You may understand that content marketing should be a part of your marketing strategy. But what is content marketing?
Content marketing is the creation of original content that can include: website copy, blogs, videos, social media, white papers, case studies, webinars, and customer testimonials to name a few. Anything that includes a message about your business, intended to capture the interest of your target market long enough for them to learn about what you offer and hopefully, to buy.
According to a recent grassroots study of 815 respondents (taken from the 50,000 member strong B2B Technology Marketing community on LinkedIn), here is what was discovered:
- 71% of B2B Marketers use content marketing for lead generation
- 50% of B2B Marketers use content marketing for thought leadership and education
- Only 25% of B2B Marketers use content marketing for customer retention
- 89% of B2B Marketers cite customer testimonials as the most effective content marketing
(For more of the list, go here.)
More, More, More!
Your target market has what seems to be an insatiable appetite when it comes to hungering for more information. You may hear (and feel) that there is “information overload” but in reality, the market demands it.
People want as much information as they can get because they want to make better choices.
In order to ensure potential customers have all the information they need to make the choice to hire you or buy from you, you need to create relevant content that will meet those needs.
Content Marketing: How to Figure Out What to Say
The biggest challenge for marketers everywhere is creating content. With all the information spilling out of our computers, it’s easy to feel as though we can’t contribute much else to the conversation.
Aside from understanding that you are an expert in what you do and need to create content to show it, here are a 5 ways you can find inspiration for creating your content:
- Books – you likely have a reading list of authors that have to do with your industry. Use these ideas to develop your own content.
- News – your audience pays attention to the news but you can analyze it and tell them what it means to them and even more importantly, how to apply it.
- Conversations – did you have an interesting conversation with a peer or a mentor? Perhaps something from that conversation can serve as a starting point for content.
- Evernote – Use this helpful app to collect articles and websites that have relevant content for your market. Use the articles as a springboard for your own unique perspective into an industry trend.
- Hobbies and interests – Mickey and I like to watch interesting documentaries and recently viewed one about the legendary Viking Sword, called the Ulfberht Sword. It inspired me to write a blog post that focused on personal development. Look everywhere for inspiration, including your hobbies and interests. There is often a way to tie it in to your message.
In other words, anything that inspires business insights is fuel for the fire.
Keep a Notebook
Wherever you go, carry a notebook. You never know when inspiration will strike. It also can help you organize thoughts. I have a notebook where I write my “to do” list for the week (yeah, I’m old-school like that) and also jot down some loose ideas for blog posts or this newsletter.
Organization helps when planning your content. Having one spot to collect ideas and record notes will quicken the creation process. You can do this either online or offline. Just make sure you can access it easily.
Creating your own unique content doesn’t have to be a chore. When you look and listen to everything around you, you’ll find inspiration. Experiment and then send me the results. Let me know what works for you.