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What Is Content Marketing? And Why Should You Care?

June 9, 2011 / in General Information, Social Media / by

In the social media space that Jason and I live (and play!) in every day, a mantra that is repeated time and again is “Content Is King”. This phrase is talking about an increasingly growing necessity in business called Content Marketing. Have you heard about it? Are you doing it? If so, are you doing it well?

For many businesses, the answers are NO. NO. NO.

There are awesome stories and experiences that have happened, are happening, and will continue to happen in your business: Every year. Every month. Every week. Sometimes every day.

  • Remember that customer you helped in a pinch that went on and on about how much they appreciate you and your business?
  • What about that new employee you just hired that is bringing fresh ideas and attitude?
  • How about that new product or service you are rolling out?
  • What about the cool things that your employees, and your business, are involved in throughout the community?
  • How about something new happening in your industry that will greatly improve the lives of your customers?

Content marketing gives you a platform (we prefer blogs, but email marketing and videos, definitely have their merits as well) to share those awesome stories with your customers, prospects and others that may be interested in your industry, products or services. The key to content marketing is…and stay with me here….you aren’t selling. Ever. Never. Ever. Instead, you are HELPING. You are EDUCATING. You are INFORMING. You are GIVING away what you do and how you do it.

And when you do this, CONSISTENTLY (Don’t miss that. Consistency is critical. It’s a marathon, not a sprint), and your content is RELEVANT (Don’t miss this either. Relevance is the other critical side of the coin.), your customers and prospects start to feel more connected to you and to your business. And as they feel more connected, as your business becomes “human“, as you stay more top-of-mind, customers have a deeper sense of loyalty to you and your brand. And then what happens? They BUY MORE FROM YOU, STAY WITH YOU LONGER, AND TELL ALL OF THEIR FRIENDS HOW AWESOME YOU ARE.

(NOTE: When you have a few minutes, click on the “human” link above to see an interview with one of my favorite social media guys out there, Gary Vaynerchuk . By the way, his latest book “The Thank You Economy” is excellent.)

Businesses of all shapes and sizes are increasing their content marketing efforts because, very simply…it works. I ran across some stats recently that said 80% of business decision makers would rather get information about a company from a series of articles vs. advertisements. 70% say content marketing makes them feel closer to the company providing the content. 60% say company content helps them make better product decisions.

So let me wrap up this post by giving you a few more things to think about:

1. What you are reading right now (the Blue Gurus blog) IS content marketing. Has it been helpful?
2. We share our content with people that subscribe to our blog (you can do that on our home page) and also through our social media accounts on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.
3. Jason and I have been using content marketing through our blog every week for over 2 years. (remember, it’s a marathon..not a sprint.)
4. We repeatedly get positive feedback from customers and prospects about the content we provide.
5. They also tell us that they share our content with others. In fact, I had a friend recently use my “Top 10 Reasons Why Your Business Should NOT Be On LinkedIn” in one of his presentations.
6. We haven’t used any other traditional marketing to grow the business. Our growth is a direct byproduct of our content marketing and continued focus on LinkedIn.
7. We never sell via this channel. We only educate, help and inform.
8. The art of writing well (and editing) is becoming more and more critical in business. Do you have anyone in your business that writes well? Are you leveraging them?
9. Do you have an outlet to share all of the awesome stories that are happening in your business?
10. If you aren’t currently engaged in content marketing, do you think you, or your business, can afford to wait much longer?

What do you think? Do you know of other businesses that are doing an awesome job with content marketing? Let us know.

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