Social Media marketing has challenged businesses to engage with customers in a far more meaningful manner than the old days of advertising. One of the best ways into social media marketing is through content. If you are passionate about your business area use content to share that passion with the world and your potential customers.
First of all, what is content marketing?
The simplest example is the recipes they give away at supermarkets. If they have a recipe for lamb in the supermarket it is easy for you to go and buy all the ingredients you need for that recipe on the spot. They give away quality recipes for free instead of requiring you to buy recipe books.
Content marketing is about providing information, that is content, around your product. For example a tailor might provide information on how to select suit fabric. I know of a pool builder who found a following by putting up photos and videos of the pools they were working on. Tourism boards around the world have long been providing travel guides to locations they are promoting. Of course content marketing experts write articles on content marketing as part of their own content marketing strategy.
Is content marketing social media marketing?
It doesn't have to be. One of the best examples of simple content marketing was a Japanese student of mine who decided to open a takoyaki stand in Brisbane. Now most people in Australia don't know what takoyaki is so he was worried people would be reluctant to try that food. However in Japan, takoyaki is a famous street food from Osaka. So I encouraged him to put a poster telling the story of the food on his stand. The way people would buy would be to first read about takoyaki then next try it.
However having content online means you you are one easy step away from social marketing. For example if you are selling fishing gear, it is easy enough to put up content about great fishing locations, fishing tips and other information. However wouldn't it be more exciting for readers to share their fishing stories and photos as well.
Who should be doing content marketing?
Most small business owners that I know are very busy and so have to choose where they put their time and effort for marketing. Don't believe the hype that tells you that you must use all these new marketing channels. Content marketing is just one additional marketing approach you can choose from.
If your business is your passion then creating content around your business should be very easy. If you are learning information that is interesting to your clients everyday, then share that. There are lots of successful businesses with little share able content, however think about your typical conversation with customers. If you are always have interesting conversations with customers, answering questions and sharing knowledge with them, then share that online with the rest of the world too.
How to get your content up
Business blogs and newsletters are often the most obvious place to start. However be aware of the content that you have. If you can produce a lot of videos or photos then it can be better to concentrate on those areas instead.