Image via WikipediaI just read an excellent post at Chris Brogan’s blog about Content Marketing.
If you think you do not have a content marketing strategy, you are wrong. It is just that your content marketing strategy stinks.
Do any of these describe your stinky content strategy?
- You have a website that never changes
- You started a blog but it did not produce sales so you stopped
- You write about things every once in a while but no one seems to care
- Your enewsletter has a small audience and a low open rate
- You write directly about your products that you are trying to sell all the time
The #1 reason I love Chris’ post is that he is discussing content marketing, not blogging. When I talk to people about blogging, they think that setting up a blog and posting occasionally should do something for them. It may, but people usually give up before it kicks in.
If you instead understand that you are considering a content marketing strategy, then everything changes. It is not about the technology (wordpress hosting) but about how you are going to build an audience and content that generates leads long term.
Now lets imagine that you are starting a TV show. Is your TV show a success because you filmed 10 episodes? Or is your TV show a success because you have built an audience and advertisers want to sponsor it? Obviously the latter.
If you want to have a serious content marketing strategy, you are going to have to write about what people want to read, not what you want to tell them. And you are going to need to learn how to write artilces for search engines as well as people, and how to build links and how to use social media to not be invisible.
Does it sound like a lot of work? It is.
You’d think that all the great free martketing tools and low cost publishing solutions would benefit the small business owner. It does not. The constantly changing landscape and the skills that are needed to use them well mean that creating the audience and producing content is a bigger part of your job than running your business. And lets face it, you probably do not have the time or the money to do it right.
That does not mean that you are not going to get results. It does mean that you are very unlikely to get big results unless you make a big effort, which means all those “free” tools are not so free because you need people feeding them great, original and interesting content.
This is not something new
Years ago we went into business with a great eMagazine publishing system. We got a fair number of clients and we were not a cheap hosting solution. The problem we found was that our big clients (Universities and Magazine Publishers) were using the tools every week and getting fantastic results because they had people committed to publishing emagazines on a big scale to audiences that cared.
Our smaller clients, usually small businesses, liked the idea of publishing emagazines and they were paying clients – but they were not getting a good ROI. Why? They liked the idea but they did not actually use the tools consistently. I hated taking their money, even though we were providing them with a good solution that had the potential to create huge value.
Flash forward to now. Web publishing solutions are everywhere for free or for a very low cost. But you are still not getting it. It is not about the tools, it is about having a solid content marketing strategy.