Why Content Marketing Is Important To Storytellers
Founder, Steam Powered Dreams
Authorpreneur, Editor, and Publisher
If you’re a storyteller, chances are you’ve heard the term content marketing before, but might not understand what is really is. It gets thrown around a lot, and many times in the wrong way. At its core, content marketing is about telling your story through high-quality information aimed at an audience. That’s it.
It’s important to understand that content marketing isn’t about direct selling or providing information about the products or services you provide. There is a place in your content strategy for this, but your content marketing isn’t it. The more you try to push your own products or services this way, the less effective it can be. Of course, the goal is still to gain leads and get conversions, but that will come when you build a loyal following.
And who better than a storyteller to create content that people actually want to read?
The Origins Of Content Marketing
The idea of content marketing isn’t new. An article over on Manceppo shows examples of content marketing that goes back to 1672 where business owners provided important information for free in hopes of building a relationship.
Why is it that content marketing seems like such a new concept?
This is most likely due to how content has changed so much over the past 100 years. The practice of content marketing grew pretty hazy during the radio and TV heyday. These forms of one-way conversations allowed a company to put out an infomercial to millions without the masses being able to provide real-time feedback. This led to shady practices, such as companies creating sub-par products, calling them top of the line, and then selling as many as they could before word got around how bad they were. They would then close up shop before legal action could be taken.
Luckily, the internet changed this.
Today, a company who puts out a product will receive real-time feedback in the form of online reviews, ratings, or even blog posts. If a product is bad, the world will know about it within days, rather than months or years.
This is why we are seeing a renaissance in content marketing.
“At its core, content marketing is about telling your story through high-quality information aimed at an audience. That’s it.”
Examples Of Content Marketing Today
Almost everywhere you look, you can see examples of content marketing done right. Even major companies like GoPro and IBM are starting to realize the value and websites like Copyblogger exist as a great example of content marketing aimed towards content marketers.
One of the most popular case studies in the past 15 years on content marketing is of a small company in Virginia called River Pools and Spas. During the US recession in 2008, one of the partners used content to not only survive in an industry that many companies were folding in but thrive.
While these examples revolve around using copy, written content isn’t the only form of content marketing. Podcast’s like Andy Frisella’s “The MFCEO” and Roberto Blakes YouTube channel are both great examples of how audio and video can be used in a way that helps grow a loyal audience, business, and brand.
However, it’s important to understand that while AI algorithms have come a long way, written copy is still the best form of storytelling for organic growth because of Search Engine Optimization. You’ll notice that most successful podcasts or YouTube channels also have an optimized website where they provide copy, many times in the form of transcripts.
How To Get Started With Content Marketing
If you haven’t already, I recommend heading over to the article we posted a few days ago on Search Engine Optimization. Understanding the concept of SEO is vital to a strong content marketing strategy as the principals of both are very similar.
The very first thing you need is a website with your own domain. Very few storytellers or companies can grow when using shared (free) hosting or social media alone.
Next, you’ll want to start to understand your audience and the questions they might have. This is the best way to find your first few topics for your content marketing. If you have a social following, ask them what the pain points they experience are within whatever industry you’re in. If you don’t have much of a social following, look through websites, YouTube channels, and social media accounts from influencers and companies that are within the same niche as you and start to build your content that way.
We’re not saying to copy what others have done, but instead, make it your own. Don’t be afraid to answer the same questions that others have already answered with your own story. This is what loyal followers want to see.
Start Building Relationships
As much as content marketing is about the audience, it’s also about the storyteller writing it. Your audience wants to hear what you have to say on a topic, not just an answer they can find anywhere. Content marketing is a relationship, one where trust and loyalty need to be built.
If you’re able to build that relationship, your audience will read and share everything you do and you’ll start to see traffic to your site grow and, eventually, more leads and conversions.
There’s a lot more to learn about Content Marketing. If you’re still a bit confused, the Content Marketing Institute wrote a great article in 2017 to try and help explain it in a way that’s simple and their definition is as true today as it was back then.
Have any questions about this or any of our topics? Need help getting your content marketing going? Leave a comment below or head over to our Services page to inquire about working with us!
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