This article was originally published by Cara Mackay, Manager Director at Gillies and Mackay, on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/what-content-marketing-tcma-2016-cara-mackay
On the 6th May 2015 I embarked on my Content Marketing journey.
A couple of weeks ago, I thought I’d check to see what difference it had made financially to my business.
If I told you that comparing April 2015 to April 2016, we had increased our sales by 26% purely based on direct sales from our content would you be interested in finding out more?
In monetary terms that’s an extra £37,500.00 above target for one month. Although not surprised, as I know this shit works, it was very satisfying to see the actual figures.
This is people, my customers, who are searching for answers, reading or watching my content and buying as a result.
So what’s content marketing all about then?
Well the two guys pictured above are by far my biggest content marketing influences.
One teaches the principles of Content Marketing and the other is the principle!
Chris Marr (left) – Founder and Director of the Content Marketing Academy – taught me everything I know about how to communicate with my audience, my customers, without selling to them. A fantastic definition of content marketing is:
“the art of communicating with your customers and prospects without selling. It is non interruption marketing. Instead of pitching your products or services, you are delivering information that makes your buyers more intelligent or perhaps entertaining them to build an emotional connection.” – Joe Pulizzi
However, it’s so much more than that.
It’s not until you really appreciate the importance of why you have to communicate in this way, that you truly speak to your customers at their level. By that, I mean to be on their side.
We no longer live in a world where a transaction process happens impulsively.
Customers google, they ask questions and they research their purchases. They do this through reviews, asking friends on social media, recommendations and, above all, by educating themselves.
Can your potential customers find you when they’ve never heard of you before?
So where are you? Where is your business when they’re looking for this information before they’ve ever heard of you before?
Some of you will be shouting about half price offers in a newspaper, or telling the world you have cheap carpets for sale on the radio. Your customers aren’t listening – they don’t care about YOU and what YOU think about your business. They care about getting the answers to their questions and solutions to their problems.
The guy in the middle of the picture is Marcus Sheridan – He is the total king of this stuff, read his story, seriously READ IT! A pool guy who made his business millions amidst the 2008 crash through the process of using text, video, and audio communication in an effort to establish his company as the best and him as the most helpful teacher in the world at what he does – at the time this was swimming pools in Virginia.
Here’s Marcus is looking at my website and blog…nervous much?!
This is just the start!
I’m lucky, I have a fantastic product and an amazing team. My story resonates with my audience and it’s really easy for me to build an emotional connection with my customers. Content Marketing, the guidance from Chris and the support of the CMA community has given me the tools to really drive my content forward…and it’s only year 1!
Do you want in?
So what about you? Do you want in?
In a couple of weeks (2nd/3rd June) I’ll be attending The Content Marketing Academy Conference. This event has over 14 speakers teaching you their methods of Content Marketing.
Amy Schmittaeur, Mark Schaefer and Ann Handley are everything you need to know about content marketing. They’re teaching 200 delegates over 2 days so If I don’t see you, I’ll look forward to meeting your competitors instead.
Click here to find out more about how to register for TCMA 2016