By Chris Sturk
Content marketing is designed to create stronger relationships, but only if you’re doing it correctly
Content marketing is the most successful method for creating a devout online audience.
That is my honest opinion and I stick by it.
Many Internet marketers who expressed interest in allocating more money to content marketing for 2011 share my opinion. In fact, the B2B Content Marketing: 2010 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends from MarketingProfs and Junta 42 reported that 51% of B2B marketers planned on increasing their spending on content marketing throughout 2011.
However, becoming a great content marketer won’t happen over night. Calling yourself a content marketer isn’t enough to convince people that you’re a trustworthy source of information that they can rely on for answers to their most pressing questions.
Many consumers have no concept of what content marketing is, nor do they care. All they care about is the content they seek and the answers that help them lead a better life.
For anyone embarking on the evolving road of content marketing, keep in mind that this form of marketing is all about creating strong, long-lasting relationships. There is no trickery or deceit behind this strategy – only high-quality content, transparency and an open dialogue on community needs.
Are you stuck on relationship building components of a highly successful content marketing strategy? These three tips should pose as a helpful starting point.
For the most complete, time efficient program on the seven principles of a highly successful content marketing strategy, join us for Content Marketing Made Simple on March 22nd.
-Express that You’re a Journalist: There’s been a debate lately about what constitutes someone as a journalist. Regardless of whom you work for, if you articulately present factual, unbiased information to people on a regular basis, then I’d personally consider you a journalist. Be this source of information for your audience. Be honest and open with them, and if you make an error, own up to it. Doing so will humanize you and further the bonds of trust you work hard to create.
-Begin the Conversation: Creating a dialogue helps you understand and better serve your audience. Unfortunately audience members may not always be the first to leave a comment on your blog post about what they liked or didn’t like about it. We cannot blame our audience for this, as sometimes it’s hard to be the first person to leave a comment. To combat this, have other members of your team share their opinions on articles in the comment section after they publish. Multiple voices and opinions will hopefully do two different things. First, it may create additional questions or comments that can be addressed. Second, it will often times lead to more people joining the conversation.
-Give Away Content for Free: Whether you give away white papers, video or audio files, content marketing is all about FREE. Many of your audience members have already provided their email address in exchange for a free product. Don’t let this be the only free product of yours that they see. Be sure to remind them regularly of additional free information. At Mequoda Daily we use Fridays as audience development days where we email our list brief synopses of free reports that they may have not seen. The emails link directly to rapid conversion landing pages where the free report can be downloaded.
For those of you already engaging in content marketing, what do you think of these tips? Are they along the lines of strategies you’re partaking in? I’d love to hear your thoughts.