Tag Archives: content marketing described

Is content marketing an asset or a cost?

is-content-marketing-and-assetThese days I’m reading Joe Pullizi’s Epic Content Marketing: How to tell a different story, break through the clutter, and win more customers by marketing less. In one of the chapters he mentions that many marketers consider content marketing as cost and not an asset.

This comes to me as a surprise because I believe everything you have that promotes your business, gets you more leads, gives you more exposure, is an asset.

What’s that signboard in front of your shop or business establishment? What are the employees that help your customers buy from your retail shop? What are the advertisements that you carry out? Are these assets or costs?

The thing is, everything you spend money on is the cost. This is the reality of life. You have to pay for things. If you want to have a very good website for your business, you have to pay the web designer. If you want to improve your SEO, you have to pay an SEO expert. Similarly, if you want compelling content on your website, you have to pay a content writer or a content marketing agency. A premium service is going to cost you.

Having said all this, I always tell my clients that all the webpages and blog posts they are getting our assets, because they are generating business for them, they have no reason to exist. Your FAQs page is an asset. Your about us page is an asset. Your homepage is obviously an asset. All the blog posts that you are publishing to improve your search engine rankings and engage your customers are assets because they are helping you get more business. All the updates that you are publishing on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to engage your prospective and current customers and clients are assets because they give you brand visibility.

People who consider content marketing a cost don’t understand what’s content marketing and the do content marketing simply because the others are doing. They have heard that other businesses are doing great with content marketing and they would also want the same results, but without putting in the extra effort of understanding how to do it and what to expect of it. Read Why content marketing is important for your business.

It’s the same like SEO: most of the people who want better search engine rankings don’t put much effort into understanding what is SEO. They just want higher rankings and for that they are ready to indulge even in those activities that are counter-productive. By the time they realize that they have harmed their rankings rather than improving them, it’s too late and the worst part is, they blame SEO in general rather than blaming their particular activities. Read 5 ways to beat your competitors at SEO with content writing.

Why is content marketing an asset?

In order to understand why content marketing is an asset you first of all need to have a clear idea of why you want to use content marketing for your business. Is it just because you have heard about content marketing and you have heard many people raving about it, or do you really believe it can make a big difference? Read What is content marketing? Explained in detail.

If you simply want to follow people because they seem to be doing cool activities, you are in for a big disappointment if your soul is not into it. In order to make full use of content marketing, you have to realize its importance. Why content matters to your business? Read Why is content marketing so important?

Content marketing is an asset because you use it to build a platform and then due to this platform, you are able to increase your business.

Sometimes a blog post that you publish and then promote may get you direct business or the email campaign that you send may get you direct business but more often than not, content marketing helps you build a platform and that platform eventually helps you convert. Blog post by blog post, web page by web page, you build this platform.

Take the example of a celebrity. Once you are famous, innumerable doors open for you if you have got talent. Suppose you are totally unknown but you are an exceptional writer. Paris Hilton is known for whatever reasons. If both of you approach a publisher who has got a better chance of his or her book being published? I’m not talking about an idealistic publisher.

The same happens with content marketing. It turns you into a celebrity in your own universe. You create your own circle of influence and whoever is inside that circle likes you, trusts you, values your opinion and consequently, when it comes to doing business, prefers to do business with you.

For example, if I’m constantly writing about content marketing and giving you useful insights that you can use to promote your own business, one day when you need someone to do content marketing for your business, are you going to look for a content marketer somewhere else or you would approach me (provided you haven’t heard bad things about me)? Or someone you know needs a content marketing service. Obviously, you are going to approach me.

This is the sort of presence your content marketing creates. This is the circle of influence you create when you do content marketing for your business. In that sense, content marketing is an investment and when you invest, you create assets.

How do you explain content marketing to a child?

Einstein explaining content marketing to a childIf you find it difficult to explain the concept of content marketing to a business executive, perhaps you should try explaining what is content marketing to a child.

Einstein said: “If you can’t explain it to a six-year-old, you don’t understand it yourself.”

When I came across this quote, in another tab I was reading a blog post quoting various content marketing and digital marketing experts explaining what content marketing is.

As a concept content marketing is very old. All those corporate journals and newsletters were nothing but content marketing. The soap operas were content marketing.

But this concept is very difficult to explain to a business executive to whom everything is blurry either because the idea is too good to be true or he isn’t ready to accept that conventional advertising isn’t as good as it used to be (it was never good, it’s just that, now it has an alternative).

So how do you explain content marketing to a child?

explaining content marketing to a child

Content marketing means…

  • Help people with your content
  • Make them feel good
  • Become a source of useful information
  • They begin to like you
  • They begin to appreciate your knowledge
  • They begin to trust you
  • They do business with you

It’s as simple as that.

Of course, it is not as simple as that, but this is the beginning. These are the fundamentals of content marketing. You don’t use content marketing to directly promote your business. You create a platform where your prospective customers and clients find something highly useful or entertaining, on an ongoing basis. Publish your content in such a manner that you don’t hard sell, you are always useful, and people know what business you offer.

