Blunt Truths on Content Marketing

by Wesley Farnam - Sep 11, 2014

Content marketing works. When executed correctly, it drives money to your business and helps you stand out from competitors. I've seen it do some pretty amazing things over the years, and it is empowering to watch it work.

Despite its growth in popularity, many still don't know how content marketing works. They think they do, but most of their understandings are based off malicious misconceptions and hearsay.

I feel that it's my civil duty as a content marketing professional to set the record straight. The Internet is flooded with sexy buzzwords and self-declared experts, but most of the time these “intellectual” windbags only add fuel to the fire of confusion. Here's the blunt truth about content marketing:

Blunt Truth #1 - It Takes Time.

Think of content marketing as an investment. It rarely makes money overnight. But if you let it simmer - boom goes the dynamite/fireworks/big explosion.

At its core, content marketing is all about building trust and brand awareness. It takes time to earn trust, and it takes even more time to build brand awareness to a blind audience.

You build this trust and awareness by being consistent, accurate and engaging.  By crafting content that's both highly relevant and purpose driven, you will win over your readers and establish you and your company as an expert in your field. Over time, when they think about your product, they will immediately think about your brand.

Blunt Truth #2 - Blog Blinders.

If you think people are flocking to the computer waiting for your blog to post every week - you are sadly mistaken. Your blog serves two purposes 1) to inform readers who happen to find the headline engaging, and, 2) to boost your search engine rankings.

Not to say that a blog isn't important, because it is. Especially when you use it as a tool to communicate with a targeted audience. Just don't assume that readers are digesting it like an investigative piece from the Times.

Know your targeted audience and write directly to them. Furthermore, put that information right in front of that audience and make it impossible to ignore. This will lead to clicks. Clicks lead to conversions.

Blunt Truth #3 - Facebook Facts.

Facebook has made it increasingly hard for businesses to reach their users. Nowadays, it's all about the Benjamins. You have to pay money for your post or page to reach an acceptable number of Facebook users. Gone are the days of posting your content for all your followers/fans to digest.

Let's say you have 1,000 Facebook followers/fans. In a normal post, only about 28 people will have a chance to see your post. Facebook has changed the game. You have to pay to play with the big dogs.

The good news, Facebook nailed it when they developed their advertising system. It is highly effective and affordable. Due to the mass of personal information users share on Facebook, you're able to effectively target your future customers - down to their age, interests, location and Facebook activity.

Not only does this lead to better customer outreach and brand awareness, but it also builds the value of your social media audience. The Facebook users/followers added from your advertising efforts are far more likely to be interested in what you have to say and interact with your services.

Blunt Truth #4 - It Takes a Village.

As great as content marketing can be, it can only do so much by itself. Digital marketing efforts work best when accompanied with external stimuli and good brand identity.

External stimuli and good brand identity include traditional advertising, a great website, events, community involvement and public relations. When you have all of these things working together to promote your business, great things happen (cha-ching!).

Humble brag: The Idea People is not your average content marketing agency. We do more than just post a blog once a week and update your social media sites. We do PR, brand development, video production, web design, app development and anything else you may need to make your competitor irrelevant. We build the whole village and merge all of these elements to make them work together.

Blunt Truth #5 - It's Always Working. 

Even if your phone isn't constantly ringing, content marketing efforts are still hard at work. Today, customers use the Internet as their primary research tool. They may see your ad on TV or hear about you from a friend, but they are going to the web to validate your value.

Whether it be your website, social media pages or reviews, they play a crucial role in converting customers - even if the lead generation doesn't start there. These resources give your customers confidence in making their decision.

To ensure your content marketing efforts are always working in your favor, all channels must have a unified message, and they must promote your product in a positive light. This is easier said than done. It takes constant attention and creative talent - one reason so many companies hire agencies to manage their content marketing.

Content Marketing @ The Idea People

At The Idea People, we have four full-time, in-house professional content marketers who write and distribute original content weekly (and daily on social media platforms) for our clients. We write topic-relevant articles and content that incorporates strategic keywords for search engine optimization and reader engagement.

To learn more about how web content writing and content marketing can help your business solidify parts of your market, please call Jay Joyce with The Idea People at 704-398-4437 or email jay@theideapeople.com.  We will help your brand and story reach multiple marketplaces, users and platforms.

Wesley Farnam
The Idea PeopleThe Idea People