What Politicians Could Learn From Marketers

What Politicians Could Learn From Marketers

I’ve got to be honest, I never thought this would happen. All my life I have been quite anti-politics (much to the ire of my family) and while I keep up to date with what’s going on, my interest in the subject is limited to almost 0. However, recently I’ve started to think. Politicians who are out to secure votes and win the public’s confidence – like they currently are for the general election – aren’t really all that different from the business owners I work with every day. They are reaching out to people and trying to convince them to buy into their promises and their abilities. And this got me thinking. What tips could politicians take from marketing gurus that would really help them appear likeable and gain that confidence?

Branding

 

If you want to market an idea, you need good, strong branding. Figuring out what you stand for and how you come across is an essential part of marketing, and it’s something politicians often try – but fail – to do. It’s actually something that Jeremy Corbyn has been very good at. He has staked out his views and beliefs (aka his brand) and he has stuck to it with a stony-faced defiance that you can’t help but admire. Like it or not, political parties are brands, so they have to stand out in a crowded and noisy marketplace, just like any other brand. The ideologies you stand for as a politician are exactly the same as those you would employ as a business owner. But your success will only be as strong as your branding – so the more thought, time and effort invested into it, the more memorable you will be. Notice there that I didn’t mention money there. Good branding is not always the most expensive or flashy – it’s the one that’s been best thought through and most consistent.

Research

 

For a business to market itself effectively, they need to research their target market, find out what matters to them and speak to that. It’s the basics of good marketing, and you will find the brands with the most successful campaigns are the ones who have done comprehensive market research. Once you understand who you’re talking to and what’s important to them, it makes it much easier to sell yourself to them. Granted, that’s much simpler when you’re selling a product or service as opposed to a philosophy, but the general idea is the same. But what I see in reality is politicians who have completely missed what motivates the general population in a leadership campaign. It’s not tax cuts, it’s not grand empty gestures, it’s leadership – with substance. If politicians were more attuned to market research, there might be more community focussed policies and popularity around politics.

Consistency

 

Once you have a brand, it’s important not to go off brand, and not to lose your dignity along the way. For example, when McDonald’s challenged about their ingredients, they carefully planned films and broadcast a series of videos and other adverts that spoke directly to that concern. They came across as open, honest and trustworthy, and the brand came out the other side better than when they entered the fray. But what’s that got to do with it? Well, we have all seen the politicians (not always British ones) get drawn into irrelevant sideline discussions and enter schoolyard style brawls in an attempt to dirty their opponent. Whether it’s who can be tougher on immigration or which of them cares more about a certain issue, these petty arguments always result in lower confidence and lost votes. As a business with a strong brand, you know who you are and what the issues really are – so you should be able to handle the bumps in the road without getting rattled. Instead, rise above the rest of it and maintain your brand values consistently, and you will always come across the better party.

Capitalise On Events

 

The inspiration for this entire post came from one simple fact – this years’ local elections were held on May the 4th. Now anyone who is or knows a Star Wars fan (so basically everyone) knows the cult popularity of this date, which is unilaterally known as ‘Star Wars Day’. So why, on local election day, did not a single election candidate in the South (I can’t speak for other areas) capitalise on this fact? In a time where politicians are desperately trying to appeal to the younger generation of voters, showcasing that they are at least aware of their culture is a no brainer. Sure, dressing up as a Jedi at the polling station might be going a bit far, but as far as engaging and unique publicity goes, this was an open and depressingly empty goal.

 

And so at the end of it, I’m still not all that interested in politics (but yes, I am voting this year, so no comments about that please). I truly believe that politics needs a complete rebrand, to take us away from a system that leaves so many disengaged and disappointed with the way the country is run, but feeling like they have no voice to say so. And to do that, politicians should definitely take some advice from the marketing world.

Merry Christmas From Eleven Eight

Well, thus ends another year, and we at Eleven Eight are closing our doors for the festive season. On behalf of the whole team, thank you so much for sticking with us, reading our content based nonsense and making us as successful as are.We really couldn't have done...
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Taking The Fast Track – The Nordic Walking Experience

Taking The Fast Track – The Nordic Walking Experience

So, this post is going to be something a little different. As many of you might already know, I like to get to know my clients and their businesses very well during the course of writing for them. It’s how I achieve a unique voice for them and don’t spout the wrong information. Bearing that in mind, I recently took a crash course in Nordic Walking to help understand it a little better for a new client, Janine of 3J Fitness, Nordic Walker extraordinaire.

