What is content marketing and how does it apply to building business and brand? A good way to start this conversation would be to reference the Janet Jackson song: “What have you done for me lately?”. Content marketing involves imparting information and knowledge with no expectation of return. In other words, it’s about giving back. Really? Really!

How do businesses go from a mindset of selling to one of guidance with no real concrete ROI? We all hear a lot about business relationships today. Business relationships have always been at the cornerstone of business success. What has evolved is how these relationships are being built today.

How does content marketing and content creation help business?

  1. It’s all about Google.
    Gone are the days of brochure websites. Now websites need to perform by offering fresh and current information to get on the Google radar – that’s a good thing. The benefit of getting on the Google radar is that you’ll see your website rank go up. Content marketing assists in doing just that. Essentially you want your business to get found by your target when they are looking for your product or service. And there’s a strategy to developing this content, however that will be for another post.
  2. Websites are the first impression.
    You know the old sales adage, “get your foot in the door”? That hasn’t changed over time. Although now a website is the window to building sales. Leveraging knowledge just makes sense. Having forums and relevant content on your site adds credibility. (See my recent post on Websites 2013: Maximizing Performance). And rather than you calling, with the hopes of turning that cold call into a warm call, prospects can and will reach out to you. So to completely leverage that content, be sure to have a prominent and visible “contact us” mechanism.
  3. Spread the word and increase your reach.
    Content creation is a lot of work. And you need to keep updating the content on your website. So it is important to maximize the footprint of each “knowledge bite” your business imparts. Equally important is sharing it on social media platforms that link back to you site. (ie: LinkedIn, LinkedIn Groups, Digg It, StumbleUpon). Continuous momentum of content marketing will start establishing your business by building the foundation for forming relationships.

Everyday there’s something new in the social media arena (or at least it feels like it). Understandably, it’s hard for businesses to keep up in the quick evolving nature of the marketing landscape. Couple the speed of this evolution with the lack of real expertise to navigate through these changes and businesses are finding themselves in a very challenging position. But challenges have always been what marketing has been about. Are you up for the challenge?