Over the past five or so years, content marketing has become a powerful industry in it’s own right – providing a channel for businesses to extend their brand, collaborate with other companies and even drive revenue. But like many business booms and trends, is the hype real and worth your time? Well I’ve drummed up some advice from my six plus years in the field that may help you answer that question.
You Already Have Content
Believe it or not, you already have so much content at your disposal – you’re probably just not looking in the right areas. Look at your emails and texts, there is so much content right there.
For example, email chain between clients and yourself – you could pull different themes, pain points and ideas from there. Look at problems you’ve solved via messages, or use it as a starting point for content brainstorms. There’s a good chance if you’ve provided a solution for something, other people would love to read about it.
You Need to Give to Get
In the digital age, having free information on hand is imperative – especially when you’re thinking about content. What information, knowledge, tips are you prepared to give away for free? Think about information unique to you or your business, ideas and little gems that you can create content around. The reason you need this is because people will automatically be interested in content that will help better themselves or their business.
Forget About Your Product
Whatever your role is – founder, marketing exec, BDM, sales – it’s normal to think your product should be at forefront of your content marketing. But it really should be the opposite.
Focus on first creating a good narrative to your content. A good story is a backbone, with interesting, relevant info for your audience. One of my favourite examples of this is Mr Porter’s article with John Legend – an enthralling story, supported by their products – subtly.
Make It Marketable
Once you’ve got your ideas sorted, how do you make sure it’s marketable beyond your immediate Facebook friends? Say you’re a FinTech company and you’ve decided to write an article about the 5 Hottest Trends In FinTech This Year, think about how you can get shares. You might feature other brands, influencers or organisations with big reach in that piece of content.
When it’s published, flick a link over to someone at each of the brands you featured. Mention that you featured them in your content, and you’ll find they’ll likely give your content a share as well.
Collab, Collab, Collab!
Collaboration is a hugely untapped area for both big and small business around the world. Think about how you can collaborate with other companies and content brands to help create, grow and share your content. Sometimes you might pay for that content, sometimes you may even look at doing a mutual collaboration where you both lean on each other for a positive result.
For example, a musical instruments business may give a music publisher some instruments to do a giveaway on-site, in exchange for some content. The Netflix / Orange Is The New Black collab with the NY Times is one of my favourite paid, native pieces of content.