Let me start by saying that I get it. I’m you, in any number of areas: sports, pop culture, movies, music, etc. You worry you’re so far behind that you’ll look stupid for asking questions about what everybody else already knows. Maybe you’ve been putting the “content thing” off because you thought it was a fad that would go away if you waited long enough. Maybe you already have as much business as you can keep up with, and you don’t see that changing any time soon. Or maybe you know you need to do more, but you’re too busy running your business to worry about it. Wherever you’re coming from, you feel like you’re too far behind to ever catch up when it comes to content marketing. If so, pull up a chair, grab your coffee (or beverage of choice), and get comfy. Because this page is for you.
Let’s start with what content marketing is. You could spend hours online reading professional, academic definitions. But I’m a mom, so I’m going to put it in parenting terms. Let’s say your child is invited to spend the night at the home of a kid whose parents you know nothing — nothing! — about. Your response is likely to be, “Hell, no!” But what if your child is asked to spend the night at the home of a kid whose parents you’ve chatted with at soccer games, PTA meetings, etc.? If you’ve already started building a relationship with those parents? Unless you’re opposed to sleepovers in general, you’re probably going to say yes.
That’s what content marketing is. It’s building a relationship with the parents before you ask them to let their child spend the night. With customers, it’s establishing your good will, your expertise, and the fact that you’re more concerned with what they need than what you want. So that, when you finally ask for their business, you’ve already set yourself up for success.
That’s content marketing made simple. Instead of bragging about how awesome whatever you’re selling is, you focus on what your customer is interested in. If you sell insurance, you publish content about how to choose the right type of policy rather than why they should choose your agency over another. Content is about solving problems, meeting needs, and fulfilling wants — your customers’, not your own. The selling comes later.