Whether delivering a marketing message or a sales pitch, clarity is King.
As someone who has been an online marketing professional for almost a decade, a recent conversation with a good friend of mine, (Shout out to Morgan) irked and enlightened me.
Morgan: “I get your newsletter every week”
Me: “Oh yeah, what do you think about it?”
M: “It’s cool, I mean… I thought Strategy Sunday’s was some sort of event.”
I realised that I had failed to clarify the purpose and value of my own content marketing efforts to my relatively small (but growing) audience.
Let’s go back a step…
At the end of last year, two things dawned on me:
#1. Although my family and friends were aware that I am self-employed, not many knew exactly what I do for a living.
#2. As a practitioner (on behalf of my clients) and advocate of Content Marketing (if you want to know what Content Marketing is, keep reading) I wasn’t actually sharing any of my own original content on sales and marketing tactics and strategies.
In other words, I wasn’t eating my own dog food.
So, come January 1st, 2017, I decided to write at least 1 blog post per week highlighting marketing strategies for small business owners, entrepreneurs and marketers.
#StrategySundays is a weekly newsletter, which contains a mini round-up of marketing content from across the web.
Each week I produce a new blog post, which is included in the newsletter, focused on marketing strategies and tactics which can be utilised by small business owners and entrepreneurs who are struggling to find and communicate with their customers online.
My blogs mission statement is:
“We produce World Class content marketing strategies and insights which will help you to revolutionise and grow your business today.”
If you are an Entrepreneur (or have aspirations of becoming one) or a Marketer and your business has a turnover of -£1m, #StrategySundays is for YOU.
It contains 0% BS, no untested theories, no fluff… just real strategies which (if executed correctly) could add serious Dollars, Pounds or Euros to your bottom line.
Here is what you will learn each week:
- How to find your ideal customers online
- How to build an audience of potential customers by creating engaging content
- Create more customers in your business.
It’s that simple. If this sounds like something you could benefit from, click below to sign up.
What is Content Marketing?
When it comes to defining the practice of Content Marketing, trying to reinvent the wheel is a fruitless task, especially when there are hundreds of perfectly adequate definitions in the Websphere.
Here are two definitions, which will concisely explain the methodology:
The Godfather’s Definition
Joe Pulizzi is the founder of the Content Marketing Institute and a best-selling author who has written 4 books (finishing his 5th) on the practice of content marketing.
He is recognised as the Godfather of content marketing. He didn’t invent the practice, but he did recognise what successful companies were doing differently with their communication. He also coined the phrase.
His definition is as follows:
“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.”
Put another way, Joe is saying that content marketing is the creation of media to assist some form of behaviour change in a specific audience.
If you are a business owner who consistently posts video’s, images, blog posts or podcasts online, it is all considered content.
The media you create should help endear that audience to your brand and inspire them to become customers.
My Favourite Definition
Jay Acunzo is a Keynote speaker and the host of the “Unthinkable” Podcast about creativity in business.
His definition of content marketing is simple and easy and refined:
“Content marketing is just solving the same customer problems as your product (or service) but through media you create and distribute.”
It’s an often forgotten fact that successful businesses do not just become successful by having a myopic focus on making money.
All businesses serve 1 or 2 purposes in their customer’s lives. They either;
a) Solve a problem.
b) Fulfil a desire.
The biggest companies in the world, such as Apple, Tesla, Microsoft, Nike etc. always straddle the fence. They focus on creating customer experiences which provide solutions and fulfil desires.
Jay is advocating that your content should address the same solutions or fulfil the same desires that your business does.
For example, it’s arguable that Versace’s expensive and high-end clothing solves some deep inner problem in their customer’s lives, however, it is far more obvious that their products are designed to fulfil their customer’s desires.
If your product or service fulfils your target audience’s desires, then your content (photos, videos, etc.) should be focused on speaking to their values.
Smartphones are the swiss army knives of problem-solving. Think about the endless amount of functions and applications which they provide access to; not only are they phone’s, they are also web browsers, calculators, music players, alarm clocks, calendars… the list is endless.
If you are in the business of solving your target audience’s problems, then your focus should be to produce highly valuable, non-salesy content which addresses those problems and associated problems.
Are you ready to build an audience and grow your business?
The internet has helped billions of people across the globe connect with each other and gain access to information which was previously reserved for boardrooms and libraries. Because of this, more businesses are being started than ever before.
However, the harsh reality is that most businesses will not survive unless they have an intimate understanding of their target audience’s needs and a strategy to convert them into customers.
Content marketing can provide solutions to both of these conundrums.
If you are an entrepreneur or marketer who would like to learn how to produce content which engages with an audience of your ideal customers, join me right here each week.
Also published on Medium.