I first met Janine when I visited the Reading Central chapter of BNI, and she was without a doubt the most energetic person in the room. It was her turn to do a 4-minute presentation to the group, and unlike everyone else (who just stood up and talked) she took to walking around the room very quickly with her poles as she spoke – I think she managed around 6 circuits during that time. When I joined the chapter I got to know a little more about Janine and her love of Nordic Walking, to the point where I wanted to give it a go myself. So one cold and grey looking Saturday, I joined Janine and another very bouncy lady called Carla at Prospect Park to find out what all the fuss was about.

Posture, Pace And Practice

Before we were allowed to be set loose on the unsuspecting people of the park. Janine took us through the basics of Nordic Walking. We were kitted out with special pairs of gloves that came with a little piece of plastic, which I soon learned was designed to clip into the poles so you could get the grip right. This was a good thing, as by that point I’d already dropped my poles 4 times! Janine ran us through how to hold the poles properly and how to stand before we were off and learning how to walk again. Turns out, Nordic walking is a lot harder than she makes it look! Getting the rhythm right was the trickiest part for me, as trying to remember which foot to put forward with which arm and when to hit the ground with the pole was almost too much for my sleep-addled brain to process. But thanks to some ‘training’ (which involved Janine walking behind me, holding the ends of my poles and moving my arms for me as I walked) I got there in the end. We spent around 20 minutes on this whole process, and by the end, I felt I could actually walk confidently with the poles. Result!

The Gears

I was then informed that having mastered Gear 1 (basic walking), we were going to learn the other 3. Turns out, there are 4 Gears in Nordic Walking, each a bit tougher than the last. It was at this point that I realised that doing an hour of weight lifting in the gym that morning might not have been the greatest idea!  Thankfully, Janine saw the dread on my face and took us through them gently. Gear 1 was the easiest, a nice, steady walking pace using the poles for support and rhythm. Gear 2 moved it up a bit to a faster pace and a firmer motion with the poles moving forward. Janine framed it as ‘punching someone you don’t like in the knackers’, as opposed to the ‘reaching for a handshake’ motion in Gear 1. Cue some hysterical laughter. After we’d recovered and got the hang of that, we tried out Gear 3, which mainly involved changing the position of the poles to give forward propulsion. It still felt like normal walking, but at about 3 times the speed without any extra effort. I loved it! after a few laps and a hike up a hill in Gear 3, we fell apart a bit at Gear 4, otherwise known as running with poles. There was lots of getting confused with the rhythm, hopping around trying to switch your feet and some very funny frog like jumping that I’m still sure was Janine just trying to make us look silly. But by the end, we were panting slightly having run around a mile – a great improvement on my usual running, which consists of flapping around for 5 minutes before falling over in a gasping heap. Now that we had mastered the Gears, it was time to put it all in practice.

A Country Jaunt

Nordic WalkingTo finish off the fast track session, we took a rather beautiful turn around the park. Now if you’ve never been, Prospect Park isn’t some tiny little field. It’s a huge expanse of grass, playgrounds and tennis courts, and we spent around 30 minutes just walking around it. It was a refreshing walk full of kicking leaves and some rather rude comments from a dad in the park about pole dancing (though I think he was just curious). This countryside jaunt was apparently quite typical of the kinds of Nordic Walks Janine runs on a regular basis, full of ladies and gentlemen who love to take in the scenery and have a good natter. We finished up with some stretches and we were even presented with our freedom passports – which was very exciting! Through all of this, I didn’t really feel like I’d done a ‘workout’ in the traditional sense. At least, that was until I sat down in the car and my whole body protested. Turns out, I’d been working quite hard while I was frolicking in the field!

