Starting Your Content Marketing Plan
Content Marketing has been around for ages; however, it has never been more accessible yet complicated. More and more people are spending more and more time online. They are making purchases based on familiarity. Familiarity is even more poignant when purchasing online. You do not necessarily have the opportunity to test a product or get a closer look as you would in a physical store. Impulse buys are also less likely unless you are a familiar product or service. So, how do we build that familiarity? Storytelling and visibility are the best way to create comfort and build trust with your potential customers. It is basic human nature to fear or distrust that which we do not know. So it is no surprise that a new product or an unfamiliar brand will get the same treatment. By taking the lead and telling your story and controlling the way you convey your brand, you are inviting the customer to know more about you than you do about them. Sharing first is called giving trust. When a small business shares a picture of the owner, they build familiarity and give a face to a name. When a company tells the story of what inspired them to get into business and what ignites their passion, they are giving trust. When you see a brand or logo in a magazine you respect and then again on social media and then again being reviewed by a trusted source, you begin to associate them with the trust those other channels already earned. This trust by association begins to seep into the unconscious. It slowly becomes memorable and familiar, and that is where the rubber meets the road, and you hit a saturation point that leads to actual purchases and decision making.
“The storytelling of content marketing appeals to the mind and the heart”
The storytelling of content marketing appeals to the mind and the heart and allows people to make informed decisions, and gives companies a chance to share their side of things first. The other strategy behind content marketing is SEO (Search Engine Optimization). This elusive character is one I get asked about a lot. Everyone wants it, and everyone wants to capitalize on it; however, most people do not understand how it works and highlight it. With SEO, the most important thing is presence. The more words on your site, the more potential for coming up in a search result. The more words written about your company, the more chance your company will come up in a search result on a particular topic. So the name of the game is volume and diverse channels. If you can have 500 words written about your product category and industry with your company name in it, then you have a good start. If you can have that same message on social media, online magazine, blog roll, and a podcast, now you are surging up the search ranks.
This is the basic gist of it all. The challenge is that most people don’t actually like to write. The other challenge is knowing what the most searchable words are and the other numerous hacks to get more search-ability based on the words you use. The good news is that any content is better than no content, so creating a plan and building on it over time is an excellent way to start. Getting a trusted source to manage your content for you and tell your story across multiple platforms is becoming a more and more achievable goal. Whether you’re leaning on an established publication to hoist your visibility or simply populating your blog roll, it all counts, and it is all necessary to get in front of your next customer.