By Dr. Rick Goodman, CSP
If you spend any time at all reading marketing blogs, then you’re surely familiar with the term content marketing—but do you really know what it means, and all that it entails?
Content marketing is sometimes described as selling without selling. The idea here is that content marketing represents a clean break from traditional advertising and PR, a new way of attracting customers and growing your business. Rather than selling to customers, content marketing seeks to engage them—to win their loyalty and trust through information and entertainment.
Take the idea of a plumbing company. There are basically two ways you can market a plumbing service, the first being with traditional advertising. You can take out banner ads or TV spots where you tell customers how great your plumbing company is and why they should pick your brand over your competitors. And if you’re lucky, people will listen and respond.
But in today’s world, we’re all pretty wary of advertising, and all too happy to turn off the radio when an ad comes on, or simply ignore the banners we see on websites. With content marketing, then, you would take a different approach. Maybe you would share an infographic on Facebook, showing homeowners how to unclog a stopped up toilet. Or maybe you would offer a blog entry in which you outline the best ways to conserve water during the summer. You could even create a YouTube video, demonstrating to homeowners how they might clean their showerheads or do minor toilet repairs.
Content marketing comes with many advantages: When done well, it enables you to truly engage your audience, rather than just talk at them. This enables you to build strong brand loyalty, and to establish your company as an authority within its field. It builds brand recognition and turns your customers into brand ambassadors—meaning they’re more likely to share your original content on social media channels, thus amplifying your company’s reach and exposure.
Content marketing, it should be said, is tricky to pull off, and requires a real commitment to blogging, social media, video, e-mail marketing, and beyond. More critically, it requires a whole new mindset—a shift away from advertising and promotion and toward real engagement.
About the author: Dr. Rick Goodman, CSP, is a thought leader in the world of leadership and is known as one of the most sought after team building experts in the United States and internationally. He is famous for helping organizations, corporations and individuals with systems and strategies that produce increased profits and productivity without having the challenges of micro managing the process. Some of Dr. Rick’s clients include AT&T, Boeing, Cavium Networks, Heineken, IBM and Hewlett Packard. For more information, visit www.rickgoodman.com