And to be honest, I think that’s typical of sessions with Janine. She makes walking so much fun that you don’t notice just how hard your body is working. I could imagine getting very fit by accident doing this regularly. Overall, I loved trying out the fast track session with Janine and 3J Fitness, and I don’t think I’m the only one. Looking at all the photos on her Facebook page from her walks, smiles are a regular occurrence! If you’ve never tried it before, go along to a taster session and try the pole-walking experience for yourself!

Merry Christmas From Eleven Eight

Well, thus ends another year, and we at Eleven Eight are closing our doors for the festive season. On behalf of the whole team, thank you so much for sticking with us, reading our content based nonsense and making us as successful as are.We really couldn't have done...
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5 Social Media Tips For Absolute Beginners

5 Social Media Tips For Absolute Beginners

When it comes to creating content for the internet, there isn’t much point unless you have somewhere to put it. So, once you’ve uploaded to your website, what’s next?

Social media is still the fastest growing and most effective way of sharing that wonderful content you’ve created with the world. Each month 845 million people use Facebook. 115 million use Twitter, 12 million use Pinterest and 2 billion visits YouTube every day. 2 new members join LinkedIn every second. In fact, 600 million more people are on social media than own a toothbrush (ew)! Social media is undoubtedly one of the most powerful phenomena out there, and it’s just waiting for you to harness its potential to spread your content far and wide. If you’re not on social media yet, by the end of this post you will be!

Decide What Platforms To Use

The first and most important thing you need to do is decide which platform you want to use. There are hundreds of different social media platforms out there, from Twitter to Tumblr and LinkedIn to Snapchat, so there is no way you can be on all of them. So start small. Pick one, or two to begin with and grow your following – you can always expand to new ones later. Thankfully, deciding which platform to use is the easy bit – just take a look at where your customers are. For example, if you are targeting small solicitors, you are unlikely to find them on Facebook, but you might find them on twitter or LinkedIn. If you’re looking to promote to cupcake makers, visual platforms like Pinterest and Instagram are the way to go. Spend some time looking at what networks your target audience is using, and then get yourself set up there.

social-media-sharing bookOptimise Your Profile

Once you’ve figured out where you need to be, you need to create a profile. While you’re doing this, bear in mind that your social media profiles all help Google figure out who you are, so optimisation is key. If you have a list of keywords you used on your website, try and use them in any text you write. Make sure your images are sized properly and tagged with those keywords (if the platform will let you). Have your website, other social links and address listed if you can. Any suggestions the individual social network makes in terms of profile setup should be followed, as this will help your account be found. Try to pick a handle or account name that matches your business name as closely as possible, and brand every inch of it. Being found is key on social media, so make it easy for people.

Find And Follow Influencers

When you’re first starting on social media it can be slow going to build up a following. A good way to start is by finding and following influencers in your field. I don’t mean following Stephen Fry because Twitter told you to. I mean finding people high up in your industry who share interesting, thought provoking things. Share and comment on their posts, get involved in conversations with others in the community and build up a network of people from each end of the spectrum, from influencers to other businesses like you. Being visible to an influencer can be a big boost, especially if you are providing interesting and relevant content. A single share from them could mean big business for you!

Use Scheduling Tools

I’m not going to lie, keeping up with social media can be a nightmare! If you’re not careful, you could spend all day sucked into the Twitterverse and not actually get any work done. To make this easier, try out some social media management and scheduling tools like Hootsuite, Buffer or IFTT to pre-schedule your regular posts, leaving you free to go about your work without worrying that your social media is dormant. You can then set aside certain times to be more ‘actively involved’ and achieve a great work-social balance.

Keep A Balance Between Following And Followers

An important thing when starting up with social media is keeping a good balance between followers and following. You should always try to keep those numbers as close as possible, for example having 100 followers and following 130 people. When someone looks at your profile, this sort of information is very visible, and if the level is out of whack this can make people think twice about following you. So if you’re following 200 people but only have 10 following you, it gives a bad impression. It will take some time, but it’s better to grow the network slowly instead of rushing and looking desperate.

The most important thing to remember about social media is that it’s not an overnight fix – it’s a slow process that takes time to build up and really get going. If you expect to have thousands of followers and be raking in the business by the end of week 1, you are going to be very disappointed. Instead make sure you take the time to set it up properly and treat it like a marathon, not a sprint. For more information or advice on how to share your content on social media, get in touch with us today!

