One day you walk into the hardware store, looking for a doorknob. The guy behind the counter walks you to the right aisle, finds what you need, hands it to you. And he tells you to use a certain screwdriver with this particular knob because if you don't the screws might strip. Good advice. You thank him and buy the doorknob.
A few weeks later you have another household task. Again, the guy behind the counter tells you exactly what you need, and gives you a quick, easy to understand tip to make the job work out even better.
Soon, whenever you have to fix something around the house or need a little tool or part, you're talking to the guy behind the counter. And when a friend asks you about some small home repair, you say, "You have to talk to this guy behind the counter - he knows everything."
Eventually, you have a task in your house that is beyond you, and while kvetching about it to the guy behind the counter, he says, "I could do that for you." Hired.
The guy behind the counter is an expert content marketer, and he's sold you. He sold you gradually, by giving you information that was valuable to you on a consistent basis. But more than that, he's made a fan of you. You tell other people about him, they come into the store, they become fans as well.
Wouldn't you want to be the guy behind the counter? Have customers coming to you, telling other people about you, singing your praises the whole time?
Content marketing is building relationships by providing useful information to potential customers using email, newsletters, social media or combination. You send a consistent, scheduled flow of good information. People see you as an expert, and experts get business.
Your audience has questions and problems they want solved. You need to send them answers and solutions, or at least prove to them you know the answers and have the solutions. In order to do that, you have to generate well-written content that is interesting and, most importantly, useful to your target market.
Remember - it all starts with what your audience needs. This usually requires some research. What do they need? What problems do they have?
You might think, "Our business is boring. There's nothing to talk about." Wrong. To the person that needs whatever it is you do, your knowledge and information is gold.
Perhaps you have excellent writing skills. If not, you'll have to collaborate with a copywriter. You can also make videos or podcasts - anything as long as the information is good.
Content marketing is only as good as the system for getting it out there. In addition to creating interesting stuff, you'll need an emailing system, perhaps landing pages, and a process that ensures a consistent flow from initial idea to prospect inbox. Your process should also get your content out to social media channels, especially if social media is determined to be viable for you.
It's important to be consistent. You need to keep a schedule and get something out at least monthly. A newsletter that shows up randomly every few months isn't a newsletter - it's an unexpected visit from a talkative uncle who's smart and sort of weird.
Getting your content into the inbox is critical. Do you have leads? Got a catchy subject line? Is your mass emailing provider able get past spam filters and security systems to deliver your message? Not all emailing systems are the same...
You must build a mailing list. There are a lot of ways to do this using your website and social media. The list must continually grow.
Time and data will determine what types of things resonate with your target market, how people engage with your materials, and how the design, titles and writing can be improved so more people open and read (or watch) your content. Ideally, your campaign is constantly evaluated, different ideas are tested, and data collected as evidence of what is working and impetus to change what isn’t.
We specialize in setting up content marketing systems that work for your resources, your particular ways of doing things. There isn't a one size fits all, and that is the point: you need a system that either you can do yourself, or system that gets things done with you minimally involved.
We start with a discovery session. There's an online form component to this, which you can either fill out on your own or with our help. The discovery is exactly that: finding out about your business and market, and coming up with a plan to reach that market in as efficient a manner as possible. We charge for discovery, and whether you choose to work with us or not, you'll find that the information and tactics generated are incredibly valuable.
If we all choose to work together after discovery, we set up a system that achieves your content marketing goals. So, from idea generation to editing and writing, to mass email providers to lead capture, we can cover all of that or any particular portion of it, depending on your needs.
We can incorporate any assets you're already using into the solution. Mailchimp? Fine. If you have a copywriter you like? Great. Whatever stirs your cocoa as long as it works consistently. The particulars of what we do will be laid out in a proposal - again, this isn't one size fits all.
We also manage ongoing campaigns, both ones we create and those created in-house or by third party. The price varies based on the specific services needed, but a good idea as to what needs to be done to manage a content marketing campaign and the cost of it can be found here.