When I say content marketing, you probably know what I mean. You don't? Then let me explain. Content marketing is any marketing that involves sending out relevant content to market your company. This article is content marketing. Email newsletters are content marketing. So are blog posts, e-books, podcasts, etc. Anything you write and put on the internet that you expect someone to react to is content marketing.
You should be marketing your business through some form of content marketing. It is a phenomenally large part of online marketing and can give almost instant feedback from your target market. The most effective and time saving method is to pay someone (a professional someone) to handle your content marketing for you. But, content marketing is something you can DIY. If you do choose to do it yourself, the easiest forms of content marketing are email newsletters and blog posts. You can always try to write a relevant, exciting and informative e-book, but be prepared to spend a lot of valuable time and effort on creating one. For those who are about to market, we salute you (and give you a few handy hints).
If you want to blog, here's what you need to know:
› Blog weekly, more if you can. Give your readers something new to read at least once a week and you're getting there.
› Make it relevant, make it good. If you run a trucking company, don't write about cake decoration. Talk about what would be relevant to your readers. For example, write about the easiest way to handle cross-border logistics. Always remember to write good content.
Bad content will not get read.
› Give advice. It's free and everyone benefits. Your readers come back for more and you experience return customers and that all important following.
› Update it in your social media. Tweet a link, add a like button and tell people about it in your Facebook group, update it in Google+. Anything, really to let people know that you have something new for them. Also, remember to allow people to get your blog as an RSS feed.
› Write for your readers, not for search engines. Keep in mind that when you write a blog that, while it is great for SEO, you need to remember that humans will read your writing too. Write for them and they'll come back.
› Always remember the Rule of 24. Whenever you write something, leave it for 24 hours. If you come back after that and it's still great, then publish it. But, I can guarantee you'll find something to change.
When it comes to email marketing, things get a little trickier. If you don't have someone's permission to send them mail, it's spam. Spam is bad. A blog can help you get people to sign up for your newsletter, but once they have, you have to keep them interested.
Below is a short list of what to do when creating your newsletter:
› Use an autoresponder. These are programmes that answer mails for you. When someone sends you a mail in response to yours, your autoresponder can thank them and let them know that someone will deal with their mail shortly. This lets people know that someone real can help them. It builds a relationship and relationships with your readers are good.
› Reply. It really is that simple. Have a real human send your subscribers a personal mail every now and then. It makes people feel as if their voice is heard and that it matters to you.
› Write for people, not spam filters. It is an unfortunate fact of online life that some of your mails will end up in spam folders or junk email boxes. The easiest way around this is to ask people to white-list you as soon as possible. Always keep your end user in mind when writing.
› Make people feel like a part of a group. More specifically, an exclusive group. Humans want to belong, but they mostly want to belong to something only a few people belong to. Nothing makes us feel better than a sense of exclusivity. In your sign up form, mention that your potential reader is going to be one of an exclusive number to receive your news.
› Use a direct call to action. Instead of “please feel free to sign up for our email newsletter” use direct commands like “sign up now to get our free newsletter!”. Human beings respond better to commands than they do to requests. It's all very well and good to be polite, but you also want to be read.
› Make it easy for your readers to unsubscribe. We know you don't want them to leave and we don't want them leave you either, but sometimes they will. You have to make it easy for them to find that unsubscribe button. People are afraid to commit so you have to give them a chance to go when they want to. Most email marketers have found that the easier your unsubscribe button is to find, the less likely people are to leave.
› DO NOT SPAM! When people sign up, give them what they signed up for. Nothing less, maybe sometimes more. Do not use false advertising or fill their inbox with badly written junk that they don't want to read. Do not waste your readers' time or they will leave.
To round up the handy hints in this article, here is a summary of the most important content marketing tips (in my opinion) in this article:
› Write for your users.
› Write relevant, good content.
› Keep your readers interested.
› Do not flood them with useless junk they don't want to read.
› Be honest with your readers.
If you follow my advice, you are well on your way to getting a good content marketing following. Next week, we'll stick to the topic of content. I'll teach you all about how the content on your website will help with your marketing and how to make your website content work for you.