Indirectly Promote Your Company and Products by Providing Valuable Industry Information
By Peter Lyle DeHaan
I’ve talked about content marketing. Now we’ll delve into it more fully as a practical marketing tactic. Having written nearly five thousand content marketing pieces over the past couple of decades, it’s a subject I know quite well.
The goal of content marketing isn’t like a typical marketing strategy. It’s more subtle than that, much more. Its intent isn’t to sell. Instead, the goal of content marketing is to establish you or your company as an expert in your industry, a thought leader.
The hoped-for side effect is moving readers into your sales funnel once they know you and trust you as a knowledgeable resource. Be aware, however, that most people who read your content will never buy from you. Repeat readers, though, are likely to form a high opinion of you for your expertise. They may even recommend you to others who will buy from you, even if they don’t.
A content marketing piece should give helpful information as a no-strings-attached public service. It should have no obvious marketing content and must avoid even the hint of a sales pitch. Make sure the content is relevant to your company and helpful to your prospects. This portrays you as a subject-matter expert from the perspective of your target audience.
Content Marketing on Your Website
You can publish content marketing on your own website in the form of a blog. Over time, this takes a huge step forward to gain search engine attention. This is part of search engine optimization—SEO. The result is driving traffic to your site. Be aware, however, that this is not an overnight solution, but a long-term strategy that takes time to pay off.
Even so, a post can go viral and produce an instant impact. And a singular post could also attract the right person who’s eager to buy. Though these are both immediate outcomes that could occur, it’s unwise to plan on them.
Before you begin a content marketing strategy for your website, dig deep to make sure you have enough to say and are committed to pursuing it over time. Figure out a publishing schedule that is both doable and sustainable. Then stick with it. This may be once a month, once a week, or even multiple times a week.
At one point, I posted fresh content three times a week on my main website. It now has two thousand posts, enjoys solid traffic, and experiences year-over-year growth. Be aware that I wrote my first post in 2008 and have been publishing weekly content ever since. But don’t let this discourage you. You can enjoy meaningful results with far less content and time.
Content Marketing on Other Channels
You need not restrict content marketing efforts to your own website. You can also guest post on other sites relevant to your industry. Target sites with more traffic or higher influence than yours.
Assuming they accept guest posts or contributed content, you’ll need to pitch your idea to them. If they like your concept, then you write and send them your piece. Alternately, they may skip the pitch step and simply have you submit your completed work.
Before you send it, make sure it’s your best writing. Don’t send a draft for their feedback or expect them to edit it for you; you should do that before you send it.
A special application that falls under the content marketing umbrella is submitting byline articles to industry periodicals. As a media company, your articles on their site will enjoy greater respect and expanded reach. And if they have a print version of their publication, your content will have the greatest impact and you’ll receive even more industry esteem.
Regardless of where your piece is published, one post or article can have a significant impact. This is because they already have traffic and an audience, which is unlike your own website where you need ongoing posts to attract visitors.
Regardless of where it’s placed, content marketing is a simple and effective marketing tactic that can provide ongoing, enduring results. It establishes the reputation of you and your company, as well as supplying a subtle, but ongoing, source for leads.
Marketing Tactics Success Tip
Embrace content marketing as part of your overall marketing strategy. It will have a long-term and far-reaching impact that will be hard to match with any other tactic.
Peter Lyle DeHaan is an entrepreneur and businessman who has managed, owned, and started multiple businesses over his career. Common themes at every turn have included customer service, sales and marketing, and leadership and management.
He shares his lifetime of business experience and personal insights through his books to encourage, inspire, and occasionally entertain.