a new system of content marketing
Everyone knows that content is king. But why should you spend most of your time producing content when you have a business to run? Surely there must be a system that allows you to produce all the content you need in a short space of time, which you can then schedule ahead?
Indeed, the Purposefully Repurposed for Profit is such a system! In this new book, you will learn how to produce content in one media format and repurpose in such a way that you have more than enough content in different media formats to last you for the whole year!
Content marketing is not a new concept, neither is repurposing old content. What is new in this book is how to purposefully use these old techniques in a brand new way.
Explained in detail, you can take the information provided and apply it yourself, or you may also choose to use the services of experts to get the very best results.
About The Book
How often you have come to the end of a week or month and realized you have not yet written that blog article or even made a single Facebook post? Most business owners are so busy running their companies that they overlook the all-important content marketing aspect. Some may not even have the skill to write a proper article or produce a podcast, making it one of those things that stays on a wish list and never actually gets done.
Purposefully Repurposing for Profit is the way of the future. This book explains the system in great detail, highlighting both the advantages and showing you the “how to” of the system. By using the information contained within the pages of this book, you will become the king (or queen!) of content marketing.
Creating a Content Plan
Chapter 1: Content Marketing
“Content builds relationships. Relationships are built on trust. Trust drives revenue.” –Andrew Davis
Short History of Advertising and Marketing
Before we delve into content marketing, we need to differentiate between marketing and advertising. While advertising and marketing have the same end goal, namely to get a business and its message in front of the ideal customer, they go about it in different ways.
One could say that marketing is the overall strategy to achieve the aim of exposing a business to potential customers, while advertising is one of the ways in which to achieve that. In these modern times, we are all aware of banner adverts, billboards, pamphlets, TV and radio ads, and adverts placed in newspapers and magazines. Advertising is but one slice of the marketing pie, whereas marketing is the whole pie.
We can trace the origins of advertising back to ancient Egypt, in the form of steel carvings upon which public notices were etched. This developed in modern times into cheesy television and radio adverts, the first TV ad being shown on US television in 1941. It has since become a billion dollar industry and you can hardly escape advertising messages wherever you go. It spawned characters such as the Marlboro man, a role model for a “real man”, and Tony the Tiger of Kellogg’s, flogging sugar frosted flakes to children.
Then, in 1990, the world wide web (the web) was born and advertising came to every device and into every home. In fact, we were so overwhelmed by online ads that it necessitated the invention of the ad-blocker. People have generally reached a saturation point when it comes to advertising and can actively choose to ignore ads, either by skipping them or simply blocking them from appearing in the first place. There are even platforms, such as Netflix, where you can watch movies and series with not one single ad appearing anywhere, as opposed to the regular ad breaks on television and radio programming.
In short, people are sick and tired of adverts. They have lost trust in them and do their best to avoid them wherever and whenever they can.
Marketing is a much more recent invention and is thought to have started during the Industrial Revolution in the late 18th and most of the 19th centuries. With the mass production of goods came the mass media, bringing with it increased competition. Brands became more important and the goal of marketing was to convince the buying public that the goods and services of a specific company were much better than that of another.
Once again, the market became saturated with marketing messages and it was in the 1960s that direct marketing was introduced, bringing with it a new sophistication and strategic planning. Marketing evolved again during the 1990s when companies started realizing that they would get better results when they focused on high-quality products, leading to developing better brands.
The next revolution was with the introduction of the world wide web (the web). Now each company could have its own website, which in turn opened the playing field to everybody with access to a computer and an internet connection. Suddenly mega corporations found themself competing with small businesses, and getting the attention of a person browning the web posed new challenges. In order to stand out from the crowd, a company had to develop online marketing strategies. The first company to use such a strategy was Bristol-Myers Squibb, in their promotion of their Excedrin product. Their successful strategy led to a massive increase in sales and became the template for other businesses, who quickly emulated this success. Soon, marketing became a massive industry in and of itself.
During the 1990s, online diaries were published, the early ancestors of what we today know as blogs. Before the turn of the century, there were about 23 active blogs. Some twenty years later, there are over 150 million active blogs. Blogs were instrumental in a new trend of marketing, namely marketing through interesting content. A blog can provide information, building relationships with customers, leading to sales and more brand awareness. It also became easy for customers to provide feedback, simply by typing a comment in the comment box at the end of a blog article.
