Although people are fast realizing the overwhelming importance of content writing and content marketing, very few really understand their long-term and short-term implications.
I will be frank (I am quite frank so I happen to use this phrase a lot on my website), content marketing is a two-edged sword. It can bring you massive success, and it can leave you clueless. It all depends on how much you understand it and how much belief you are ready to put it.
Content marketing is not an action, it is a process. It is like building a platform from where you can promote your product or service (your business). Since it is a platform, a successful content strategy may not directly seem to bring you more business but it creates an engaging environment that brings your target customers and clients closer to you and makes you more recognizable and amiable to them. Content in its truest form is constant communication.
How is it better from conventional advertising?
In conventional advertising you are invariably talking to your audience. In content marketing you are engaging your audience in a two-way communication. If you don’t get this difference, may be at this juncture content marketing is not a viable solution for you. If you do understand, please read on.
We all know what a strategy is: You want to reach from point A to point B and you know exactly what all needs to be done in order to achieve that. In business, without strategy there is no success. The same goes with content marketing; you need to have a well-defined strategy. But why a long-term content strategy? Again, because it is an ongoing process. It is not an action. Content marketing is a platform that you sustain in order to constantly promote your business from it.
Why you need to focus on content?
The Internet itself is content-driven. What is there on the web if not content? What is there on social networking and social media websites if not content? What do you find on search engines? Content, of course.
The greatest thing about the Internet is it has turned all of us into entrepreneurial publishers. You no longer have to rely upon magazines, newspapers and electronic media to broadcast your messages, whether they are political, social or commercial.
All you need is a platform. For easy understanding, think in terms of television. Every television channel broadcasts content in the form of news, documentaries, comedy serials, sports broadcasts, kids programs and family dramas. In between they show advertisements and sponsored programs. If you remember, whenever a new television channel is launched, for a few months, or even for a few years, there are no advertisements. As the channel is able to build up an audience and increase its TRP ratings, it begins to get advertisements from various businesses. So conventional television builds a platform and then charges other businesses for using the platform to promote themselves.
Understandably, sustaining a television channel and generating content for it can be forbiddingly expensive. Fortunately, since more and more audience is moving over to the Internet, and since publishing and broadcasting content on the Internet is a lot easier than by conventional channels, having your own platform to promote your own business is just a matter of executing your content strategy. Mom and pop businesses are doing it. Big enterprises like IBM and Coca-Cola are doing it. Everybody can do it.
Coming back to having your own long-term content strategy
Long-term content strategy means building and sustaining the platform. It has to be a steady mix of promotional as well as informative content. Millions of webpages and blog posts containing text, video and images are generated every hour on the Internet. No matter how exclusive and rare your field of business is, on the Internet you are going to find competitors. These competitors are constantly trying to promote their products and services. Having a long-term content strategy is always going to give you an advantage.
Again, long-term content strategy doesn’t mean driving yourself breathless and bankrupt while trying to produce scores of web pages and blog posts every day. Strategy involves consistency, quality, observation, analysis, engagement, and accordingly, realignment. It is something that you build gradually. Strategy involves understanding the problems of your target audience, generating content to solve these problems and then broadcasting the generated content through channels your target audience prefers. For instance if your audience prefers to read blogs then publish your content on your blog. If your audience prefers videos then you should try to upload a couple of videos every month on YouTube. If images tickle the motivation of your audience, then perhaps you can use Instagram or Pinterest. The whole point of having a strategy is providing the needed content through preferred channels.
Is having a long-term content strategy expensive
In the beginning I talked about content marketing being a two-edged sword in the sense that, if you know what you should do and eventually what you want to achieve, it can be a gold mine. But if you cluelessly go on publishing web pages and blog posts simply to increase their numbers you’re wasting money as well as effort (if you have hired a content writer). Of course it is an ongoing business expense just like any other expense. Simply because you find content all over the Internet it doesn’t mean it should be freely or at the most cheaply available. High-quality content, content marketing and adherence to a clearly-defined content strategy involves expense. But the returns are massive and this justifies the expense. At the risk of indulging in exaggeration, won’t it make you happy if your business grows 100-200% in just a single year if you can execute a well thought of content strategy?
I’m sure you have more questions. So do contact me and I will give you all the information you need in order to fully transform your business through a high-impact content marketing strategy.