Content Marketing 101: No Guru Required

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People need a good reason to spend their money on your stuff. But time is precious and YouTube ads are annoying, so how do you push sales without advertising?

Content Marketing is the answer. It is the art and science of communicating without selling. But, HOW?!

Before you freak out and ask your social media guru to channel a content marketing ninja, know this: odds are, you’re already doing it. Content creation isn’t some mythical conundrum to be solved by self-styled experts with nebulous credentials; it’s storytelling based on the idea that if we consistently deliver useful information to our customers, they will reward us with their business.

Remember that your customers are as interested in your message as they are in your product, so speak to the why behind your what. Quality content marketing will give buyers access and a sense of connection with your brand, encouraging them to be a part of your story. An authentic point of view creates an authentic relationship beyond passing interest or point of purchase.

Your story needs to be woven into every aspect of your brand, so one person can’t do it alone. Not even a ninja. Better to have your whole team on board with an integrated strategy than some guy with a cute LinkedIn headline slinging hashtags.

To be effective, your content strategy should do three things:

  1. Enable interaction. Content marketing creates a conversation. People talking about your brand creates awareness. Current and future customers can like / share / chat  about you, your product, your story and your community, and spread your message without ever setting foot in a store.
  2. Inspire brand loyalty. Every piece of communication you put out is an opportunity to be helpful. You can provide valuable information and compelling stories that turn casual interactions into powerful lead generation. Become the authority on you, and customers will make the choice to return.
  3. Influence profitable customer action. It’s content marketing, right? A successful story will attract, acquire and engage your target audience. Know your people. Talk to them. Offer them Kool-Aid. They will buy stuff.

With consistent focus and a little finesse, content marketing will not only drive your bottom line, but also help you develop a community that will support your brand for years to come. (No guru required.)

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