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The basics: content marketing

A bichon frisé dog leaps over a jump towards the camera. Text reads "content marketing."

Content marketing is one of those terms that gets thrown around all across the internet but, when you get people on their own, it turns out a lot of folks don’t really know what it means. This month I’m going to break it down for you and explain how it ties in to an organic, community driven social media strategy.

Brace yourself; this blog post gets a bit meta!

What even is content marketing?

Essentially everything is content. This blog post is content, your social media posts, podcasts you listen to, newsletters you subscribe to, videos you watch, it’s all content. However it is not all content marketing which is content specifically created:

  • For a target market.
  • To build know / like / trust factor.
  • With a focus on adding value over selling.

This blog post is content marketing; I’ve written it to educate small business owners on content marketing. My target market are small business owners and freelancers. I’ve noticed that the topic causes a lot of confusion for many of you so I’m educating you about it. The bonus is that through this blog post you also learn that I know about content marketing, I explain things well (hopefully) and I seem like a nice gal because I’m helping you out for free.

I did warn you it was going to get meta!

What is good content marketing?

The aim is to create content that’s genuinely useful to your target market and to offer it regularly. Knowing who you’re talking to is absolutely key (as with every other kind of marketing.) I could have created a campaign around agility training; a blog post about what it is and why it’s great, adorable photos and video clips of my talented pooch and I competing, the whole shebang. It would be great content but would it be great content marketing? No.

Happy Dog GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY
GIF ID: TiLi, a bichon frisé, leaps over a jump and runs excitedly to an equally excited Alexis.

Why not? Because it’s not relevant to my target market or my own business and it doesn’t add value to your lives (unless you’re all secretly dog agility fans on the side.)

It really would make great content though!

Top tip: keep it relevant.

Content and community

Content is one of the ways you and your business can build and support your community. I talked more about business and community in a past blog post so I’m going to focus on how content marketing adds to that.

  • There are always going to be folks who can’t afford you yet; creating content which helps them out makes them far more likely to invest with you over other people when they can afford to.
  • Some people are really interested in things that have nothing to do with their work (very healthy if you ask me), so you may reach people who just have an interest in your industry but are likely to mention you to people they know who are your target market because your content is so awesome. They build their own relationships by sharing a great resource, you gain a potential lead. Everybody wins!
  • On a related note, shareable content is The Thing. Sure you could spend your cash on ads but you could also invest in creating amazing content that people share because it’s so good and that keeps people coming back to you. We’re getting picky with who we follow nowadays (also healthy), offering something useful is a fabulous way to ensure people want you in their feed.
  • It’s just a nice thing to do. Putting out useful content because you genuinely care about your audience and getting the warm fuzzies over the people who only support your free stuff is what community building is about. Not everyone will buy from or work with you, they have their reasons, be a good egg anyway.

Top tip: also share other people’s content with your community.

The content marketing tl;dr*

Personally, I love creating content for the sake of creating content, I just love the creative process, but even if you’re not there is so much to be gained from adding value to your community. It’s also worth noting that your content doesn’t have to take any specific form so you really can find something that works for you.

If you’d like to learn more about creating social media content in a stress free way, Out of the Jungle, my content creation course, kicks off on 21st September and I’d love to help you get out of the content creation jungle and ensure you never get lost there again.