We have two talks coming up at our Farnham Business Connections lunchtime events, both speakers fall under the category of content marketers. Here Jane Woodyer of We Love 2 Blog 4 You shares what content marketing is all about.
For anyone who doesn’t think content marketing is relevant for a local business servicing a local clientele, the fact that you’re reading this blog post proves that actually that’s not necessary the case.
There was a time when many local companies couldn’t see the benefit of any kind of digital marketing; their reasoning was that they wanted footfall through the door, and therefore there was no value in having an online presence. But as the average Farnham resident spends more time online* than visiting the town centre businesses have realised that if they want to attract local customers they need to be online too.
* 2014 Ofcom survey found that the average Briton spends over 8 hours a day on media devices
What Is Content Marketing?
So what’s the difference between digital marketing and content marketing? And what additional value can content marketing deliver for the local business owner? Content marketing is a part of digital marketing that’s distinctly different to other forms of marketing. Most digital marketing involves promoting a product or service in a fairly direct way: be it through an online banner advert or promotional offer delivered via email or PPC campaign. Content marketing is about nurturing your potential or existing customers by creating relevant, entertaining or informative content that attracts and retains your target customer.
The big difference between content marketing and other forms of digital marketing is that there’s no sales pitch. Instead the purpose is to provide engaging content that first creates leads, then converts leads into prospects, and finally into customers.
Types Of Content Marketing
You’re probably already doing some content marketing even if you don’t know it. If you have social media channels for your business your tweets and updates form part of this content – provided you’re not guilty of spamming your followers! If you have whitepapers, case studies, demo videos or reports available on your website; you’re already creating content marketing material. And, of course, if you have a company blog this is often the core of any content marketing strategy, if you do it right.
Here are 7 key content marketing platforms:
Video – not adverts but marketing communications that inform or entertain, making your business’ video channel the go-to-place for impartial advice or a source of inspiration, trends and aspirational content.
Blog Posts – a company blog drives traffic to your website with content your audience want to read. You can also embed other content marketing in your posts, such as video; furthering its reach.
Infographics – infographics are a great visual tool for sharing statistics or for explaining a process. Visual content is not only easily understood, and therefore acted upon, but it also has good potential for viral reach.
EBooks – whether it’s the ultimate how-to guide, a report into a specific area of your business, or resource such as the ‘top 10s’, ‘bests of’ etc., an eBook not only provides your customers with valuable information but it can also be used to capture email addresses through download signup forms.
Free Downloads – downloads do not have to be wordy eBooks; they can also be simple resources such as a checklist or planner. Once again, make them available using a signup form and you can capture email addresses in the process.
Email Newsletters – email newsletters need content and once again blatant sales pitches are going to turn potential customers off. Instead deliver news, insights and entertainment through your email newsletters, with targeted offers and incentives to visit your website or contact you directly.
Social Media – use your social media channels to give followers an insight into your business, ethos and company culture by sharing content that reflects this. Join up your other content marketing channels (blog, YouTube, Slideshare etc.) by sharing content from these on your social profiles.
If you want to get local customers through your door, you’ll need to do more than put out a welcome mat, instead use content marketing to create leads, nurture prospects and ultimately convert online visitors into real life customers.
Find out more on Thursday 14 May at Farnham Business Connections Lunchtime Networking event. Register HERE
Jane Woodyer of We Love 2 Blog 4 You, ghost blogs and manages company blogs for businesses ranging from small micro businesses to large SMEs, covering subjects as diverse as interim management to tips for improving your golf game! Working closely with her clients on their content strategy Jane ensures that company blogs are populated with posts that actually deliver value, both for visitor and client. http://welove2blog4you.com
Member since: 10th July 2012
Hi, if we have yet to meet, my name is Martin and I have been running the Best of Farnham for 11 years.
My aim is to promote and champion only the best of businesses throughout the area, helping with...