I was trying to convince a product manager to start blogging on the company blog, that it was a massive opportunity for him to connect with his customers, tell the story about his products, and increase traffic for our website and as a result sales of his product.
It didn’t go well. He didn’t see it as a priority given the fairly full list of challenges in his portfolio. He was understandably having trouble connecting the dots between trotting out a 400 word blog post and increasing sales and numbers of happy customers. I couldn’t believe that he couldn’t see the connection and should have explained it a little better.
Firstly, I know my debate with Jim was about blogging, not content marketing. I view blogging as a core content marketing activity, along with tweeting, updating Facebook, adding videos to YouTube, email marketing, white papers, and posting random images of your cat to instagram. Creating your own content in a blog is an easy way businesses can distribute and own their own brand message, and avoid expensive print, tv, or radio marketing. A blog is the sun around which other content marketing activities revolve and is often the centre of any good content marketing strategy.
Content marketing is best defined by the amazing people at CopyBlogger, the emphasis is mine:
Content Marketing means creating and sharing valuable free content to attract and convert prospects into customers, and customers into repeat buyers. The type of content you share is closely related to what you sell; in other words, you’re educating people so that they know, like, and trust you enough to do business with you.
Writing a blog post about something you’re passionate about for customers and potential customers is a fantastic way for you to get fans to talk about and interact with your brand. The hard sell, is, well, a hard sell. Providing free stuff to attract and convert prospects into customers or repeat customers is the easiest way to create value for your marketing dollar.
What better way to build credibility in your products and services than tell a story about how they worked for a customer, how you have improved them after listening to a customer, or how a customer is doing something really innovative. The best content marketing is educational and entertaining. By telling a story in a simple informative way, buyers will believe in you, your product, and your brand. It takes a lot a Adwords to by that kind of credibility.
For Google, good content that is shared is the new black. If a blog post, infographic, ebook, white paper, video, or gallery is good enough to share then Google reckon it is good enough to rank higher. They figure that shareability is a good signal for quality and relevance. Spammers beware!
I am going to keep working with Jim and am confident he will have a go a writing a couple of blog posts when his schedule allows and he has something to say. I know he will be amazed at the results.
Image by lakabos