How to Explain Content Marketing to Your Clients

content, content marketing, content strategy

October 4, 2013 by

Content MarketingKnowing how to talk with your clients about content marketing is all about taking them to the bottom line of effective inbound marketing. It’s all about attraction minus hype plus the confidence that comes from just letting go.

Does the foregoing sound a bit abstract? Since abstractions typically emerge from solid premise, let’s look at the premise of just what content marketing is all about. According to one Oracle White Paper, “The Grande Guide to B2B content Marketing”:

“Content marketing is the art of creating, curating and distributing valuable content, combined with the science of measuring its impact on awareness, lead generation and customer acquisition.” 

Let’s put the foregoing quote in simpler terms: content marketing is communicating effectively about your business, but without the sales pitch.

You need to show your client that you can equip potential buyers with the best knowledge about your products and services, and they’ll have the wherewithal to do the right thing; you know, buy your stuff.

For the unconvinced:

Here’s the central kernel of the white-hot truth of the matter: your client must believe that if his business delivers consistently helpful information and data to prospective customers just at the right time, the sales and repeat business will follow.

And here’s the crux:

You need to convince your client that effective content marketing means letting go of the perception that directly touting the product can compete in the white noise of media carriers. Today’s customers have seen and heard it all and are more likely to press the delete button rather than expend the effort involved in hearing or reading something they already know about.

It’s all about focus.

If your client wants to be an effective content marketer, a paradigm shift must occur. That shift involves reorienting the thinking from being a marketer to being a publisher. Your client may already publish generic information that is either overly broad or not targeted to specific readers who are more likely to use the product, but that isn’t enough.

So the first step is to define the critical group of customers who will buy and then thoughtfully determine what information they need. And then, of course, put the word out minus the product hype. The final step involves measuring and, if necessary, recalibrating the information. It’s an ongoing process, and it can be done a number of ways. Heading that list is the company blog (check out my company's blog for inspiration). RELATED CLASS: Business Blogging: How to Leverage Business Blogging for More Traffic, Leads, and Sales

Your client’s blog is the beacon.

Marketers need to truly believe that their company’s blog is the bright shining light of their web content. The blog is where content gets out quickly, generates two-way conversations and puts your client’s flagship website in real-time context. Effective content marketing through blogs ideally:

  • Always encourages conversations. Even critical customer comments can result in opportunities for better customer relations.
  • Is social and devotes attention to blogs published by your client’s network of colleagues and customers.
  • Is authentic, rather than a perfect literary effort. (Let authenticity trump perfection -- just let go!)

The final bullet point leads us to our bottom line here: tell your client to let go of being master of the universe and just get good blog posts done. The world and Google will visit you more often, because timely and thoughtful blogging lets everyone know that you’re alive, well and ready to strut your stuff.

Learn how to execute a winning content marketing program.

Watch Content Marketing Implementation: Executing Winning Content, and get into the nitty-gritty of what it takes to execute engaging content marketing that turns prospects into buyers. Plus, learn 42 winning content marketing tactics, and a proven social media publishing plan to make your content take off—fast. Get instant access now.

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