3 Reasons You Need To Use Content Marketing To Build Your Brand And Your Business
Before we get into the 3 reasons you need to use content marketing to build your brand and your business, I'd like to share a brief story about a man named John Chapman.
John was a smart and pragmatic person. Starting out with nothing but the farming skills he had learned from his father, he began to accumulate property, and by the time he died at the age of 70 he owned more than 1200 acres of land spread throughout America's midwest.
Back then, in the early 19th century, "frontier law allowed people to lay claim to land through development of a permanent homestead. Such a claim could be made by planting fifty apple trees."
So that's what John did as he traversed the midwest. He traveled just ahead of settlers, planted apple trees on unclaimed pieces of land, and then when the settlers came along he would sell them the orchards he had planted.
And that's how John Chapman eventually came to be known as Johnny Appleseed.
And you, my newbie friends, can a learn a lot about succeeding online from the story and example of Johnny Appleseed.
Content Marketing and Johnny Appleseed
Naturally, back in John Chapman's day, no one would have even dreamt of a tool like the Internet.
Nevertheless, there are real and practical lessons you can learn from what Johnny Appleseed did back then.
For starters, as mentioned above, the law back then allowed anyone who was willing to do the work of planting 50 apple trees (and 20 peach trees) to claim the plot of land he or she planted them on.
Today, you have the ability to also lay claim to your own piece of online real estate, and all that it requires of you is to be willing to do the work of creating some engaging, relevant, practical content for the audience that you're wanting to target.
Johnny Appleseed was able to foresee a need for his target audience - the settlers who were following behind him.
That need was the land that he had already claimed by planting the orchards on, and he was able to sell those orchards to those settlers to settle on. Makes sense, doesn't it?
A wise man of foresight I'd say, and I'm sure you'd agree, right?
You too can exercise the same kind of foresight by recognising the audience you want to target, preparing your online real estate so that it's of value to them, and then selling them whatever you're offering to make their lives comfortable, convenient, healthier, successful, and the list goes on and on.
Yep, using content marketing to build your brand and your online business shares a lot of the same characteristics and features of the type of work Johnny Appleseed did in order to become a successful landowner.
So, with that said, let's get into the.....
3 reasons you need to use content marketing to build your brand and your business.
#1 Content marketing's time is now.
Johnny Appleseed took advantage of a unique situation in his day and profited from it.
Likewise today, there is a very unique situation that entrepreneurs and businesses, large or small, find available.
The Internet and the marketing opportunity it presents to anyone wanting to take advantage of it is a tremendous tool you should be using to spread the word, through engaging content, about your business, products, and services.
Can you think of any other form of media that gives you the opportunity to share your brand with billions of people and costs a relative pittance when compared to traditional advertising?
If you can, please let me know, because I want a piece of that action.
Because of the Internet, you can take your knowledge, skills, and experience and, similar to Johnny Appleseed, spread them over a tremendously large area, as in the entire globe.
And content marketing is a great way to do that because content marketing's time is now!
According to Forbes, 50% of B2C companies plan to increase their content marketing budget this year (2016) and 76% of B2B marketers plan to produce more content in 2016.
Content marketing is not going away anytime soon. It's time is now and that's one of the reasons that you need a great content creation strategy.
#2 Content marketing is a great way to connect with your target audience.
Were you aware of the fact that Nike's first marketing strategy was a form of content marketing? No? Well it's true.
Check out Garrett Moon's post on the subject over at CoSchedule Blog.
If companies like Nike and Nike's competitors, like Under Armour, invest so many resources into creating engaging content, then you know that you should be doing the same, regardless of the size of your enterprise.
The fact is that people simply can't get enough of valuable content, and if you're going to create good, engaging, and valuable content, then you're going to be able to connect with your target audience and build trust with them.
And that can only lead to an increase in your brand awareness and business results.
There's a great post over at Convince and Convert about 5 ways to connect with your audience emotionally to drive more engagement.
The 5 ways listed there are:
1) Speak to your target customer directly.
"Appeal to many, but speak to one - your buyer persona."
2) Create unique, valuable insights that can only come from you, not your competitors.
"Give your audience something they can't find anywhere else and they'll automatically gravitate towards you and spread the word."
3) Use humour, compassion, and empathy.
"Never underestimate the power of emotions. If someone can make you smile or shed a tear, you know there's a pretty strong emotional bond there."
4) Pick a side and make your case. "
"In order to be considered an expert, not only must you provide valuable insights, but you must also take a firm stance."
5) Ask the right questions to make them think.
"Questions and answers will keep your topics relevant, your content fresh, and your audience engaged."
No doubt about it, content marketing is a great way to connect with your target audience!
#3 Content marketing provides information that people need.
The vast majority of shoppers research online before they make a buying decision.
Since that's the case, whatever it is that you're offering to your target audience, services or tangible products, you need to have a a robust and engaging content marketing process in place.
Like Johnny Chapman planting apple seeds throughout the American midwest, you and your company need to plant, or distribute, valuable information about your services and products online.
And there's no shortage of mediums to enable you to accomplish this. Just think about it for a moment.
Podcasting is also an effective medium that more and more individuals and companies are using to provide the valuable information people are looking for before they make a purchasing decision.
If Johnny Appleseed were alive today, I'm pretty sure he'd be an online success story.
I'm sure he'd be using the Internet and all of the FREE mediums available to anyone with a laptop and an Internet connection to spread the word about his real estate services.
And he'd study the infographic below and then use the information to further his online success by using content marketing to provide valuable information that people need and are actively searching for online.
So, what should you do next?
If you found this information helpful, then just like Johnny Appleseed, you should share it using the social sharing buttons on the left.
Then you should also sign up for the completely FREE, four-week coaching programme that I offer to help you get your content creation off to a great start. Join right now by entering your name and email and pressing the Join button.
And have a great week!