Maybe as an average internet surfer you can claim to have seen just about everything on the internet, and then some. You have Google, YouTube, Instructables and Wikipedia. You have your RSS feeds, your podcast subscriptions and your favorite live-stream sources for the latest news. Why fork out money when you can get all the information you need for free?
The scenario above is from the vantage point of a consumer. Yes, there is good, solid information freely available on the internet on just about any topic you can care to name, so why pay?
Flip the view and look at it from the point of view of the content creators who make it to the top of their niche. Content marketing isn’t always or only about money, despite the ‘marketing’ part. There are things other than money you can accrue with good content.
Here, put the spotlight back on you: Why do you patronize the sites you do, or follow the bloggers, vloggers, podcasters and creators that you do? What do you do with the content?
You like the content provided. You trust that the content creators know their stuff , and trust the stuff they put out there. You follow them, ‘like’ them, recommend them, rely on them.
What do they get in return?
- Followers. People who like their work and support it, and them.
- The knowledge that people in their market — the audience they’re creating their work for– trust them and rely on their content.
- The knowledge that their work is appreciated and helps make a difference.
- A reputation for interesting, good work. For being an authority in their niche.
The list goes on.
Now do a little flip again, and put yourself into the role of the content provider. What do you get in return for the result of your determination, imagination and hard work?
- You get a following. You get a group of people invested in the work you do. You get supporters.
- You get and develop not only a reputation, but a brand.
- You get feedback that your work is having a real impact with the people you’re making it for.
Get it? Reputation. A following. Rabid fans. With a solid platform and a trustworthy personal brand, you can get people to buy into your dreams. Just ask Seth Godin, or Chris Guillebeau. Or Justine Musk. Or Brene Brown. Or Kina Grannis (okay, she’s an indie artist, still, the same rules apply). That is the power behind content marketing.,
It’s a timeless relationship. As theologian Frederick Buechner described that sweet spot as the place “where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet,” once you find that place and fill it, you can trust it to be there to let you give what you need to give, and meet people who need what you offer.
Just as we have and will always need teachers, and healers, and builders and helpers, we need people who can teach us and show us the ways we can help improve our lives. That will never go away. Yes, it is the information age. Yes, there will always be a glut of information on the internet, given its very nature. That’s where it starts.
We’re just interpreting age-old needs via changing technology, and it continues to affect the ways we learn and look at things.
What follows are five reasons why you can trust content marketing to be here to stay. They’re the benefits to the consumer, and you can come up with the details to complete the picture provide by the broad strokes of each described scenario.
ONE: “Get data for free.” vs. “Can you get it in instantly applicable form?”
Think of time-constraints. The internet has flattened out timezones with it being a 24/7 creature. You can get information for free, but can it immediately help you, or will you need time to understand it, and how much time do you have? The good thing is, you can enjoy both.
Whether you’re a slow learner or a fast learner, there are thousands upon thousand of courses offered in well-respected online educational portals, and if you’re disciplined and focused, you could earn another degree or learn another valued skill in your free time — as well as learn tips on the fly by watching YouTube tutorials. There is a platform to suit your requirements, if you exert yourself to find what fits you best.
Content provider: Find the sweet spot, and tailor your content to give the best, clearest help you can to the people who need it.
TWO: “Be an expert at your own pace. ” vs. “To a certain limit. But what about the things you can’t do? And don’t know the first thing about?”
This is where the money comes in. People are willing to pay for information and services that they believe will help them with the issues they face, or is necessary to the way they do business. Just as doctors can be absolute geniuses at their jobs but can’t do their taxes to save their lives, nobody is an expert at everything. Go learn things you want to attain mastery over. For the stuff you don’t want to do, you outsource. For the stuff you can’t do you find experts at it.
Content provider: What service do you offer that other people find difficult to do for themselves but would be willing to pay good money for?
THREE: “Any ol’ data.” vs. “Is it current?”
Face it, you want the best, most reliable data you can get to make informed decisions. You can rely on archives to provide historical data, but to make the best possible choice, you need to know what’s happening now so you can steer clear of problem spots while navigating your life.
Content provider: What platforms, apps and devices do you use to ensure that your audience and your followers, can get updated on your content?
FOUR: “Go and get it.” vs. “Tailored for your interests and delivered to your inbox.”
This is why having subscription boxes and ‘follow’ buttons is S.O.P for anyone who wants to establish a solid online presence. It makes it easier for people to get updates on blogs, vlogs and news they follow. Of course, there’s nothing quite like the thrill of discovering another awesome site or person on the internet by yourself — and then clicking on the subscribe link so you can get updates without having to lift another finger.
Content provider: What are you doing on your site to ensure interested people can follow what you do?
FIVE: “I can do this.” vs. “This person did it for you already. And he’ll he’ll show you how he did it.”
Essentially, this is: Raw information versus Distilled Wisdom
Where Distilled Wisdom = Knowledge + Experience + Practice + Context (Analysis)
Content provider: What good advice and insight do you offer on the issues and topics relevant to your audience and potential customers? What feedback mechanisms do you have in place to know if it’s working for them?
It is the age of the internet, and “we are drowning in information but starved for knowledge.” Good content marketers do better than just taking in raw information and converting it into building blocks of knowledge. They connect the dots, and turn numbers and data into clear scenarios and actionable, practical advice that work. As long as there are people who can provide practical advice and ideas that work, there will always be a market for their services.
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