You may have heard people mention content marketing and wondered what on earth they are talking about.
Content marketing is simply the practice of providing something of value to people.
It might be;
Or any number of other things that give some value to the consumer.
It’s not just online though.
You can invite clients to a free workshop on management accounting or a budget update or anything that provides them with value.
Why content marketing?
I’m quite active on LinkedIn and I go to a few networking events.
There seem to be two types of people that inhabit these places.
Salesmen and what I like to call normal people.
When you first meet the salesman* they immediately launch into their customer qualifying script.
This happens on LinkedIn a lot.
You connect up and the very first email you get is “Hi Stuart thanks for connecting. I was wondering how you are getting on with your photocopying and printing set up at the moment….”
Frankly they get instantly disconnected!
If I really want to discuss my printing requirements then I will choose to speak with someone (hold that thought).
Networking meetings can be even worse because you are right there in front of them and it’s difficult to find a polite way to extricate yourself.
Someone who stands there and tells you the entire history of their double-glazing company and why you really should have a deep and meaningful chat with them about your house and how to reduce your fuel bills. Aaaargh!
Normal people however work in an entirely different way.
You enjoy a chat about cars or flowers or whatever it is and happen to mention that your herbaceous borders need a seeing to and your new friend says they know a really good gardener…
Or you are chatting and mention how difficult it is to find a good HR platform and they suggest you check out PeopleHR because it worked really well in their company…
All of a sudden, because they have given you something of value with no gain for themselves you feel better about them.
And next time you are needing a virtual PA or a graphic designer OR A COPYWRITER then you’ll perhaps ask them because they are trustworthy.
And that is exactly how content marketing works.
Content marketing gets you customers like no other method of advertising.
It’s more cost-effective and it’s long-lived and if you do it right it can be used again and again.
*OK look I know this is the worst caricature of a salesman ever. In fact, my friends in sales would say that’s the exact opposite of a professional salesman, but I’m using it to make a point.