Merry Christmas From Eleven Eight

Well, thus ends another year, and we at Eleven Eight are closing our doors for the festive season. On behalf of the whole team, thank you so much for sticking with us, reading our content based nonsense and making us as successful as are.We really couldn't have done...
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Why?

Why?

This blog is a bit more personal than my usual pieces of advice, so I want to start it properly. So, if you don’t know me, hi! My name is Charlotte and I’ve been a copywriter for nearly 8 years.

I didn’t set out to become a copywriter, quite the opposite. I wanted to be a children’s author. I love children – the excitement and wonder of their imaginations is contagious, and in some ways I think I still channel my own childlike wonder in my own life. I’ve found myself in one of those wonderful positions where I have no children of my own, yet am surrounded by them on a nearly constant basis. If it’s not my 2 young nephews then it’s my small horde of 24 Brownies, who I voluntarily look after for 2 hours every week. The good thing about this is that I can give them all back whenever I want (which is sometimes never). The downside is that a large group of these children will never age. They only stay with me from their 7th birthday to their 10th, and whenever one leaves another pops up to take their place. This means I am permanently surrounded by inquisitive, eager children who are desperate to learn everything about the world around them. Honestly, it’s why I love Girl Guiding.  But I digress, let’s get to the point.

Last week, one of the aforementioned children asked me what I do as a job.

‘I’m a copywriter.’ I said.

‘What’s that?’ she asked, a bit confused.

It means that I spend every day writing stories for people who run businesses.’

‘Oh…Why?’

Any parent reading this probably shuddered at that question. Thankfully at 8 years old, this young girl is past the dreaded ‘why’ stage, and instead was genuinely curious about why people need someone like me to write stories. And it made me realise, I get asked this question every single day. Not by children, but by business owners who are puzzled by what I do. So I wanted to address anyone who doesn’t know what a copywriter does, or why they need one.

What Does A Copywriter Do?

In the broadest sense of the word, copywriters are the people who handle the words of the business world. We help create taglines, direct mailers, annoying jingle lyrics, web page content, email newsletters and basically anything else that helps businesses advertise and promote themselves. But I prefer to think of it as writing brand stories. A good copywriter won’t just assemble a bunch of well-formed sentences into a piece for you. They will take the time to get to know your brand, and weave together a compelling story that encourages people to buy from you. Each and every piece of copy you put out there is another chapter of the story, that when connected with the others creates a narrative readers can understand and connect with. But it takes someone with the right skills and mindset to create that complex, engaging story, and that’s where a copywriter comes in.

Why Do You Need One?

Anyone can pick up a pencil or sit at a keyboard and type words. In that respect, everyone can write. But now everyone can take those words and put them in exactly the right places, with the right tones and partners to create a specific effect – that’s when you become a writer. If you want to make sure your prospects and clients are receiving the right message about your business, you need a copywriter. If you want them to understand your business and services on a deeper level, to feel confident that you are the right choice and trust that you know what you’re doing, you need a copywriter. Hell, if you want to come across as professional you need a copywriter! Copywriters are a critical part of business marketing and can make your investment give a much bigger return, purely because you’re sending out the right message. When all of the big, successful companies out there have copywriters on staff, you should too.

27,000,000 pieces of content are shared online every single day, and the only way to get yours to stand out is by being well crafted, different and unique. A good copywriter can help you understand what makes your business so special, and bring it out in ways you couldn’t even dream of. So, if you’re looking for someone to tell your brand story and make you stand out, find yourself a really good copywriter and don’t let them go. Don’t know any? Well, I’m sure I can help you!

