Marketing… It's one of the most important parts of any business. After all, if you don't tell anyone about what you're doing then how are they going to hear about your business?
The trouble is there are so many different channels now that it can become a minefield. SEO, PPC, SMM, PR, ABC, XYZ and many others. Some work well but can also be damn expensive and the results can sometimes not be worth it.
Picture the scene. You're a bakery, and all your social media posts are all about people buying your cakes. Now come on, there are only so many times you can talk about your cakes and only so many times your audience will like your posts without thinking: "OK, enough already… So what else can you do?"
Have you heard of Content Marketing? If you have, are you doing it properly?
Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience - and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
What can you do?
So when you do “Content Marketing”, you are giving your audience relevant information that is consistent and valuable. Then guess what happens? They tend to buy from you because they trust you and your startup.
OK, you say, I’m a bakery but what kind of Content Marketing could I do. There is sooooo much you can do, you just have to be creative!
So here are a few ideas:
- Share some recipes
- Give away some handy tips that you have acquired as a top baker to help bakers at home
- Talk about some of the unhealthy choices that you find in the supermarket compared to a freshly baked cake or bread from your bakery
These are just a few ideas off the top of my head. Yes, the third point may feel like you are putting your opinion out there and you may feel a bit uncomfortable about that, but that’s Content Marketing. Your potential customers need to see what’s behind your startup and products.
Like any sort of marketing, you have to be consistent. If you produce a newsletter then produce it regularly, not just when you get a chance. If you are posting recipes on Instagram don’t just do them when you remember, make them a regular thing.
That’s Content Marketing. It’s a genuine, regular, informative type of marketing that many companies large and small are harnessing to build their audiences and customers. It does take time and effort, but anything worth building is just like that. Take your own business, I’m pretty sure it was not an overnight success.
Already doing Content Marketing?
The chances are you know just how hard it is to create regular, informative and valuable content that tells a story about your startup. It’s hard because it takes research and has to be different. Larger companies that have full scale Marketing departments that can afford for strategists to take their sweet time coming up with the next killer campaign find it easier than a smaller scale startup that may be struggling with resources because they are growing so quickly.
So what do can you do? A good plan from the outset helps, but opening the doors more to your audience is the key. It’s about your team, your journey, the tricks of the trade, your views on a particular product or what’s going on in your industry. Whatever the content, as mentioned earlier, it has to be consistent and it also has to be a bit creative. Ultimately you have to tell a story. A good, honest story that your potential customers will find interesting.
The creative spark can often come from speaking with customers, suppliers and your team. If your Content Marketing hat is on, more often you will come across things that you can adapt for content.
Done properly, Content Marketing can work wonders. Done wrong, well, it’s a waste of time and resources.
So is Content Marketing BS? I’ll let you decide!