Nowadays, marketing has taken on a whole new form because of the way the web has developed. Getting attention is becoming increasingly more complex. Add social media into the mix, and it soon becomes apparent that getting your content in front of your potential customers can be tough.
Enter, stage left, content marketing.
What is content marketing?
In its simplest terms, the focus has moved away from just putting your product and service in an advert, hoping that the right people will see and buy it. Content marketing has as its core function the provision of information that is both relevant and useful to a prospective customer. It helps them to solve a problem in their life. One can therefore define content marketing as follows:
Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience – and, ultimately, to drive profitable consumer action (Content Marketing Institute, 2021).
When done right, content marketing conveys expertise and through it, the company makes it clear just how much it values its customers. To do this, the content has to be consistent, so that it can nurture a relationship with both existing and prospective customers. It is only when the customer starts to think about the company as a partner that is interested in their own personal success, that the content marketing will achieve its aim. It has to become a valuable source of relevant information, providing both advice and guidance, so adding value to the life of the targeted audience. In this way, they will become more likely to choose the content provider when they decide to buy.
You have to understand that the attention of your potential or existing customer is scarce. We humans see on average almost 3,000 marketing messages per day. Content can easily get lost in this noise. Well thought out content and a specific strategy for disseminating that content will position your business as a thought leader, which will build brand awareness and educate consumers in the process. If it is both helpful and entertaining, it has the potential of building a strong bond between your brand and the customer. Providing this type of content consistently will strengthen the bond between consumer and brand and it will continue adding value as time goes by.
One of the major changes in recent years is that you no longer have to “rent attention” from media platforms. It used to be that one had to buy ads on websites or have a stall at trade fairs. Just think of the costs of producing and flighting a television commercial during a program that has many viewers, such as on prime television events like the Super Bowl or during soapies with millions of viewers. The costs can run into the millions for a 30 second ad, which most people will not see or hear, as they head for a bathroom break or mute the sound. Content marketing bypasses these astronomical costs, even if it takes a bit longer to reach the targeted audience.
Content Marketing Best Practices
Successful content marketing has four essential best practices. These are positioning, value proposition, overall goals, and strategy & approach.
The products or services of a specific company are situated within a larger ecosystem of products and services. To define a brand and find consistency in marketing, this ecosystem has to be taken into consideration. While the main goal of content marketing is to reach the potential and existing customers, positioning is all about taking direct competitors into account, as well as the ideal experience that your business seeks to provide. In other words, what makes your brand unique when compared to others? Once you have figured that out, you can curate your content marketing so that it consistently reaches a very specific audience.
You have to clearly define what it is about your brand that makes it unique and valuable. This will inform the type of content you produce and help you to target an audience that needs the answers that you can provide. Every brand will approach these problems from different angles. You have to make a choice about how you will stand out by clearly defining your value proposition. To get to these answers, it is important to consider what makes your content different from those produced by others, and why somebody would choose to specifically consume your content. This is informed by the value that your content provides. Once you understand your unique value proposition, you can use it to put together a well thought out content marketing strategy.
A good content marketing strategy will align with your overall business goals. If you are an accountant but your content is about gardening, it clearly means that the solutions you are offering do not speak to your brand and are out of alignment. You might think that this is obvious, yet too often inconsistency will lead to a diffused focus. You need to have credibility with your audience, therefore your content has to directly address the very specific solutions you offer. Doing so will relate to two aspects, namely helping solve a problem your audience has, as well as providing them with unique solutions.
Strategy & Approach
What strategy you use and how you approach your content marketing is the accumulation of the above three best practices. They result in actionable tasks that can be integrated into your goals, value proposition, and positioning. You will have to make a clear decision who exactly you want to reach and then design a strategy that will solve the problems they experience.
Do You Need Content Marketing?
If you are having some doubts whether content marketing is the right approach, ask yourself two questions. The first is if you want to generate new customers. The second question is whether you want to have a relationship with people who are already your customers. A ‘yes’ answer to either (or both) of these questions will clearly indicate the need for a content marketing strategy.
