Here’s a definition of content marketing from The Content Marketing Institute.
“Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
You might feel like your potential clients don’t fully understand it, and/or push back with statements like…
“I’m not a writer”
“I like the idea of blogging, but just not right now.”
“We simply don’t have time to create content on an ongoing basis”
Well I certainly understand where these clients are coming from.
I understand their point of view because I am a small business owner. Many small business owners don’t like the term, Content Marketing, because they don’t understand it and they don’t have the time to really dive into it. It’s untraveled territory and they are uncomfortable spending money on something they know little about.
To me, that means there’s a problem when it comes to explaining content marketing to a small business owner.
It is a problem because the practices of Content Marketing are exactly what many businesses need to survive and thrive. And the problem is really in the language and the way marketing professionals present the term.
So, here is my short, sweet post on how to explain content marketing to your clients…
Introduce Small Business Clients to Content Marketing through SEO
Clients know and love SEO. They certainly understand it, know they need good SEO, and most often are willing to learn how to use it to their benefit. But they often think SEO translates to a bunch of highly technical, behind the scenes work.
Create a simple presentation that explains SEO in everyday terms, from web crawling to indexing to ranking.
When you discuss search engine ranking it makes it easy to show how important links, social sharing and long-tail keyword phrases are. And these practices have everything to do with the power of content marketing.
And here is a great SEO breakdown from Matt Cutts at Google.
When I have this SEO discussion with clients about the importance of links, web spiders, and the science of ranking is usually leads back to marketing and our term of the day, Content Marketing.
This leads to our next step in explaining content marketing to your clients…
Stop Trying to Sound Smart.
There are like 6,987,901 posts about content marketing. And most of them use the same buzzwords that make little sense to clients.
So stop trying to sound like a guru or point clients to “I’m to smart for you” content.
In fact, when it comes to detailing the many benefits of content marketing there are several people who do a really good job of telling this story in layman’s terms…
Marcus Sheridan knows content marketing, SEO, and more. And he’s skilled at knowing how to talk to busy small business owners about these very topics.
Laura Click always gets to the point with practical advice and easy terminology. She also knows small business speak and is in the marketing trenches fighting the good fight every day.
John Jantsch is a writer, speaker and founder of the very popular Duct Tape Marketing. If you want to learn how to communicate with clients, I can think of no better source of insight and inspiration.
Ryan Hanley has worked to clearly explain content marketing for years. I mean he really worked it, leading an insurance company to content marketing success. He writes and speaks about content often.
This is how it’s done, so take a look at the fine people above, see how they roll, and work on your own style of presentation.
So, if you are working to help your small business clients grow their businesses through Content Marketing do the following. Start the conversation with friendly terms like SEO and lead clients into the many benefits of content marketing done right, stop trying to sound so smart, and follow (and emulate) the people who have this down to a science.
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