Bill Gates once said that “Content is King.” And who am I to disagree with the world’s richest man? But today, I’m going to do exactly that.
Well, I’m not going to disagree with him entirely, though I am going to interpret content marketing in a different way. By trailing through a stack of ‘to-read’ books – that’s developing into quite an accomplished coffee cup table – I have by the side of my desk, I was able to pull out something that perfectly captures content marketing in its fullest.
“Content isn’t King, it’s the Kingdom.” This is something that Lee Odden (author or Optimize) opens with in the ninth chapter of that very book. And boy, do I agree with what he’s saying.
If you consider content as king, then what is he a king of? To me that just says content is a man sat on his throne with a crown on his head. That’s not content marketing.
On the contrary, if content is a kingdom, then content marketing is all about building a civilization that consists of houses and buildings that’s the basis for all social interaction, the development of business, and a whole lot more. Online, each bit of content you produce contributes to the development of your kingdom (your business). And each makes the business bigger and stronger.
Each time you produce a piece of content, you’re building on your kingdom. Building on your empire.
And the roads to this kingdom all begin at a click of a mouse on Google. If you are to expand your kingdom, here’s the place where it’ll all begin. Here’s the place where online browsers begin their journey – each day in fact, there are 3 billion Google searches. That’s 3 billion potential leads.
With Google demanding that content, to rank your website then you have no other choice but to begin producing content. Just like I’m doing right now.
No content? Then no rankings.
The first thing I do when I get up in the morning is reach for my mobile and hit Twitter to discover what the people I follow have to say. I’m looking for information to begin my day. I’ll do this in the bathroom, and I’ll do it when I eat my breakfast. Even before my day has started I’ll have used up nearly 50% of my battery because of this! And it seems I’m not alone with 46% of internet users also looking for content.
And each day businesses are marketing to me in the process. But it doesn’t feel like that. It certainly doesn’t for me anyway. That’s simply because content marketing is marketing without marketing.
Engagement, though, is one of the biggest factors of producing content. You’ve heard all the social media gurus speak of how brands should be speaking with prospects and customers. Now, you also know that producing content is the best way to start a conversation and engage in this manner. This is the case, because you’re giving them the power to search for their own stuff, and talk to us when they want to.
It’s that term you see so often: inbound marketing
Think back to when you were last inside a shop or a retail outlet. What you probably got after entering a store was “Is everything okay?” or “What are you looking for?” or “Your size there?” by the store assistant. Damn I hate that! Well you won’t get that online, because engagement means long term here for your business. Forget Dan Kennedy and the rest of the direct response crowd. In fact, I tend to feel that engagement online in this sense is more ‘human’ than engagement with an actual human in a store!
I believe this to be the case because of the experience and customer service aspects. You can better keep in touch with a customer online through the various channels available to you that wouldn’t have been if you owned a physical store. If you’re constantly producing good content then people will always hang around. Then you can increase the value of your customer. This is where most marketers go wrong and forget about marketing to their current customers.
With content marketing, you get full control over your content whether it’s to your current customers or to your potential customers. It doesn’t matter. As a publisher of information, you’re in the driving seat but you also put your customers in the driving seat too. It makes perfect sense. And you know that people WANT you to publish that information just as people have consumed information for thousands of years. Hell, you only need to look at my bookshelf and the bookmarks on my computer to see that I personally consume content every single day. I’m sure that you’re similar.
But what isn’t so obvious are the authors behind these books and digital content. To be honest, I don’t even think they’re ‘authors’ at all. Sure, they’ve written content, though with that content comes business consulting and public speeches in events and conferences. They’re making money from producing that content because they’ve positioned themselves as an industry expert, an authority figure and a person that can provide solutions to problems.
This could be you. This could be the way that you bring customers into your business. And all by providing something that those customers crave in the first place unlike some direct mail or pop-up advertisement. This is why you really need to be investing in content marketing in 2015.
Need some reassuring?
Content marketing can increase website visitors by up to 55% that will generate 3 times more leads than traditional marketing and will reduce the cost per lead by up to 13%. Those are numbers that you simply cannot ignore if you’re serious about digital marketing.
That’s more inbound traffic, more customers and more revenue. That’s an expert status, a potential for increased prices and more power. That’s providing something that the public want without having to sell anything. And that’s lowering the cost of customer acquisition by getting targeted audiences, with doubled conversions that’s also easy to measure and tweak.
In other words. That’s a higher ROI.
Okay, putting a content marketing strategy in place isn’t going to be easy, and it certainly isn’t going to be free. And I can understand that it’s hard to ditch the traditional marketing methods that have worked so well in the past for you and your competition.
But take a look outside at the constant traffic passing by your door. That happens on the internet (just that there’s a whole lot more) and if you are to go outside and place your business in the middle of that traffic – those that are looking for information and content that may or may not buy from you – then I highly recommend you pick up a pen and paper and begin producing content. As that traffic can easily be yours through high quality, unique and good content.
Build your kingdom with the foundations that will serve you forever, because this is long term marketing.