Content for marketing is anything that others can read, watch, or listen to. Mostly considered to be digital but, for the sake of this blog I am including printed materials. Because interestingly enough, printing is a strategy that helps you stand out in your marketing these days. So think of your content as something that people consume related to you, your business, or your industry. You want them to consume quality over quantity. You want to push things out that will be useful. Just as in consuming food, we should share nutrient-rich content instead of garbage that leaves people feeling unsatisfied.
You can create your own content and incorporate a plan to share it. Having a plan/calendar makes it much easier to make sure you provide quality content. Remember you can repurpose and recycle. For example, from this blog post I can create social media posts for Facebook and LinkedIn. I can create a downloadable/printable PDF. I could highlight the top points in a video.
When designing your content remember that the purpose of content is to do one or more of these three things: Entertain, Educate, Inspire. Content is not meant for selling all the time. Let me break down these three and give you some examples.
Sometimes we just want to laugh or happy cry. Content that entertains is designed to provide a moment of disconnect from the real world. Something not high on the intellectual scale, it's sole purpose is to provoke emotion. Why would you incorporate entertaining content? For one, it's fun! It also broadens your audience and it humanizes your business, which makes you more relatable. Think memes, GIFs, quick videos, fun facts, birthday/holiday shoutouts, stories.
Content to educate is probably the most common. And it does exactly what it sounds like- provide the consumer with new information in a digestible way. Educational content may share information on: your business, product or service; something related to your industry; a how-to process; or other factual data. What you'll see for this type of content is infographics, lists, testimonials, instructions, facts.
This is where the magic of marketing happens. When your content inspires, the consumer takes action. Engaging action that may be the form of sharing the content, providing feedback, requesting information, or ultimately converting to a client. This is the type content you can use to promote your business. You offer something valuable that people want, tell them about it! Inspirational content can be case studies, testimonials, motivational quotes, problem/solution stories. Be sure to include a call to action with the content (i.e. -Click to Learn More, Sign Up, Contact Me, Share with a Friend). By having that next step you give the consumer a chance to act on their motivation. Inspirational content helps grow your audience and your business.
Content for marketing is made to engage with your audience. All content should either entertain, educate, or inspire. A lot of content will incorporate a combination of these (I hope this email does). How can you easily create content for your company? Use the 3 C's of Effective Marketing to develop material that fits your business and ideal client. Then use a plan or calendar to share your content regularly.
Some ideas of digital content include podcasts, videos, vlogs, blogs, email, social media posts, white papers, contributing articles, graphics, and webinars. Print materials include brochures, rack cards, postcards, letters, posters, banners, cards, and packaging.