Are you having a tough time convincing yourself or others that a content marketing strategy is worth an investment in dollars and commitment? Here are four reasons that might help you to see the long view.
1. Content marketing is not a test-tube experiment
Content marketing is a holistic strategy that will impact your brand at its core—and, dare I say, at its soul. If you’re going to tiptoe into content marketing to see if you can “move the needle” then you’ll likely be disappointed. Content marketing is more than building a single channel or checking off the box that you built a Twitter page. It’s creating a brand story that you need to tell, shared by your customers in the world they hang out in, through the channels they’re watching.
2. Content marketing is a marriage, not a date
Content marketing is a long-term commitment that is to be nurtured and fed. It may have hiccups as all relationships do. But keep working at it, and you’ll be better off for the effort. Don’t check off honey-do lists like 1) Build a blog. 2) Set up a Twitter page. 3) Get Facebook likes. 4) Wait and see. Likes, friends, and blog comments are irrelevant unless they’re shared and they do something meaningful to your bottom line.
In the stock market, there’s a saying—plan your trade and trade your plan. If your blog isn’t working, figure out why and don’t give up. Tweak it, test it, and tweak it some more. Don’t assume that because you have a blog, you’ve done enough. There are literally millions of blogs out there now. What makes you so special? What are you doing to shout from the mountaintop? Are you linking out to other blogs of influencers in your industry? A blog may only have 10 people reading it in its first month, but instead of blaming your content marketing strategy why there aren’t more in the second month, get educated on how to market your blog properly.
3. Content marketing will not succeed in a vacuum
Everyone has to be on board a content marketing strategy in as much as they are building the products or services you sell. Content marketing should not be treated like a silo, independent of the bigger marketing plan. When you consider that your content shouldering the burden of telling your corporate story, in a voice that’s distinctly you (distinctly human), while conveying your thought leadership and warm fuzzies to the entire world, your entire team, from the C-level down, needs to take it seriously. Ignore it, and your competitors will eat you for lunch.
4. There are no losses in content marketing, only lost opportunities
Consider this: Each day you don’t invest in a content marketing strategy, your competition—who is blogging, tweeting, friending, and tweaking their own content marketing—is taking market share from you. Why? Because when push comes to shove, unless you’re selling a car that runs on air, content is an opportunity for you to be an obvious differentiator to your peers. And these days, consumers are smarter. They buy from you after they get to know you. You have to cast a wider net by expanding your reach through unique content marketing channels in addition to your mass media campaigns.
The bottom line is it’s not just what you sell, but who you are. Don’t lose an opportunity to have a “handshake moment” with the person on the other side of the digital counter. But don’t let that be the only time you connect with them either. Building a relationship takes time. And low prices, gimmicks, and ‘good service’ aren’t likely enough to keep today’s consumers interested in you. Your values and your story are what matter—which is not something that can be conveyed easily in a 30-second TV commercial.