Most of the chatter about social media focuses on conversation and relationship-building. These are important pieces of social media, but they’re not the entirety of social media.
To borrow from physics, if conversations are the motion (kinetics) of social media, content is surely the “stuff” in motion — the substance that propels conversation.
As a business owner, you can create this substance. It’s called content marketing, and it’s a smart, effective strategy, especially when paired with social media.
What Is Content Marketing, Exactly?
Content marketing is simply the creation and sharing of content for the purpose of engaging current and potential customers in conversation. Content can take any form — text, photo, video, audio, etc. — and can be distributed via any channel you choose. You can create content yourself of distribute someone else’s content (with appropriate attribution, of course).
The trick is knowing how to create content that is relevant and valuable to your audience while also achieving a marketing goal. You won’t be able to increase sales or brand awareness by pumping out drivel your audience doesn’t care about.
So what is relevant? What is valuable? Content should cater to your audience’s primal needs. Here are examples:
- Simplify something complicated
- Demonstrate how to do something
- Answer a perplexing question
- Provide VIP information
- Fix a problem
There’s Always a Catch…
Here’s the catch: Don’t make it about you. Resist the urge. Squish. Think like your customer…heck, pretend your own company doesn’t exist. Then, create.
Sound illogical? It is. Until you realize this isn’t direct selling. This is building trust, inch by inch. This is becoming invaluable. Do that and you won’t have to advertise as much — your customer will come to you.
And she’ll use social media to share your killer content with her friends.
P.S. It doesn’t hurt to have a good list to distribute your content to. Sure, your Twitter and Facebook followers are a start…what other lists can you use?