Content marketing is the “heavy lifting” of self promotion; but of course, nothing worthwhile comes easy. Content marketing means generating unique content that’s interesting, educational, informative or advantageous to your audience. It could be text, photos, audio recordings, videos or (more likely) a combination of media. It can be unique content, republished content, research, opinion or candid/personal thoughts and moments. There’s no avoiding the work. Even if you hire someone to help, you’ll need to be directly involved.
I call it heavy lifting because, on top of everything else you already do to run your business everyday, you need to take time out to regularly generate quality content. Writing isn’t easy, neither is remembering to take a lot of photos. On top of all that, you’ll have to get comfortable sharing. What you create needs to be genuinely funny, actually interesting or somehow valuable—otherwise it’s pointless. So why go through all the bother? Because content is King, its always been King and it’s always going to be King. Long live the King.
Good content is easy to share: email newsletters, social media posts, articles on your website, lectures on SoundCloud, videos on YouTube. All of these channels are available to get your message out fast, easy and frequently free. Good content gets “liked,” commented on, re-shared and republished. Some articles will get quoted, cited and “linked to” by other websites. All of which amounts to a cascade of goodness.
You will have more keyword rich content and inbound links so your ranking on Google and other search engines will improve. Existing clients will incorporate your point of view as a regular source of insight or enjoyment. You will get exposure beyond your current customers or fanbase into the exponentially larger “extended network.” (Think of all your friends, then think of all of them plus all of their friends, family, and friend’s friends.) Generating premium content helps you refine your messaging, which in turn will positively influence all your other marketing collateral. Potential customers researching you for the first time will have a higher opinion of you, based upon your “thought leadership” and ability to connect. Anyone you impress is going to call you before turning to your competition.
Beware of companies that say they can handle this burden for you. They fill your marketing channels with boilerplate, reposted, semi-appropriate, non-impactful and mediocre content—and then they’ll invoice you. A good agency will pull good content out of you, edit and prepare it for public consumption, send it back for final signoff and then distribute it appropriately.