I want to tell you a story.
But first, let’s get some definitions out of the way, so we’re all reading from the same page. First off, what is content marketing?
There are two parts to content marketing – awareness and trust. You need both. Without awareness, you’re barking in the dark and no one is listening. Without trust, they hear you but ignore you.
Content marketing is comprised of different streams, such as your blog, social media, company newsletter, etc. It’s an effective way to look like an expert, build brand awareness, and get more leads online.
There’s a strong correlation between getting more leads online and growth. Research shows if you’ll grow 4 times faster than other companies if you can generate 40% of your leads online.
So that’s what comprises content marketing, and why it’s valuable. Now, on with the story.
Once upon a time there was a struggling rock band. They all worked part time at petrol stations, and practised every other day. Their music was awesome. And they wanted everyone to hear it.
Trouble was, they only had acoustic guitars. On the rare occasion they played an open mic night, most people couldn’t hear them above the general noise of the crowd.
They wanted to play to a massive audience, like at a music festival. They wanted to plug in to a massive speaker system and blow as many people’s minds as possible at once. So they went straight to Splendour In The Grass.
But Splendour didn’t return their calls. Although they could amplify the band’s music, they certainly weren’t going to share this ability to an unknown band. In fact, they had a policy to never return any non-famous band’s phone calls – they’re a dime a dozen.
Splendour represents big media, like TV stations, newspapers, and news websites. Begging for attention is nearly always ignored. This is because the media is in business of amplifying what people already want to hear.
The band figured since no-one else would power their music, they would need to amplify it themselves. So they found a music shop where they could rent a rack of powerful Marshall amps and speakers. Although expensive, it meant they could impress the crowd at their next gig. Everyone would hear their great music and buy it, leading to a load of cash to rent even more amps.
So they rented the gear and did the show, but sadly there were no music purchases, and no phone calls for further bookings. The band was now out of money, so they picked up more shifts at the petrol station, got down on themselves, and stopped practising so much.
This represents paid promotion of your content, like ads, or paying for your content to be featured on other sites. Ad companies will happily rent to you, but it will cost you. And if the cost of your ads is more than your profit, you’ll run out of money.
The only option left for the band was to spend their last dollars on a small amp. It wasn’t much of an amp … it could only be heard by ten people at a time.
The band booked a series of small open mic nights. Only five people attended, but they could all hear the music. The following week, the same few people showed up, but they brought a few friends. The audience hit eight. With each gig, the number slowly grew. The band started to get a feel for which songs people preferred, what order to play them in, and how to interact with the audience. The band now had a couple of dedicated fans.
Feeling confident, they managed to land a paid gig, opening for another band. And they started busking on Sunday nights in the city. They earned enough from these gigs to pay for slightly larger amps.
Every time they played, they saw familiar faces, and the audience grew just that little bit more. This process was a hard slog, but it was constant growth – a much better result than asking Splendour for help or renting expensive amps.
You get the gist. Sometimes marketers give up after their press releases don’t get them the attention they think they deserve. Others move to a pay for a service / advertising model, without thinking through the math, and end up paying out more than they can afford.
At KND, we conduct campaigns over the long haul. We aim at the audience that cares – your audience, and we make that audience grow. We use a blend of targeted content writing, paid promotion, social networking, website blogging, advertising, cross-marketing, newsletters, and other methods.
Save your time for working on your business, and leave the marketing up to the professionals. Contact us at KND today.
Posted by Ernie Tamandl on 30 July 2018