Businesses have long relied on direct mail, advertisements, and catalogs to promote their product or service. This is not news. But here is a piece of news: Traditional sales-driven marketing pieces don’t work like they used to work, because of the new lady in town.

She’s named Content Marketing. I’m sure you’ve heard of her. Her name has turned into a buzzword these days.

Content Marketing knows everything about your business, your industry, and the needs and wants of your target market. With the help of Content Marketing, you will turn your business into a publishing company. Content Marketing convinces your customers and could-be customers to depend on you for the information they need.

Your new girlfriend is one demanding lady.

Now, instead of tooting your horn with the hopes that you’ll reach a 2% conversion rate with each marketing blast, you must provide regular content of real value and focus on making connections.

  • Content could be blog posts, newsletters, videos, white papers, podcasts, press releases, photo galleries, and the list goes on.
  • Valuable content could be content that entertains, shares knowledge, or offers up tools that make your customer’s life easier.
  • Connections could be email subscribers, website visitors, social media shares, blog comments, phone calls, or purchases. This is where your lady will really help you out.

Aside from Making Connections, Here’s Why You Need to Provide Valuable Content Regularly…

1) Your competitors are doing it or will be doing it very soon.

2) Search engines need content to find your site. Most Internet search marketers agree that long-tail search queries are more likely to result in a conversion. (“Long tail” refers to longer, more specific search phrases, e.g., real estate versus Denver houses for sale.) The more content you have, the more opportunity you have for acquiring that search traffic.

3) Prospective customers, especially if you target businesses, spend more time researching on the web than ever, according to Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman in the book Content Rules. This not only includes your informative website content and downloadable content. It also includes feedback shared on social media sites, blog posts written by others about your business, and news coverage.

Examples of Successful Content Marketing

  • Vice president of marketing for Boeing Commercial Airplanes in Seattle keeps a company blog that discusses Boeing events, industry news, personal experiences, and more.
  • Timberland hosts contests that encourage customers to upload pictures of themselves wearing Timberland shoes and boots.
  • Nearly 350,000 people “Like” the H&R Block Facebook page where H&R Block shares informative news, links, and special offers.

Starting Today, Consider Yourself a Publishing Company. Take Out Your Girlfriend Often.

The web has made it possible for any business to become a publishing company. No longer are Fortune 500 companies the only ones that can afford to write books or get a reporter to give them the publicity they deserve.

You can thank your girlfriend later.

Sara Lancaster

About Sara Lancaster

Sara is The Condiment Marketing Co.’s founder and creative director. She oversees client relationships, strategic marketing plans, as well as a bit of copywriting and social media management.