The word is out, content marketing works.
Content marketing works because people care about their problems more than they care about your products.
Content marketing works because when you bundle expertise into great content that helps people make decisions, you earn their attention.
This is better than shouting for it. When you earn attention, people listen, and they’re much more likely to buy from you.
Great content gives you a reason to use social media. It gives you something to give.
When you give, prospects engage. When prospects engage some also share, and your offering spreads.
Great content gets linked to, also. When optimized for search and published to an optimized website, you’re content ranks in search.
Consumers Respond To Great Content
90% of consumers find custom content useful, and 78% believe a company providing it wants to build a good relationship.
67% of Twitter users are more likely to buy from the brands they follow.
97% of people say an online experience influenced whether or not they bought a product or service.
Great content gives you a reason to use social media. It gives you something to give. (tweet this)
The Problem Is, The Word Is Out
There’s a problem in all of this. The word is out—content marketing works.
Businesses big and small are flocking to content marketing as a low-cost, highly effective marketing tactic.
86% of B2C marketers use content marketing. More than half will increase their adoption in the next 12 months.
90% use Facebook. 69% use Twitter.
There’s a tidal wave of content out there coming from more and more sources.
The results? People rush to the gold rush, cut corners, and produce warmed-over blogs posts, vapid eBooks, shitty infographics and shlocky videos.
And the consequences? Prospects will take back the trust we earned. They’ll stop listening. Again.
The Photographer’s Content Marketing Manifesto
This unhappy ending isn’t inevitable. You don’t have to suffer this fate. You just need to adopt the following content marketing manifesto.
Photographers who reign supreme in the era of content marketing will be recognized for useful, engaging, entertaining content that is consistently worthy of attention.
What this really means?
Recognized means illustrious. You’ll be that guy about whom people wonder aloud, ‘how does he do it’.
Engaging is not that lame cliche. Engaging is the matter of your content. It’s your voice, which is clear, simple to understand, unique, daring, and inspiring.
Consistently is critical. People will wait to ignore you. They will wait for the excuse of a mistep. Wasting their time, even once, won’t be forgotten.
Worthy comes from comprehension. Worthy content is about customers needs or problems. Worthy does not mean your photographs, products or services.
Six Ways How To Do It
There are rules to this content marketing game. If you play by them, you will win.
#1 You must understand the needs, problems, questions and preferences possessed by your prospective customers. You need to do a little customer research.
#2 Find your niche and stay there. You cannot successfully be all thing to all people. You can be extremely successful, however, offering specific value for specific needs.
#3 Content marketing is a continuum. It is not one eBook. It is not nine blogs posts. It’s an intentional conversation with planned waypoints and destinations.
#4 Accept that things will happen over time. Your supremacy will come with patience, diligence and intelligent planning.
#5 Be excellent consistently, but not an excellent machine. Content marketing is about consistent quality, not quantity.
#6 Be fun and have fun. Business is serious, but your customers don’t need to know that. Develop and embrace a brand that represents who you are deep down inside.
Five Reasons Why You Should Do It
There are very compelling reasons to embrace the photographer’s content marketing manifesto. Here are a handful.
#1 Interesting content is a top three reason people follow brands on social media.
#2 Websites with blogs receive in 55% more traffic than those without.
#3 Companies with blogs get 97% more inbound links than others.
#4 Search engines are personalized search results by prioritizing content that people within our social circles have shared. Example: Search Plus Your World.
#5 Search engines don’t like shitty, thin content. This is what Google’s Panda update was all about.
Goals You Should Set
I’ve mentioned the word plan a couple times in the blog post. Content marketing needs a smart plan, and the planning process begins with setting objectives.
There are three objectives you should contemplate when developing your approach to content marketing.
The first is awareness. You want to develop awareness for your products and services. Just remember that the value you offer needs to be specific.
The second is lead generation. This is, of course, where the rubber meets the road. This also means you should look at your website objectively to determine whether it’s really ready to convert site visitors into leads.
The third is customer retention. One-offs are great, but lifetime customers are much better. Think in these terms, too, as you contemplate content.
There you have it – the photographer’s content marketing manifesto. You should personalize this, make it your own.
If you do (and I sincerely hope this is the case), leave what you come up with in comments below.
- The Serious Photographer’s Halo of Visibility (Part One)
- Changes Are Coming To NaturalApertures
- Photoblogging, Consistency, Digital Relationships, And How I Fell Off the Wagon
- Content Marketing for Photographers: Customer Personas (Part 3) [Template]
- Content Marketing for Photographers: Customer Personas (Part 2)