Most people treat content marketing as just another tactic to promote your business. However, some believe content marketing is much more than that.
That’s the point of view of Marcus Sheridan, The Sales Lion and Owner of River Pools & Spas, in his Content Marketing World presentation entitled “Distilling the Magic and the Mystery that is Content Marketing Success.”
Sheridan used content marketing to save his swimming pool business, which was on the brink of bankruptcy. Sheridan’s content marketing was so successful, he is now also a consultant, advising other businesses how to do content marketing effectively.
Sheridan’s main point can be summed up like this:
“Content marketing is not a tool, it is a culture.”
What this means for us entrepreneurs is that we don’t switch content marketing on or off like an electronic billboard. Rather, to become effective content marketers, we need to realize that a cultural change must happen within our businesses.
The First Requirement of Content Marketing
Because content marketing requires, first of all, listening. Listening, Sheridan says, is the greatest content marketing tool in the world. Listening alone will enable you to produce great content that will bring you results.
Entrepreneurs who listen to their prospects and customers will never, ever run out of content ideas, according to Sheridan. In fact, one sign you’re not listening enough is if you ever catch yourself saying, “I don’t know what to blog about.” And the best way to get backlinks? “Write good stuff that answers what people care about,” Sheridan says.
The Unexpected Blogger
Another, probably bigger, cultural shift that needs to happen in your business if you want to do content marketing, is getting people to write. Whatever type of company you are, the best bloggers, twitterers, pinners, and status updaters are already right there in your organization.
Sheridan says, “In-sourcing will be the greatest factor of content marketing success going forward.”
We’ve seen tech companies whose engineers blog, so don’t think your business is the exception. Certainly, your product experts are the most logical bloggers for your company. But don’t forget your other employees. For example, your receptionist probably knows best what your current customers like and complain about. The lady at the support desk knows at the top of her mind what are the most frequently-asked questions your product or service.
Solopreneurs had better embrace their new role as blogger or content publisher. If you’re not fond of writing, fortunately, you have many other options nowadays. You could make videos or podcasts instead. You could make photography your main content, if that’s what you enjoy doing and it’s suitable to your product or service.
Image by Stockmonkeys.com
Elena is founder of a technology PR agency that works with startups to billion-dollar companies. She is passionate about helping marketers and small business owners with practical publicity strategies, which she's also using for her own bling flip flop company.
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