start to trust these people because they’re savvy and clearly understand their businesses and we want to know them, follow them—and ultimately–work with them. And that’s really what content marketing’s all about.