What is Content Marketing? & Why You Need It
As a business owner or fellow creative, you NEED a digital marketing strategy to carry you through these 21st century times. Not only digital marketing, but content marketing. So what is content marketing? Content marketing is defined as the distribution of resources (printables, photos, blog posts such as this one) free of charge that then translates into meaningful client/customer connections and organically entices people to follow you.
Why do you need it? To avoid the salesy, promotional pitches that your competitors utilize, you need to leverage a strategy that converts meaningfully and not falsely represented. You are here on this earth to supply your audience with something, whether you're a health food guru or a graphic design extraordinaire - you have knowledge that your audience doesn't.
Content marketing positions you as the authority in your niche and reinforces your brand awareness when people see you highly populating your niche community with content. It showcases your skills before they hire you/buy product from you, proving your worth without the all-too-uncomfortable pitching.
A good content marketing strategy consists of the following:
1. A WEBSITE WITH CLEAR COPY & CTA
You need to invent creative, clear copy (text) and CTAs (Call-to-Actions) on your website to avoid missing the boat on communication and a chance to inspire. Your website is the central space that you will find all of your other communications feeding to: your email list, your social media, your business cards, even your email signature. Your website must be in tip-top shape with current info!
2. AN ACTIVE EMAIL LIST CONTINUALLY ENGAGING
Sending out one email per week is ideal, engaging your audience and keeping your subscribers informed and involved. At Fashionably Frank, we offer up free tidbits and lessons as well as pep talks to keep the fears at bay. You can share promotions (Black Friday, anyone!?) and keep your followers informed of any changes within the business - new products or services. The emails should offer something free, full of value and generous.
3. REGULARLY UPDATED BLOG WITH INFORMATIVE POSTS
Your blog is your gold mine. By posting regularly, at least 2-3 per month, but more ideally once per week, you are offering up content of value for free to your treasured audience. It's about creating community and sharing your talents and knowledge with the world, right? To form this space of #CommunityOverCompetition and "Less Followers, More Friends", you need to be gracious, generous and full of grace. Don't just blog about what you had for lunch unless this information relates to a bigger life lesson that also relates to your industry niche (shoutout health food gurus!). Planning blog posts can be one of the most fun processes of marketing and really allows your creativity to shine.
Content marketing strategy is like pancakes. You'd be sad with only one, but your heart sings with happiness when you've got a whole stack! :)
4. HONED IN SOCIAL MEDIA & FEED ORGANIZATION
Once you produce this email list and blog posts, you can hone in on social media platforms to spread your message: Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and perhaps Twitter and others depending on where your audience is active. Each target demographic is going to be using a different set of platforms, so no one business' needs are going to match another to a T. Digital marketing is 110% customized. Follow these rhythms on Pinterest to reach success, and microblog on Instagram to engage your audience in conversation and with relatability.
5. BEAUTIFUL VISUALS TO COMPLEMENT THE COPY
Other than positive copy, you need the beautiful visuals to captivate an audience. Hiring a professional photographer is a necessity when establishing brand identity. Other than a professional photographer, you may choose to also invest in styled stock photography from a variety of sources. These stunning visuals will complement your text and pull the messaging together.
6. OPT-IN FREEBIES RULE THE WORLD!
With your email list signup form, you should be prepared to offer an opt-in freebie, similar to what's found on a landing page. Offer a free checklist or other printable (or stock photos, in our case) that requires a sign-up for download. This way, you curate a community and offer something for free!
When you combine all of these features together, you curate a beautiful content marketing strategy that carries you through the years. And of course, be sure to stay on top of the latest digital trends to incorporate the newest techniques into your routine!
How do you optimize your marketing strategy?
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THE BLOGGER: KATHRYN COFFMAN
Kathryn is the lead contributor + founder at FashionablyFrank.com. Obsessed with leading a life of balance, she started the blog in 2013. Since graduating college in 2016, she is now a digital marketing specialist through her business, Fashionably Frank Marketing. She believes a cup of coffee is the answer to life's problems + that all women should embrace a #girlboss mantra.