When we think of content from a business perspective, we most commonly think of it in relation to marketing. We think of websites, blogs, social media and emails – all designed to generate leads for our business.
It isn’t the only type of content, of course, but since it is the one we all think of, this blog series on making a market will cover a range of different ways you can use great content to market (and sell) your business.
Content is not marketing
While content is, of course, widely used in other business contexts (think customer retention, staff engagement and as an income source), it is marketing content specifically that’s at the front end of the business development process.
Now to be clear, content is not marketing (even if it appears that way!). It is just one of the many ‘activities’ that can be included in your overall marketing strategy and plan.
[Oh, and as an aside – if you don’t yet have a marketing strategy and plan in place, now is most definitely the time to get one sorted!]
You need a solid plan
Content is one of a number of components that drives a solid marketing plan, so it’s imperative you have a clear understanding of where it fits overall with what you’re wanting to achieve.
That being said, content does play a part in every stage of a coherent marketing and sales pipeline. An old marketing model I happen to like that highlights this beautifully is AIDA, which breaks down as:
- Awareness – PR and advertisements which put you and your business front and centre in people’s minds
- Interest – blogs and articles which reinforce who you are and what you do, and build an audience. Also lead generators, creating a list of potential customers for your business
- Decisions – coming from email marketing and/or direct mail and, in particular, great testimonials
- Action – generated from sales pages and, in particular, from a well written proposal.
I’ll be diving into this model in much greater detail over the next few weeks, so you can see for yourself how to implement this basic four-step framework in your own business. And of course, any one type of content can sit in multiple stages of your marketing plan.
How you use your content is up to you but thinking strategically about each stage will help guide your audience in the direction of the action you want them to take.
And if you’d like to learn how to generate great content that works beautifully with your marketing strategy, take a look at our online course Demystifying Content.