By Roberto Blake
The secret is out; everyone needs to be a media company. We all know that Social Media is not a fad; we know that Content is King and Distribution is Queen; we know that Context is fickle God that can make or break our business and us. Great. Now what?
Understanding that Content Marketing is Nothing New
Content marketing is not a new phenomenon. Hasbro Toys has been taking advantage of it for decades. If you’re reading this you’re likely old enough to be familiar with Transformers and G.I. JOE. What you may not be aware of is that these shows were specifically designed as content meant to sell toys. Children and adults for the better part of 4 decades have been tuning into 25 minute long commercials willingly, and converting to millions of dollars in revenue.
But how does that affect my business? I’m not making music, or movies or a television show. It’s a valid question. Your sales funnel is directly affected by the awareness of your brand, and how often people who are aware of your brand convert into sales as new customers or clients. The odds are that your customers are listening to at least one podcast while they are at work or while they are jogging or at the gym. It should be your podcast. They are watching a YouTube channel when they are at home or in line at the bank. It should be your YouTube channel. But it won’t be if you don’t have one…
Here is how Printers can take advantage of content marketing. If you’re a print company, you should consider leveraging someone with influence in a niche that utilizes your services. By building a relationship with someone already producing content and that has already built an audience, you can put yourself in a position of getting results with a lower level of investment in time, money and resources. If this person is already effective, you’re not taking the risk of creating content in a saturated and noisy marketplace, or investing in the production equipment or time to develop a strategy. Sponsoring content is a great way to reach new customers and borrow credibility.
While it’s true you won’t control the content, the credibility of someone who is an authority in their niche has more value and will resonate better with an audience than if you present to them directly. It also means you’re more likely to be top of mind since you’re now associated with that influencers community of loyal followers.
Your customers have a problem they need solved. Someone on YouTube in your niche has put out content on how to solve that problem. Why haven’t you? Home Depot is probably the best example of this. 1 month ago (May 2016) they put out a video about their new mobile app that only got 600 views, where as a video they put out about Patio Decorating got over 200,000 views, more than double the number of their subscribers by the way.
Don’t focus on producing commercials that sell your products, focus on content that establishes your credibility and solves a problem for your customers and clients. In the process, make them aware of what you have to offer. When they need that offering, they’ll remember that they’ve already had a positive experience with you.
Things You Can Execute On
- Develop a content strategy that solves the problems of your audience and lets you establish your expertise and authority.
- Determine which platforms are most effective for you to market it in: YouTube, Social Media, Professional Networks, Podcast, etc.
- Identify influencers or brand advocates that can help you reach your target market, and build a strategy for working with them.
- Look for opportunities to turn your content into a product or other means of creating revenue.
- If you plan to develop your own content for video marketing or a podcast, research what that investment will take, not just in cost but also in terms of time.
If you have questions you can feel free to reach out to me in Social Media or the comments section!
Roberto Blake is a Graphic Designer who runs his own one man Design Studio, focusing on Brand Development and Advertising. Roberto has experience in design for print, web and multimedia and has worked on out of home campaigns including billboards featured in Times Square. He is a monthly contributor to Print Media Centr’s News From The Printerverse, and a frequent participant at #PrintChat on Twitter. He is also a contributor for publications such as Print Magazine and How Design and has had work featured in Advanced Photoshop Magazine. Roberto is extremely active in social media, producing multiple YouTube videos each week to assist designers and other creative professionals through advice and tutorials.