If you are a major corporation, a small business, a restaurant, a nonprofit, a consultant, a brewery or even a band – guess what? You are now a publisher. Well, that is, you are a publisher if you want to be successful. With the rise of content marketing through digital media, publishing content to get your product or brand in front of consumer’s faces is now part of what you do. (And if it’s not, it should be.)
All of us in digital marketing have been doing this for quite some time – whether we were updating a website with a new feature story, sending out email newsletters, tweeting, blogging, or posting on Facebook. And finally, the head honchos are starting to realize the value of content marketing. For instance, Yahoo hired Katie Couric and Jeff Bezos bought the Washington Post.
Content marketing through the web, social media and email is a welcome step in the evolution of marketing because it offers a brand the perfect opportunity to continually shape and more deeply define their image. It gives them the chance to implicitly and explicitly tell the story of who they are and why they do what they do instead of just telling the what about their business or nonprofit.
The widget or service you are selling is not what connects with people – your unique story about why you do what you do is what connects with people. And the web and social media give you the perfect mediums to share that story in bite-sized, accessible pieces to your customers and potential customers.
There are two really important things to keep in mind about content marketing, though:
1) What you write about, post or tweet shouldn’t always be about you. Folks on the interwebz want content that benefits them, so give that to them – for free. You don’t even have to brand it or sneak your sales pitch in it. Just become a source where people go to for a certain kind of content.
2) It doesn’t all have to be original content. Small businesses aren’t usually able to staff a full-time digital content manager. But, you don’t need to! The key is to take a day and find as many web sources as you can who publish content in or related to what you do or sell. Or who publish content that might appeal to your customer demographic. Bookmark those blogs or websites, follow those Twitter accounts, add those Facebook pages to a custom interest list. Then, when you sit down to post to your social media – you have tons of resources you can pull from to share info from. Just make sure to add your own comment to it as you share it to show your brand’s personality. You want to be a curator, an aggregator of the best and most relevant content for your audience.
Some great examples of not-your-traditional-publishers doing great content marketing:
Peter Shankman (PR/media consultant)
Denver International Airport
Noosa Yoghurt (small biz)
Bighorn Firearms (small biz)
Is all this going to take time and effort? Definitely. But content marketing is an essential piece to your success in today’s fast-paced digital marketplace.