Content Marketing – What??

A marketing initiative that can make a huge, positive impact on your brand awareness and credibility as part of your marketing mix is content marketing.

But what is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is the act of using unique content as a way to boost your expertise with your target market through posting articles on a dynamic area of your website like a blog. This written form of content that you post on a regular basis helps your website rank in search engines as well as increases your authority…..if the content is valuable.

How do I get this content “out there?”
Social media is a great way to promote your content and create inbound links to your Blog as is having a facility that allows others to share it to their own platforms. Bath Marketing Consultancy often posts our content to our Facebook and Twitter pages so that our followers and friends can read our free marketing tips and integrate them into their own strategies. We may well post the article on Linkedin if it is aimed at the B2B market.

Any content you create can also take the form of a video, vlog or an infographic and all are perfect for sharing on social media platforms like Instagram, Vimeo and YouTube….which is now second inline as a search engine.

Which in turn, drives traffic to my website? 
Yes. Content marketing is a subtle approach with the idea that you inform visitors about your expert opinion, instead of pushing your products and services directly. Once trust is built, readers will want to buy your products and services.

Why Use It?
Content marketing is one of the most cost-effective marketing methods available as it creates long-term returns for websites. The new pages you create are ranked well in search engines and tend to leave a footprint for long periods of time.

In addition, you can target different search terms with these posts thus throwing your SEO net wider than just the core terms you may well have targeted with your website. For example, if you search for a “marketing consultancy” in the UK, the BMC website ranks top locally and nationally. But, having an area where we post regular content has allowed us to target smaller, more niche terms like “marketing advice in Bath” where we hold the first 5 positions in Google with our posts.

At the moment the trend is slightly against paid content so dedicate time and resources to deliver your content via articles and blog posts that relate to your products and services & then “market” these posts.

However, don’t plug them directly; demonstrate you know what you are talking about and give readers the opportunity to “read more” or “subscribe.” Potential customers want to be informed as on average people will consume over 11 pieces of content before deciding to part with their money. If you can’t provide this content, speak to someone who can as you may well miss out on prospects.

Onwards and upwards!

Well, January is out of the way. Phew………and………breathe!
How did it go? Were there any changes in your market? Are there any new players in town? What did you decide to do?

One area that will constantly need addressing, updating and auditing is your marketing. Nothing stays still for long in the world of getting your name out there. Whether Google decides to unveil any more challenges or whether there are other platforms to use, marketing is a constantly evolving process. It’s not a singular event or a boxed ticked. Similarly, it shouldn’t have an end; just a start and a middle.

Maybe in December when you had 5 minutes, you may have constructed  a list of initiatives to implement and maybe even planned ahead, but will this plan still be applicable? What if there is someone new operating in your space? What if you’ve taken someone new on who might have some ideas?

The list of ways you can get your message out is a long and sometimes complicated one, but our advice is don’t panic! What we very much advocate is evaluating what you’ve done and testing new methods. For example, just because you advertising in a certain media in 2014, does this mean you repeat for 2015? No. Consumers like to be tested and challenged. They like to see something new and exciting. They don’t want to see an old typeface in a quarter page advertisement containing a stock shot. Originality + keeping your message modern are 2 key elements.

We are not saying that each year should come with a re brand. What we are saying is that it might be a good idea to look at your logo or your website or even your sales material to really gauge whether it is time to update any of it.

Marketing companies also need to stay on top of uncertainties in technology as well as invest in their skills and/or personnel. Maybe, if you’re using one, 2015 could be the time take a look at what else and who else is on the market?

Marketing. A cost or an investment?

With pretty much any marketing activity that is undertaken, it is likely that there is some sort of cost to the organisation either as a physical cost or as time spent. Either way, you must feel confident that everyone within your organisation is committed to the long term and perceives what you are doing as an investment.

Plan marketing.

As stated previously, marketing is not a “quick fix” born out of a time when business is slow. It is not an activity to be regarded as a distressed purchase. It should be seen as a fire that needs constant attention to keep burning and without it, it is highly unlikely to stay lit. 

If you are the person at whose door marketing has landed, you must become a centre of excellence covering all sales and marketing skills. It is therefore, highly unlikely that you have all the skills needed to facilitate effective marketing and sometimes engaging outside help is required. This does not mean that you are a failure! Quite the opposite. This is actually a good thing as you have identified that you need help and can then survey a number of companies to see which one fits with you and your organisation.

Whether you are doing the actual selling activity yourself or motivating others to do it, always see marketing in the context of your overall plan and believe in its ultimate success! Remember marketing is not just about putting together a pretty brochure! In fact the actual process should include:

Winning new business
Understanding your market
Building your brand
Planning your strategy
Managing existing clients
Internal marketing

When putting together your plan, I tend to use the following:

S – make it simple
M – make it measurable
A – make it achievable
R – make it realistic
T – add a timescale
……but above all, markting is NOT a cost; it is an investment in your business!

Need help? Get in touch with me