Sahail Ashraf posted on 10 November 2017
If you have ever been in a situation where you have to present content marketing as a viable option for a client, you’ll know what it feels like to have to work out what it is you want to say. If you’re reading this post, there is a very high chance that you know what content marketing is, and how it works for brands.
But some clients that you have may well be completely in the dark on the topic. That’s why it is always good to know some key features and benefits of the practice. Once you know why this kind of marketing makes sense for a client, it is a lot easier to explain. We’re going to take a look at what you might want to say when you have to pitch the content marketing model to a client.
Whatever form content marketing takes (and it can be quite wide in scope) it does one key thing that advertising could never do. It builds loyalty.
If you receive an email from the company and you suddenly find yourself relieved when you realise that the email is not trying to sell you anything, but it’s a good email, that’s content marketing. When a brand offers you something to read or watch, and you get the feeling that they are genuinely trying to inform and engage, rather than throw you a sales pitch, that is when content marketing is working well.
The first idea that needs to be communicated is the understanding that content marketing is not there to sell anything to anyone. Instead, it is there to ensure that you can help prospects and customers.
At the end of the process, when your content marketing is established and gaining traction, you can then throw in a few offers or use the dreaded ‘s’ word (that’s ‘sales’ by the way). But it is primarily all about building trust over time. The client’s content marketing should establish it as a trusted source that knows the answer to their problems.
Content marketing has very much come of age. While the Web has that magical low barrier to entry (as in anyone can post anything they want online, basically) it does mean that, over time, a lot of dross has come through the pipe.
This is why content marketing is even more important now. People have had it with the dross stuff. And they want something else that gives them something new. If your client is able to provide that ‘something new’ through content marketing, then they will stick out a mile.
And being ‘new’ does not mean that you literally have to bring something completely new to content marketing. The biggest problem that brands have with it is consistency. They either don’t post enough and regularly, or they can’t quite fit into a certain style and voice. But get regularity and frequency, and the voice perfect, and you have something that is new. People will latch onto the content because its high quality, and it keeps coming up in their feeds.
This does require a lot of work. When talking to your clients about content marketing, make sure you discuss the need for an element of trial and error. You will make mistakes here and there, and you will need to monitor the content, the traffic it brings and the engagement before you can start to build up that voice.
But once you’re noticed, and you’re new, you’re in. This is why content marketing had its golden age a little while ago. Moving forward, your client can benefit by providing simple quality. Nothing more, nothing less.
The key is credibility. You have to make that a major issue for your client. Out of hard work, content that has been researched and then commented on by your client, you will start to present as an expert. The great content will develop the size of the audience the brand has, and then boost engagement. And this will lead to a more engaged audience.
People throw a ton of money at search engine advertising, hoping to come up at the top of the list. But a strong and purposeful content marketing campaign bypasses any need for paid ads.
Sure, it takes time, but there is a lot of pride to be had in creating powerful content that the audience likes. And besides, it is infinite, in a way. Sure, you’re charging your client for the service, but you can always write more, post more. Content marketing is about showing your client that the best content always rises to the top of search. It is actually, therefore, more powerful than advertising in the long run.
The way to ensure that search works through content marketing is to answer questions in your industry. Going back to when Google was kind of new (even though now it feels like it’s been around forever) everyone used it for questions. Ask Jeeves was about questions. This is when the search engines felt most useful.
Think about 100 questions that your client’s customers are always asking. Then build content around those questions. Have a content marketer’s head on and do it well. In-depth but still readable content is not that hard to create, as long as you stay focused on the question.
Answering the questions methodically and in detail helps to create a knowledge base of content that will push your client up the search engine rankings. And the more helpful it is, the more likely those source of traffic will grow.
Be useful, and be targeted at your audience.
The areas above are well worth bringing up with your client. It can’t be too hard to build up the case for the practice. Talk about the authority it can bring, the success on search engines, and the loyalty that will be the result of the hard work.
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