Merry Christmas From Eleven Eight

Well, thus ends another year, and we at Eleven Eight are closing our doors for the festive season. On behalf of the whole team, thank you so much for sticking with us, reading our content based nonsense and making us as successful as are.We really couldn't have done...
Read More

Feed The Magpies With Content, Not Foil

If you’ve ever hung around with me and talked about content, you probably know by now that one of the key reasons many business owners invest in it is to rank highly on Google. While many do genuinely see the benefits outside of the SEO world, there are some...
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Content is a huge, sprawling world with a hell of a lot of tripwires and trapdoors between you and your customer. There are a lot of things you can do wrong in content marketing, especially compared to the few things that seem right. But to be honest, content...
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So last week, despite being firmly in the middle of my lovely two week holiday, I strapped on my best copywriting helmet and braved the sodden winds of Bournemouth beach for Copy Cabana. I actually discovered this gem of an event last year – about three days too late...
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A Day In The Life Of A Copywriter

It occurred to me the other day (well, was pointed out really) that a lot of people don’t know what I do all day. They know I write stuff, but it can be difficult for a lot of people to imagine that taking up an entire day. And rather than telling you vaguely that I...
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What The Hell Is Content Marketing?

What The Hell Is Content Marketing?

Whenever I meet new people and tell them what I do, I am almost always greeted with a blank look. While we may have chosen the term ‘creative content agency’ because we like the ring to it, the nuts and bolts of what we do is content marketing. If you’re trying to market your business online, odds are you’ve heard about content marketing somewhere along the line. It’s everywhere you look, with 86% of businesses today using it in one form or another. But if you don’t practice content marketing, do you know what’s involved, what it means, or how you can weave it into all of your marketing efforts to make them more effective?

What Does ‘Content Marketing’ Mean?

 writingContent marketing is defined as ‘a strategic marketing approach focussed on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience – and ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.’ A bit of a mouthful! In essence, the point of content marketing is to attract and retain customers by creating, curating and retaining content that is relevant and valuable to them. By doing this, you are portraying yourself as a thought leader in your subject, establishing trust and ultimately changing or enhancing the behaviour of your customers. This could be convincing them to start using your service, change the way they behave towards something or encouraging them to talk about your brand.

Of course, change doesn’t happen overnight. The key thing to remember about content marketing is that it’s an ongoing process that needs to be integrated with your overall marketing strategy. The creation and dissemination of original content and media is essential, and for this to have a noticeable effect it needs time to circulate and build an audience. I’ve lost count of the number of people who tell me they quit blogging or using social media because they didn’t see an increase in sales after the first 2 weeks. If you’re going to invest in content marketing, you need to understand that you are playing a long game, and it might be a while before you see any significant results. The concept of content marketing is built around the tried and tested idea that if we as businesses deliver consistent, ongoing, valuable information to buyers, they will ultimately reward us with their business and loyalty.

How Does Content Fit Into My Marketing?

The marketing world has been undergoing a subtle shift for decades, moving away from direct selling and advertising and towards subtle, broad marketing strategies. Today, marketing your business effectively is almost impossible without great content. Quality content affects all forms of modern marketing, including:

  • calendarSocial media – content sharing is a fundamental part of all social media strategy.
  • SEO – search engines rank and reward businesses that publish regular, quality content over those who don’t.
  • PR campaigns – Successful PR campaigns don’t talk about the business but address issues the audience cares about and discusses them, through content.
  • PPC – For a Pay Per Click campaign to work effectively, you need great content behind it.
  • Inbound Marketing – Driving traffic to your site and generating inbound leads revolved around drawing uses in with great content.

Essentially, for any marketing activity you can think of, content now plays a key part in its execution and effectiveness. Today’s consumers don’t want to be sold to (in fact, many would actively avoid buying from a business that ‘hard sells’), instead, they want valuable information when making their purchasing decisions, which is where content marketing comes in. Once you have created your content, it can spread through social networks generating powerful word of mouth exposure and convincing people to visit your site and buy. The takeaway here is that content marketing should be an integral part of your marketing process, not something completely separate.

Intrigued? Content marketing is as powerful and effective as the time and money you put into it, so if you want to see great results, be prepared to jump in with both feet. Not sure you can create your own content? There are always people out there to help you out – like us! At Eleven Eight we not only create high-quality content, but we teach you how to create and spread your own content. Want to know more?, Give us a call or drop us a line for a chat with absolutely no obligations.

