Before the internet came along and turned writing on it head, copywriting meant you were writing the words on flyers, on posters, the words spoken in adverts, in fact everything that was used to build a profitable relationship between the consumer and the brand. Then the internet came along and gradually came a boom in copywriting. Now there are emails, adverts, tripwires, landing pages, crowdfunding pages and so much more.
But we can spot a sale a mile away by now. We’re more suspicious and with time meaning money, less likely to take the time to bother to read the information thrown at us in the form of advertising. Instead we hit our trusted friend Google, to research the product, issue or idea ourselves.
Welcome to the world of content marketing. Content is basically all that stuff inside a website or ebook or blog. This is the stuff that ‘talks’ to a search engine. Search engines can’t look at your site and see pretty designs or awesome photos, what they do is read the words. The content. Don’t forget the titles on photos and the alt text on photos as well.
So what is content marketing? Basically it’s using all those words in the website to build a relationship with your ideal customer. Let’s look at an example.
Recently I wrote blog copy for a wedding websites weekly blog, (try saying that after a few drinks). On entering the site there was a pop up for signing up to their services, down the side there was another sign up bar offering a free ebook in return for the customers email address and wedding date, and across the top was a vast menu offering a range of services.
What the person had come to read however was the content in the middle of the page. The blog, that’s what the search engine had found when those search terms had been entered and that was what was most likely to be read. Was this the time to go for the hard sell? No, this was the time to establish a relationship and raise brand awareness. In an ideal world the reader would sign up to the blog for future updates, maybe bookmark the page, and if trust had been established, download the free ebook.
So how did content marketing come into that? Well let’s look at the ideal customer for that blog. That ideal person is a bride, or close friend of a bride, (sorry gents, we still write for the woman in wedding content) they are actively planning, and so spending on, the wedding, and since it was a local wedding service provider, they lived in the area, or were planning on getting married in the area. Her dreams are that she has the perfect wedding, and that she gets to enjoy the big day herself. She has money to spend, and is probably panicking about the wedding even if it’s a year in the future. Popular titles include…
- Top ten tips for a stress free wedding.
- How to plan your big day.
- Choosing your venue.
Notice none of them are about buying something or spending money on a product the website is providing. But you are building a relationship, and that will mean you are on the brides list when she decides to spend.
There are a thousand digital marketing tricks, and there are what seems like a million digital marketers out there. But customers still want to be able to trust a brand. Imagine that content is the modern equivalent of your shop being clean and tidy and your staff being polite. Letting you turn a one-off sale into a customer, and improving your search engine ranks to get more.
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