When I tell people that content marketing is part of my business, the typical response is ‘What is content marketing?’
My response goes something like this –
That direct response sometimes gets a slightly puzzled look, the kind of look that says, “Nope – still don’t get it.”
Then I tell them that I write content for clients. That content might be a blog post explaining a key concept, or it could be an animated video. It could also be creating a short ebook for a client to give away for free to clients.
Well yes and no.
The content marketing examples above have one thing in common – they are not selling anything. They are giving away free and valuable content for a target audience. They are the building blocks of a relationship. It’s not a sales pitch; it’s the start of a conversation. The principle being this – that if you continue to deliver valuable, free and relevant content that helps people – that they will come to trust you. If, in the future, they are in the market for a service you offer, the probability of them choosing you over an unknown business is very high. And even if they never become clients, they are likely to be fans of what you do and will help with your word of mouth marketing efforts.
So it’s not entirely altruistic, those that believe in content marketing aren’t saints – they just recognise that having content marketing as a cornerstone of their business makes business sense. They also recognise that content marketing doesn’t happen overnight. Creating content consistently takes time and for some the lack of an immediate payoff is the key thing that puts them off.
They’d rather focus on creating direct selling copy for their website or a piece of direct mail to post out to a database. This more direct approach still works, especially for those with the skills to write persuasive copy. But if it is ALL you write and if it is the only way you do business – then sooner, rather than later – people will switch off. Becuase ultimately the vast majority of people love buying, but HATE being sold to.
The flipside though is that if you only give away free content, and don’t have a product or service behind it to sell – then you frankly don’t have a business. There is a balance to be struck.
Gary Vaynerchuck sums it up perfectly in his book Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook. It’s a great book and worth a read – the central theme in the book is this. The jabs are a series of free, valuable content that is given away before a sale is asked for in the form of a copywriting right hook. Gary does this brilliantly by giving away, short daily videos, as well as frequent free blog posts. He follows this up by then sharing with his audience through a well copy-written sales page or video that he has a new book available. The key to Gary’s success isn’t just his full-on personality, but that the free content he shares is genuinely valuable. He also wins because he gets the ratio right. It’s not a coincidence that the book ISN’T called Jab, Right Hook, Right Hook, Right Hook.
So to take the boxing metaphor a bit further – content marketing and copywriting aren’t in opposing corners – they’re in the same one. They are the winning team. They work hard together in the gym over a long period, they do the road work, they do the bag work and a bit of skipping. When they finally get in the ring, they are perfectly prepared. And of course every boxer and boxing team need an opponent – they need an enemy – and in our case that enemy is apathy. Apathy that so often leads to someone hitting the ‘back button’ and searching again for the content that grabs them, engages them and connects with them.
Do the words you use strike that balance? Does the content on your site hold people’s attention? Does it deliver a knock-out punch for your business? If the answer is no, you owe it to yourself, your business and your audience to create fresh new content. And if you don’t have time to do it yourself or you simply don’t like writing get in touch with me, and I’ll turn words into real assets for your business.
Contact Kevin by filling in our enquiry form or if you’d like a chat, just call 07873 110097.
Content Marketing Quotes To Inspire Vol 1
The Content Marketing Academy Conference 2015
In A Minute Ep1 - Content Marketing
Could a blog series help repurpose your content?
Should I consider local newspaper advertising to grow my business?
Could a daily writing goal change your writing fortunes?
Should You Write A Script for Your Next Presentation?
Personally Speaking | Injecting your personality into your blog