Content marketing is the hottest phrase in the streets these days. Every blog I read and conference I attend has a huge focus on how to create content that clients and consumers will love. These events are filled with buzzwords like "rich" and "relevant" and I hear speakers promise that if you just write this content, interested customers will come out of the woodwork to read your blog and sign up for your services. Sounds like it couldn't be easier to just spit out a 300-word blog and watch people line up to give you money!
While there are many benefits to content marketing, lots of agencies and businesses are being misled by the idea that content marketing should be the singular focus of their digital marketing efforts. I love blogging as much as anyone, but the idea that you can just start writing and people will magically find your blog and love what you say just isn't how the internet works. Content like blogs, ebooks, podcasts, and webinars can all be extremely valuable to you and your potential clients, but only when part of a comprehensive marketing strategy. While it's great to start blogging and sharing your content, don't forget about these other equally important elements of digital marketing.
1. Email marketing
Maybe you think email marketing is dead. It is if you're buying email lists and spamming people without permission. What do you think happens when someone finds your blog or ebook and subscribes? They are going to magically remember your content a week later and come back to ask for a meeting? I don't even remember articles I read two hours ago! People need to be nurtured through from the informational stage of reading and learning to the decision-making stage of purchasing, and email marketing is one of the best ways that happens. Giving people valuable content and information about your industry, services, or company through email will keep you front of mind every few days and give them reasons to come back looking for more.
2. Social media
Don't know the first thing about Twitter and Facebook? Do you have a Linkedin profile? It can be difficult to get a huge following on social media, but you'll get nowhere if you don't start somewhere! There are so many resources about how to use social media to find and connect with current and potential customers, so you don't really have any excuse. Find the right platform for your company and just get started! There's no way to know how much success you could see from the right tweet at the right time until you start sending them out. Your new blog that you are so excited about was made to be shared through social media, so you're wasting potential if you aren't utilizing all the means available to you.
3. Web design
What good is your blog if nobody can find it on your site? How are you going to convert visitors into customers if your site looks like something from Geocities in 2001? Having a modern and fresh website doesn't have to be complicated or expensive when you have a huge range of free or affordable options to design and develop your site. From Wordpress to Hubspot, you can build a clean, straightforward, site that can handle all your needs. If it's been a few years since you build your site, it's definitely time to make improvements.
All of these elements, including content marketing, work together in harmony to provide your customers with one thing: value. Even before they give you a single dime, they are getting information, news, entertainment, whatever you want to provide them, and proving to them that you are an industry expert and want to go the extra mile to give them what they need. "Content" is a hot buzz word throughout marketing, but the word you should be focusing on is "value."
Maybe you were already feeling stressed about the idea of blogging once a week, and don't think you have time for all of these other digital marketing elements. That's where a marketing agency can come in handy, or you can go hire a savvy millennial to handle it all for you. Just don't buy the hype on content being the end-all solution to your marketing issues. Without a complete approach to digital marketing, you'll spend hours every week blogging, just to get no page views and no new business.