Merry Christmas From Eleven Eight

Well, thus ends another year, and we at Eleven Eight are closing our doors for the festive season. On behalf of the whole team, thank you so much for sticking with us, reading our content based nonsense and making us as successful as are.We really couldn't have done...
Read More

Feed The Magpies With Content, Not Foil

If you’ve ever hung around with me and talked about content, you probably know by now that one of the key reasons many business owners invest in it is to rank highly on Google. While many do genuinely see the benefits outside of the SEO world, there are some...
Read More

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Content is a huge, sprawling world with a hell of a lot of tripwires and trapdoors between you and your customer. There are a lot of things you can do wrong in content marketing, especially compared to the few things that seem right. But to be honest, content...
Read More

Celebrating The Life Linguistic – Or Just Chatting Shit With Copywriters?

So last week, despite being firmly in the middle of my lovely two week holiday, I strapped on my best copywriting helmet and braved the sodden winds of Bournemouth beach for Copy Cabana. I actually discovered this gem of an event last year – about three days too late...
Read More

A Day In The Life Of A Copywriter

It occurred to me the other day (well, was pointed out really) that a lot of people don’t know what I do all day. They know I write stuff, but it can be difficult for a lot of people to imagine that taking up an entire day. And rather than telling you vaguely that I...
Read More

Whenever I meet new people and tell them what I do, I am almost always greeted with a blank look. While we may have chosen the term ‘creative content agency’ because we like the ring to it, the nuts and bolts of what we do is content marketing. If you’re trying to market your business online, odds are you’ve heard about content marketing somewhere along the line. It’s everywhere you look, with 86% of businesses today using it in one form or another. But if you don’t practice content marketing, do you know what’s involved, what it means, or how you can weave it into all of your marketing efforts to make them more effective?

 

What Does ‘Content Marketing’ Mean?

 

writingContent marketing is defined as ‘a strategic marketing approach focussed on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience – and ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.’ A bit of a mouthful! In essence, the point of content marketing is to attract and retain customers by creating, curating and retaining content that is relevant and valuable to them. By doing this, you are portraying yourself as a thought leader in your subject, establishing trust and ultimately changing or enhancing the behaviour of your customers. This could be convincing them to start using your service, change the way they behave towards something or encouraging them to talk about your brand.

Of course, change doesn’t happen overnight. The key thing to remember about content marketing is that it’s an ongoing process that needs to be integrated with your overall marketing strategy. The creation and dissemination of original content and media is essential, and for this to have a noticeable effect it needs time to circulate and build an audience. I’ve lost count of the number of people who tell me they quit blogging or using social media because they didn’t see an increase in sales after the first 2 weeks. If you’re going to invest in content marketing, you need to understand that you are playing a long game, and it might be a while before you see any significant results. The concept of content marketing is built around the tried and tested idea that if we as businesses deliver consistent, ongoing, valuable information to buyers, they will ultimately reward us with their business and loyalty.

 

How Does Content Fit Into My Marketing?

The marketing world has been undergoing a subtle shift for decades, moving away from direct selling and advertising and towards subtle, broad marketing strategies. Today, marketing your business effectively is almost impossible without great content. Quality content affects all forms of modern marketing, including:

  • calendarSocial media – content sharing is a fundamental part of all social media strategy.
  • SEO – search engines rank and reward businesses that publish regular, quality content over those who don’t.
  • PR campaigns – Successful PR campaigns don’t talk about the business but address issues the audience cares about and discusses them, through content.
  • PPC – For a Pay Per Click campaign to work effectively, you need great content behind it.
  • Inbound Marketing – Driving traffic to your site and generating inbound leads revolved around drawing uses in with great content.

Essentially, for any marketing activity you can think of, content now plays a key part in its execution and effectiveness. Today’s consumers don’t want to be sold to (in fact, many would actively avoid buying from a business that ‘hard sells’), instead they want valuable information when making their purchasing decisions, which is where content marketing comes in. Once you have created your content, it can spread through social networks generating powerful word of mouth exposure and convincing people to visit your site and buy. The takeaway here is that content marketing should be an integral part of your marketing process, not something completely separate.

Intrigued? Content marketing is as powerful and effective as the time and money you put into it, so if you want to see great results, be prepared to jump in with both feet. Not sure you can create your own content? There are always people out there to help you out – like us! At Eleven Eight we not only create high quality content, but we teach you how to create and spread your own content. Want to know more?, Give us a call or drop us a line for a chat with absolutely no obligations..