Since they know you and trust you, they would rather do business with you than someone they are unfamiliar with.

Take my business for example. I provide content writing and content marketing services. I continuously share useful information about content writing and content marketing on my blog as well as on social networking platforms.

My blog is my base. All my quality content exists here. Since I’m continuously writing on various topics related to content writing and content marketing, people easily find the information they’re looking for on my blog. They also come across my links and search engines for relevant keywords.

Then I’m constantly sharing my links on LinkedIn and Twitter. I’m constantly appearing on people’s timelines. I make sure I share the information they can use to grow their businesses.

This, is content marketing. I publish and disseminate helpful content. People find that content useful. They appreciate it. They may not hire my content writing and content marketing services immediately, but whenever they do, they remember that I provide the services.

This is how you can explain content marketing to a child.

What is Content Marketing? Explained in detail

what is content marketing – featured imageAlthough, by the beginning of 2016, 88% marketers admitted that content marketing is an integral part of their overall marketing strategy (source), very few understand what is content marketing in its true sense and why it is more effective than traditional marketing.

If you don’t feel like reading the entire blog post, in the video given below I have explained in detail what content marketing is and how it can help you grow your business:

In terms of process and strategy, content marketing can be represented through the following tangle:

Content Marketing Triangle

The three main steps involved in content marketing are

  1. Developing useful content
  2. Publishing that useful content
  3. Distributing that useful content

These are the fundamental activities but these activities can be further expanded into more points:

  1. Studying your market to know what sort of content is needed.
  2. Developing useful content according to the conclusion of the study mentioned in step 1 in such a manner that it also allows you to talk about your business.
  3. Publishing your content using the platform preferred by your audience (you find this through step 1) – your own blog or website, guest blogging on other blogs and websites, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, email newsletters, Medium, Snapchat, Tumblr, etc.
  4. Distributing your content through the channels preferred by your audience – your own blog, guest blogging on other blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Medium, email newsletters, Snapchat, Tumblr, etc.
  5. Using web analytics to study what sort of impact your content marketing strategy is making (now step 1 becomes a combination of step 1 and step 5, so now this is the new step 1).
  6. Continue with step 2 onwards.

By developing, publishing, and distributing highly useful and valuable content over a long period of time (the steps mentioned above) you develop a platform for yourself.

People begin to relate your presence with great value.

What is valuable content in Content Marketing?

It depends on your business. You can develop, publish and distribute useful content by

  • Keeping people informed
  • Educating people
  • Making them laugh or making them feel sentimental
  • Reviewing products and services for them
  • Providing them privileged information

Basically, providing them something they value, something that they don’t mind getting access to or being delivered on an ongoing basis.

This, is what valuable content is.

What is content marketing according to renowned marketers?

Content marketing is the marketing and business process for creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly-defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.

~ Content Marketing Institute

what is content marketing – content marketing Institute

Content marketing is the process of developing and sharing relevant, valuable, and engaging content to target audience with the goal of acquiring new customers or increasing business from existing customers.

~ Amanda Maksymiw

what is content marketing – Amanda Maksymiw

Content marketing is a device used by companies to educate, inform or entertain customers or prospects by creating attention or causing behavior that results in leads, sales or advocacy.

~ Jay Baer

what is content marketing – Jay Baer

Content Marketing is anything a company creates and shares to tell their story. It is conversational, human and doesn’t try to constantly sell to you.

~ Ann Handley

what is content marketing – Ann Handley

Content marketing is, creating a following of dedicated audience through providing valuable, timely and relevant content to people over a long period of time, so that they begin to trust you and want to do business with you on their own.

~ Amrit Hallan

what is content marketing – Amrit Hallan

Why content marketing works better than traditional marketing?

Traditional marketing, as you already know, is one-way. You’re constantly telling people to do business with you whether at that time, they want to do business with you or not. The traditional marketing doesn’t care whether people want to hear from you or not.

traditional marketing doesn't care

Traditional marketing uses channels that have already been built. The entire process is unscientific. People come across your marketing message when they are least expecting it or even when they are feeling hostile towards it.

Content marketing on the other hand, allows you to build your own broadcasting channel. When you develop and publish useful content, people seek you out to access that content on their own. You don’t have to advertise. People come to your website or the platform you use to publish your content, on their own.

when you develop and publish useful content

By developing, publishing and distributing useful content on a prolonged basis, you develop a loyal audience of people who look forward to hearing from you.

You, your business name, or your brand, becomes familiar to them and they begin to trust you because of the non-stop value you deliver.

After you have successfully implemented your content marketing strategy, there are two ways people will do business with you:

  1. Scenario 1: They need what you provide and they know you provide it and since they already know you and trust you, they approach you rather than someone they don’t know.
  2. Scenario 2: You tell them what you provide and if and when they need it, they are going to get it from you rather than someone they don’t know.

So, the basic purpose of Content Marketing is, to be present in people’s lives in such a manner that you provide value to them on an ongoing basis while making sure they always remember what business you are in.

Once you have created such presence its positive impact is long-lasting.