Inbound marketing isn’t the coolest thing since the floppy disk, but flavorful content is.
Only a short time ago, AM radio and newspapers delivered local and national advertisements for shave cream, sewing machines and sleek Model-A cars. Mom would listen to these sales messages during her morning routine, dad would find advertorials as he indulged in his morning paper, and businesses enjoyed steady growth thanks to the content delivered by these mediums.
This is 2018, buttercup. Newspapers and AM radio still exist, of course, but few actually care to indulge in such prehistoric intricacies. Grandpa has started using Facebook to keep up with his generation, grandma now bases her entire Sunday dinner off her Pinterest findings, and our eclectic youth are shopping just as much as their 40-something parents.
At the epicenter of today’s generational shift is content. Clean, concise content.
How one structures a fricking sentence could make or break bottom lines. It may cost one’s sales goals, too. Yes, folks, the placement of words in sentences can either obscure or elevate an entire marketing initiative.
The very action students loathed in high school has now become the content strategist’s best friend: writing. Let that fester for a few hours.
Content is everywhere. Presentation is everything.
Regardless which direction one’s religious or historical belief system leans, content is part of that system’s heritage. Content is the basis of the very world you exist in. In fact, there’s content in virtually everything you own; it may be presented in different ways, but it’s there.
Google, for one, algorithmically controls where unpaid content is placed within the gazillion different search results generated annually. Or, for a fee, a ‘teaser’ will show up atop all search results in your industry of choice. (You know what they say about teasing, right?)
Knowing this, companies and solopreneurs are faced with two choices: pay to play, or learn how to present content in such a manner that everyone salivates in anticipation of their next piece. True story.
Look, consumers are much smarter today than 14 years ago when Google decided to go public. The search giant will gladly take your marketing dollars, charge you umpteen thousands of dollars and produce shiny reports depicting a ‘successful’ campaign on their AdWords platform. But consumers are growing tired of seeing this crap. I mean, aren’t you?
Let’s look at this another way.
Problems arise when slamming thousands into paid advertisements because the ads often sound too desperate. It forces people to click and follow some senseless lead funnel designed to harvest personal information for later use. Which then, of course, sets your business up for a potential class action lawsuit since an actual business relationship must be established to appease CAN-SPAM laws regarding marketing calls and emails.
Pay-per-click may be a useful component of inbound marketing, but in today’s business ecosystem, it’s a fractional one at best. Broken down further, using paid ads as one’s main marketing venue was cool a decade ago. And, if we’re being super technical, one of the benchmarks for powerful marketing campaigns is one’s ability to execute inbound marketing campaigns.
Creative use of words is the ‘new cool’, which is being proven each day within Facebook and Twitter.
Content is the definition of inbound marketing
Imagine winning over customers without overspending, or having YouTube videos go viral. Maybe you’re more interested in establishing yourself or your company as an authoritative figurehead in your industry. Perhaps your boss is riding your ass about dropping your overall cost per acquisition to damn near pennies on the dollar.
You can be an inbound marketing stud with kick-ass content. A harsh reality, I know, but it’s one you needed to hear before you pissed away thousands more on useless 80-character ads. If you don’t believe me, find me one paid ad Justin Bieber put out in hopes of being discovered, then tell me how he was actually discovered.
I use this guy to present my case because his music represents how your content strategy should perform. He found the right social medium to deliver his musical message. The thousands that shared his works turned into millions of fans which resulted in that Usher guy putting him in contact with record producers.
Inbound marketing requires a cohesive plan of attack that encompasses all elements of our digital generation: social media, search engine marketing, blogging, and photo sharing. Content is an unavoidable component of every element listed above. Done right, words can literally change one’s perception of products and services they previously avoided.
Content can make you a Bieber overnight with the right direction.