Generating New Customers
If somebody has never heard of your business, they will have no reason to visit your website. They will not have any motivation to follow your social media accounts, listen to your podcast, or subscribe to your email newsletters. They would have no motivation to invest their attention and time into reading a 1,200 word blog article, explaining exactly how wonderful and necessary your product is. They don’t know your product, not yet having bought it, nor do they even know that they may need it.
Content marketing will speak directly to a problem they have and provide them with solutions. It is a way to show them that you are an expert in your specific field. They may not (yet) care about your product, but they have a problem for which they need a solution. Whether it is to be tax compliant or how to keep pests out of a vegetable garden, once somebody has a problem, they will start looking for solutions. If your content speaks directly to how to become tax compliant or get rid of those pesky bugs eating your crop of kale, the chances of getting value out of the solutions you provide may just catch their attention (how exactly to do that, we will discuss later).
Once they have interacted with your content, they might try to apply the solutions themself. If they succeed, then well done, you have provided a solution. Now you have some measure of credibility in their mind and they might just return to other content to help solve similar problems they may have, such as how to do a cash flow projection or when the ideal time is to plant certain crops. If you provide a link to products that might help them solve their problem without much hassle, the chances of them clicking through to your website to engage your accounting services or buy seeds from your nursery increases exponentially.
Building Relationships with Existing Customers
One of the best ways to market your product is through word-of-mouth. It takes one satisfied customer to talk about your product, for them to become a part of your sales team. And the best part? You won’t have to pay them for it. They will do it absolutely free of charge, if they are thrilled with your product.
In other words, they will become your brand ambassadors. This is free marketing for you and it’s the best kind. Let’s imagine you have 1,000 satisfied customers. If each of them were to tell just one person about your product, you don’t have to pay social media to boost posts, you save money from not having to buy Google ads, nor do you have to place adverts in the press or pay a marketer.
By engaging with a satisfied customer through content, such as in a newsletter, they will do the hard lifting for you. They are happy with your product and remain happy by engaging with your content which continues to solve their problems in an entertaining way. They will return again and again, while spreading the word far and wide. Your job is to publish the kind of content they want to consume and build on the relationship you already have with them.
Benefits of Content Marketing
If you are still unsure about the value of content marketing, then these benefits should be the final convincer.
- Google likes content. The Google bots are searching the web every second of every day and all they are looking for is great content. The better the content, the higher your website’s ranking on the search results will be. Google is obsessed with providing search experiences that deliver exactly what a user is looking for. There is simply no better way than providing high-quality content to give that experience. Google tends to send more traffic to websites than to social media pages. Great content will dramatically boost traffic to a website filled with valuable information and this is the most effective way to get organic traffic.
- Content marketing results in more sales. What is the point of more traffic to your website if it doesn’t result in more sales? Most people won’t buy the first time they hear about a business. They have to go through a buying process before they fork over their hard-earned cash. It all starts with the awareness stage, when they realize they have a need to be fulfilled. Next, the consideration stage follows, during which time they consider the various options available to them. Finally, they make a decision during the last stage, choosing an option best suited to their needs. This process is helped through content marketing, in that it brings a potential customer one step closer to making a purchase and, already having a relationship with your brand through your content, leads them to choose you above your competitors.
- It puts sales on autopilot. You could go the old route of the salesman traveling from town to town, knocking on doors, trying to sell a vacuum cleaner (or whatever). The chances of getting a result are very small and you’d have to knock on many doors in many towns and cities to fulfill your sales quota. Or, using the content marketing route, you can simply wait for when the customer is ready for your product, after they have engaged with your content a few times. This is no longer a cold sale, which is very difficult. Your customer has already warmed up to you and so is more easily converted. Instead of you pushing your (unknown) product to them, you pull them to you, when they are ready.
- You control the conversation. Let’s imagine somebody is in the market to buy a new lounge suite. This is usually a pricey item and very few people will just walk into a shop and buy the first product the salesman shows them. It usually takes a lot of research before a customer decides on the color, fabric, and style. Your content marketing will become part of their research, giving you time to educate them about the value of a high quality, durable item, before they make up their mind what to buy. Content marketing helps you to control the conversation, informing the customer of what they need, before they even know it themselves.
