Content Marketing: The Big Picture
Today we are hearing more and more about content marketing. You have to be “in” content marketing to grow your business, some say.
Others say that content marketing is all you need, a free and easy way to drive traffic, build your list and make sales.
But one question seems to get overlooked in the content marketing discussion.
What is content marketing and how does it work?
In this article I’m going to cover the “what is content marketing” question and take a big picture look at content marketing.
In upcoming articles I will share how to choose the content marketing style that fits you best, how to get started and how to expand your business rapidly using content marketing.
For now, let’s look at one definition of content marketing.
Content marketing is the process of sharing helpful information with people freely, and by so doing building a trust relationship with them so they may eventually become your customer.
Please understand, this is my personal definition. If you have another, I’d love to hear yours in the comments below.
So let’s start here – content marketing is made up of two pieces.
Step 1 is the content and we know that content is simply helpful information.
Step 2 is that you share that content with others, they are helped and want to reciprocate. They join your list and buy the things you recommend.
That is the marketing part of content marketing.
Choosing a style of sharing content
There are basically three styles of delivering content to people.
- One to one
- One to many
- Many to many
The first method, one to one, involves things like consulting or coaching.
The second method, one to many, involves things like writing articles, blogging, running membership sites, podcasts and more.
Most online marketing is in the “one to many” category with one person sharing information with all who want to learn or achieve similar results.
The last method, the many to many method, usually involves things like seminars, workshops and live events, where a panel of speakers delivers content to a live audience. In many cases the recordings of these events become digital products after the event is over.
Choosing a delivery method for your content
Let’s say you know that you want to share content with people to attract your audience, build trust and make sales.
And let’s say you choose the one to many method which is what the vast majority choose. That means you will write or curate articles on a blog, write books, podcast or in some other way create the content once and share it with the public.
How do you get this content out there?
Here are a few methods for delivering your content:
- Writing articles
- Special reports
- White papers
- Phone calls
This is a partial list of course. There are also meetings, conventions and more where content can be delivered.
But the list above represents a great starting point for thinking about how you can get started with content marketing.
No matter what style you prefer, getting into content marketing is smart business, and easy to do.
It’s smart because you do the work once and profit many times. There is nothing more durable, powerful, or easy to create than high quality content.
So there you have a big picture view of content marketing.
- Content is helpful information
- You share the content with others by choosing a style and delivery method
No matter what you want to promote, you can promote successfully using content marketing.
Want to take action toward more powerful content marketing beginning today?
Think about the products you are promoting and make a list of topics you could share information on.
Some topics might include things like:
- Tips for beginners
- Pitfalls to avoid
- Shortcuts to take
- Reasons why this product is better than others
- How to use a product or idea
Once you have your list of topics it will be time to choose how to create that content and how to deliver it to an audience hungry to learn and grow.
All that, and more, in upcoming articles.
For today let me encourage you to commit to content marketing in a big way.
There is no better way to market online than with content. If you have a blog, some time and a commitment to excellence you have all you need.
When you market with content you win because you attract your perfect audience, build your list and make sales.
When you market with content your readers win because you provide them with helpful, actionable information that makes their life better and helps them solve problems.
And those are beautiful things indeed!