With all of the exposure social media marketing has been receiving recently, it is normal to be confused by some of the new industry terms that are associated with it. One practice that goes hand in hand with social media is content marketing; a way of reaching current and potential customers by offering valuable information.
The most important aspect of content marketing is the idea that you are delivering relevant information to your target audience without directly selling anything to them. This type of marketing allows you to be viewed as a thought leader, and helps your company build trust.
Content marketing, similar to social media marketing, is considered an inbound tactic since your audience is coming to you for information. Inbound marketing is vital today because customers don't want to be treated as though they are just a sale. Paul Greenberg summed it up when he stated that 'buyers and consumers do not want to be an object of a sale but rather a subject of an experience.'
In order to see results, one must patiently build upon their content marketing initiatives. You can start building the foundation of trust within your customer base by offering information in the following ways:
- Utilize social media outlets - Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. Be sure to create meaningful relationships and engage in conversation that is not meant to sell or market your products. If prospects sense they are being marketed to they could lose interest, and you risk damaging the relationship you have built to that point.
- Start, or revitalize, a company blog - this is a great way to share knowledge that you have about your industry. Don't discuss your specific products or services unless you are providing valuable information about them in general.
- Create or re-organize your company's website - this is a vital tool in getting your message out to prospects. When consumers look for more information about your company, they will look to someone else if there is no website (or only a non-functioning website) available.