Blog > Content Marketing
Believe it or not, creating content for your business is the most important activity in your business. The internet and the resources which are available to us is at an all time high. It has never been this easy to start or expand a business and exceed all your expectations of what you originally set out to do.
Content marketing is the solution to almost any businesses troubles. Creating content that is engaging, entertaining and that gets your audience to buy into your product or service can make or break your business. But if it were this easy, why aren’t all businesses online succeeding?
In business today, having a good idea is really important. Having a great idea does not mean that the idea will automatically launch the business into the stratosphere. The planning and execution of that idea is what will slowly and incrementally bring success to it.
The piece that is missing in most businesses is the creation and publication of content. For a moment, think of a home. The home serves as a dwelling for a person, couple or family. That is the idea. The structure for that idea is created from drawing the plans, setting the land, constructing the materials and finishing the walls and floors. Only once all these elements are in place can it be called a home and be occupied and lived in.
When it comes to building a business on the internet, it is the same. The idea may be to sell women's fashion accessories to people who like a specific professional yet casual look. The elements that bring this idea to life are the suppliers and manufactures of the product, finances, administration, operations and marketing strategy. These are the basic foundations of the business idea.
Within the marketing strategy lie things like branding, creative style, message, core values and mission, and advertising.
In the past, print, television and radio were the only channels for advertising a product. In order to let people know about your product, you bought a spot in the newspaper, magazine, radio or tv station. These mediums would provide direction on the limitations and possibilities for the campaign. You would get to work to supply them with what they needed to create the artwork, messaging and visuals to broadcast the ad. Most of the time, these elements were taken care of for you.
The cost of these traditional forms of advertising made it very difficult for startup and one man companies to reach the audience they were after. They grew their business mostly by using the the three P’s of marketing. Position, Position and Position. The physical location of the business would mean everything to the business. They would need to pick a spot in a part of town that had enough people they were catering for to try to get customers in the door. The only visual components they relied on to attract customers were window fronts, colorful signs, perhaps someone at the door shouting the specials or the meal of the day.
Since the birth of social media, widely accessable networks and tribes of people have huddled together to discuss and share their opinions of just about everything on the planet. Everybody with a cellphone, smart or not, has an internet connection, a camera and keyboard with which they can type, draw and broadcast a message to thousands of people. Learning how to use all these things are also easy to access.
The internet is the library of the world.
You would think that with all this knowledge and access to technology that everybody would jump at the opportunity to start a business and build a brand. The opposite is true. The problem is that it takes more than just from coming up with the idea for their business, picking a color scheme, designing a logo, creating a website and registering a Facebook and Instagram account, to bring people to your store.
To make matters worse, position in Google is now limited to the first few spots according to a study by Backlinko. Imagine all the ice cream brands and stores in the world competing with each other for the top 6 spots.
Most people who think about competition do not even start working on their business ideas. Just the thought that there may be one other person or company out there with a similar idea can be paralyzing.
So how do you differentiate yourself? How do you position yourself where the people are, and keep there? How do you get noticed?
As I mentioned before, coming up with one idea is easy. Thinking of ways to apply that idea can be easy at first, but eventually you will run out of ways to position the product for the camera or or benefits to talk about.
Luckily, position is not just limited to a certain set of words for a Google search.
People are searching for more specific solutions or products to solve their problems. They are doing this because basic search terms like “online business”, “build a business online”, “marketing my business online” are yielding similar or not as relevant results.
A few days ago, I made the decision to ditch the need to record and edit videos for YouTube. For me, the editing process is quite tedious and cumbersome. I wanted to give live-streaming a shot as I have seen many more people using this form of content creation successfully to to teach or showcase their skills. With the setup I had, I connected my camera, opened OBS, an open source live streaming software, and started broadcasting. During the stream, I noticed that the quality of the video was not great. The video feed was choppy, even though the sound was clear and synced correctly. I knew I was not able to solve this live on the stream, so I completed the stream and then began researching a solution.
Results were not what I expected. I visited a few forum posts on OBS’s website, but did not find what I was looking for.
Eventually after multiple searches, I found a forum post where someone recommended that a little device was needed to act as an interface between my camera and MacBook that would give a continuous video feed. The solution was hardware related and not software related. I could have been looking in the wrong place too.
Perhaps if someone wrote a blog post titled, “how to fix choppy video on obs using a DSLR camera and a MacBook Pro” I might have found the solution faster. This is an example of a long tail keyword. Perhaps if Elgato or Black magic had used a similar or related term in their FAQ or in a benefits section for the products, Google would have served them to me and helped me save a bunch of time and potential embarrassment of having a crappy video live on YouTube.
This is why creating content is so important. While your business may solve problems in a very narrow niche, the applications of the products or services you deploy can be applied to a number of different circumstances.
Create content which addresses these circumstances by guiding people along their journey. Deliver the content on the medium which they are most likely to frequency, and also that Google may show to them.
Keyword tools and metrics are not always accurate and may not be the best validation for the content you are think to create. The best source of topics is your audience, yours or others. Read amazon reviews, YouTube comments, blog comment and forum posts to get a sense of what topics are covered and which questions people are asking. Make a note of the question and answer, if one was provided. Think about other situations or problems that may also arise. Write or record a video about that.
The content you publish may not be frequently read or viewed. One should never bet on a single hand to win a game of poker. Creating content is the same. Publish content frequently to address a wide range of specific situations, to generate traffic to your website. It will take time for these posts to rank in Google and YouTube.
Eventually, these content pieces can be categorized, reorganized and edited to gain more traffic.
I mentioned earlier that your content should be engaging, entertaining and relevant. When attracting new customers to your business, you want to think long term and try to be helpful to your audience always. Selling products can be littered into the mix every now and then, but be sure not to sound desperate for money when doing so.
As a small business owner, you may not have the budget necessary to hire an agency who specializes in content marketing in this way. Which is why learning how to create content and why its so important, is so important.
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