What actually is content marketing?

When I first started telling people that I wanted to specialise in content marketing, a lot of what I got back was ‘Okay, but what actually is content marketing”.

At it’s most basic, content marketing is just sharing content on the internet with some kind of end-goal in mind. So, you’re not just sharing photos of your kids with your family.

Content marketing is a great way of building a brand story. Sometimes, that is the end-goal in and of itself.

A great example of that is Innocent smoothies. They use their social media and website to drive home the message that they are fun. They’re so light-hearted and funny! Look, they have knitted hats for their drinks in the winter! They almost never say “We make and sell smoothies, buy our smoothies”. But they don’t have to. Because they also have a consumer marketing budget of literally millions of pounds.

Content marketing and you

For the rest of us, content marketing is the creation of online material that lets people find out more about who we are and what we do, and how what we do might benefit them.

Your online content takes people on a journey from never having heard of you before, to knowing more about you, to liking you, to trusting you enough to buy something from you.

Social media vs. your own channels

Social media can be amazing for helping people get to know you, and can also be useful to build relationships. I have built up really close friendships through my social media channels, and am a huge fan of Instagram stories in particular for giving you an insight into other people’s lives.

BUT social media can be flaky. Algorithms change and new channels can spring up and take over overnight.

When you are planning your content, always think about how you can build a long-term relationship with your audience. What would you do if your favourite social media channel was hacked and went down for days? How would you communicate with your audience?

Having my own website allows me to explain who I am and what I do clearly. My blog brings in traffic from search engines like Pinterest and Google. And my newsletter is my way of letting people get to know me on a slightly deeper level. If Twitter goes down, I know that people can still find me online, and — crucially — I can still reach out to them.

Content that converts

As well as letting people get to know you, it’s important that your content marketing does something for you and your business. Otherwise, you might as well just be sharing photos of your kids with your family.

What are your goals for your content? Let people know about what you do! Share what you can do for them and what the benefits are of what you have to offer. How will what you do make them feel?

Once you have a specific goal in mind, tell the reader what it is! Give them some kind of clear call-to-action so that if they want to take the next step, they can do so easily.

And that’s content marketing in a nutshell!

My call-to-action?

Ready to untangle your thoughts and start building your own content marketing plan? Download my workbook – 7 Steps to Create an Effective Online Content Plan.

Want to work together one-on-one? Find out more about my mentoring packages here.

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