As per Wikipedia, content marketing is any marketing that involves the creation and sharing of media and publishing content in order to acquire customers.
We all read blogs that talk about this but newbies to internet marketing need to understand that ‘content is king’ is not all of the equation! Why? Because just ‘the content’ can’t get you to become a customer.
What gets me to become a customer includes a number of things.
Getting to Know The Blogger
When the writer interacts with me and helps me get to know who they are, then I am likely to buy from them in the future. A relationship with the writer will show me if he or she will consistently provide pertinent information that affects or helps me, builds a trust level and helps me see exactly who the writer is.
The blogger’s job is to engage me in conversation via comments, via email, phone, etc. and help me relate to him or her.
Providing content is part of the ‘getting-to-know-you-process.” If I don’t know you, I will not randomly buy anything from you.
You know the old saying ‘Customers need to know you, like you and trust you’ before they buy anything from you. That was one of the first things I learned in network marketing. (I had a good teacher/mentor!)
So providing content that is relevant to the reader is a critical piece of online marketing. Following up and interacting with your visitors helps them get to know you better so they trust you.
Developing The Relationship
How do you develop a relationship with your visitors? Finding out what they need, want and expect, providing a listening ear when they need it and working with them to know who you are. To do that requires interaction and dialogue. How?
- Social media is the most likely online place for interaction through Facebook, Twitter or the tons of others out there. Make sure you are on some of the social media platforms and start your interacting. Ready, set, go! 🙂
- I was taught FORM. When you talk to them (either online or in person), discuss “family, occupation, recreation, and the message.”
These items are the basic relationship builders between people. Think about it – as you develop relationships or friendship outside business, aren’t these the first key items you talk about?
These topics provide an instant connection among conversationalists drawing people together on similarities in their lives, family, children, occupation, life goals, plans and recreation thereby cementing a connection.
Eventually, your message and what you do will come out. It’s all natural and not “salesey!” Subtlety is the key. No one likes to be sold to even though that is our ultimate goal to online marketing.
The Key Is Trust
If someone goes shopping, people usually ‘trust’ the store they are in. Macy’s has a trusted reputation and if a person goes there, they are already halfway there for a sale.
But in an online marketing, network marketing or direct sales world, we don’t have that assurance of trust. We don’t have the years of relationship building Macy’s has developed over the years. People ‘trust’ Macy’s.
Getting to know your visitors requires more work because we are not face to face and our interactions are limited through time, distance and space.
Is There An Equation To Follow?
Yes. The equation should go something like Blog + Great Content + Relationship = Marketing Relationship = Customer = Sales
It’s a long equation – just like the process. So many people come online thinking Blog + Customer = Sales, not realizing you have to get the customer to your blog first, then build a relationship that may lead to a sale. Although content marketing has a proven track record, it is hard work and takes time.
Let me repeat that! It takes time! The first time I come across your blog it allows me to see if you have something along the lines of what I want.
If the content is good and what I was looking for, I will likely come back. That’s a good sign and maybe the beginning of something beautiful!
Getting The Business and Customer Loyalty
Following the equation above will ultimately reward us with a person’s business and loyalty.
So to rehash, here are the following tips to content is king and developing a relationship with your potential customers/clients:
- Of course, create good content to get them to your website.
- Spend time developing the relationship with people who come to your website.
- Interact with them on social media platforms.
- Use Aweber or an Autoresponders to get them additional information and more relationship building.
- Remember not to ‘sell’, but focus on information and interactions.
- Try practicing FORM to develop relationships.
- Offer them valuable information that will help them confirm you as someone they can trust and someone they can come to when they need advice, a friend or information.
Content maybe king but without developing a relationship with your readers, all your work may not be of any good use.
What has been your experience? Please share your story and let us know.