Content marketing is the process of providing interesting, relevant content (tips, ideas, etc.) that people in your target market can use right now without spending a dime. It’s been shown over and over again, both inside our industry and out, that content marketing is the most effective strategy to use when you want to do business with people on the social web. People come to know, like, and trust you when you provide them with value, and that ultimately leads to a business relationship.
Now in the ideal world, the foundation of your content marketing approach would happen on a blog. It’s a place to direct your social networking contacts that isn’t a sales page, and it’s a place to build relationships with people. But what if your company doesn’t allow you to have a blog as an independent direct seller, or you just don’t have time to maintain one while running your business (and your life)? Does that mean you can’t do content marketing?
Not at all.
Here are some ways that you can do content marketing, and provide value to your prospects, with just a social networking profile.
- Share tips through your status updates. If I were with a direct selling company that specialized in food, cookware, or entertaining, the following status update would be a great example of content marketing (and note the response it got…people can relate to it.)
- Share links to other people’s articles. You don’t have to be the source to provide value to your prospects. By providing content from other sources, people come to know and trust you as the “one stop shop” that provides lots of content that meets their needs.
- Share non-salesy content from your company’s Facebook Page. This helps to highlight the value your company brings, and since you’re a distributor with that company, you also are seen as providing value.
- Host a free conference call or webinar where you share information related to your product line. For example, if you sell cooking products, you might talk about time saving techniques in the kitchen. If you sell nutritional products, you might interview a health expert. This is a great way to invite people in without making them feel like they have to buy something to gain value from you. And that builds relationships which ultimately lead to new business.
- Set up a Facebook Group where you share tips, ideas, articles that you find on the web, and more. You can also provide deals and discounts, along with product highlights and info on the opportunity in a group, but keep it to about 10% of your posts. The majority of the information should provide a great deal of value that people can use right now without spending a dime.
While a blog represents the ideal situation, it isn’t the ONLY way to do content marketing. You may not be allowed to blog for your business, you may not have time, or you may just not be able to produce content in that way. That’s OK. Focus on providing value WHERE YOU ARE online, and you’ll still be able to build those relationships, based on value, that ultimately lead to new business.
How do you provide content of value to your prospects online? Have you seen good or poor examples of this? Please share your ideas and experiences in the comments below!