- It’s much less annoying than traditional advertising methods. How would you feel if you were interrupted in the middle of the day when someone tries to sell you something you really don’t need? You’re browsing the web and an ad pops up and all you want to do is close it as quickly as possible. I mentioned ad blockers earlier. Did you know that almost half of internet users have activated ad blockers? Marketing is much more effective when you build a relationship with a potential customer through your inspirational, educational, informative, and entertaining content.
- Brand awareness is amplified. Let’s return to our accountant who has written a really informative article on how to deal with the tax man. It ranks on page one of Google search results under “how to pay less tax.” Tens of thousands of people search that exact phrase every day. The accountant’s article is read by these people and they get practical advice on how to claim for expenses they didn’t even know they could claim for. I’m sure you will agree that this accountant has an advantage over her competitors, and her brand will tend to stick in the minds of those who have read it 100% more than somebody whose ad was blocked and not even seen in the first place.
- It gives your brand credibility. Even if just a quarter of the tens of thousands of people who saw your article on page one of Google results clicks on your article, and even if only a quarter of those actually read it, that still leaves several thousands of people who have benefitted from your in-depth advice. For them, you have become a credible source of information, and you are seen as a thought leader, someone that can be trusted. Many of them will convert into customers and most will talk about it with their family, colleagues, and friends, bringing you added word-of-mouth value.
- It compounds return on investment (ROI). The hour it took the accountant to write the article has already had a great return. Now she follows it up with a second article, in which she points out which investments bring the highest returns. Her brand is again seen by tens of thousands of people who searched for this type of information, dramatically increasing visits to her business’s website. From there, they click links to other pages on the website, and soon her investment of a few hours is rewarded by a lot of money being spent, as new customers engage her services.
- It grows your social media following. Once a customer has found the content on your website, they might choose to follow you on social media, so that they will be kept informed when you publish more useful information. If it is engaging enough, they will most likely share the social media post with someone they know. This has the potential of increasing your social media followers over time.
- It drives people to your website’s product pages. When you regularly publish quality content, more members of your audience are driven to visit your products pages, both directly and indirectly. By including links on your content pages, they can click on them and directly get to where you want them to go. When you write superior content, other websites will link back to that content, creating an indirect drive back to your content. As we saw earlier, search engines such as Google really like content. When other people have links on their websites for your content, these are called backlinks. Google sees backlinks as a vote of confidence in your content, a kind of testimonial that the article you wrote is a valuable resource. The more backlinks you have, the more likely that you will rank on page one of search results. This creates a much higher probability rate that someone will buy from you.
- Answer questions before they are asked. Customer service teams have to answer the same questions from customers almost every day. You can be one step ahead, by creating content around the most frequently asked questions, which means customers can have their queries resolved long before they make the decision to buy.
Looking at these benefits, it is easy to see why content marketing is the route to follow. It will be worth your while to develop a good content marketing strategy and start producing quality content for your brand. The great thing about content marketing is that it will work no matter what industry you are in.
‘Purposefully Repurpose for Profit’ is a must-read for all newer and smaller businesses who are serious about content marketing, but whose businesses are not at the stage yet when they can afford to outsource this business activity.
This book is loaded with relevant, practical and highly valuable material of a very informative nature which every business needs to know if they want to use content marketing as one of their main marketing tools, which quite frankly, is the majority of businesses these days.
Whatever you need to know about different kinds of content repurposing, you will find in this book. ‘Purposefully Repurpose for Profit’ is a trusted guide on how to recycle or reuse your content in a very structured, methodical and pragmatic way with the aim of it working lucratively for you in your business. Great content can get great returns!
I have a sneaky feeling that ‘Purposefully Repurpose for Profit’ will end up on your desk as your go-to reference source for all your purpose driven content marketing.
For any business who wants to refurbish a creative piece of evergreen content fairly easily, ‘Purposefully Repurpose for Profit’ will show you how and where best to start. Thank you Henrik and Ethan for a much needed book where we can access what we need to know about content and how to use it smartly and creatively all in one place!
About the author.
Hendrik Baird is passionate about media. Coming from a Drama background, he has worked as an actor, magician, arts administrator, festival manager, activist, radio station manager, and writer. Having recently completed a Masters Degree in Media and Journalism, he is half of the duo that is Baird Media (Pty) Ltd. The other half is his son Ethan Baird, an award winning radio producer and podcast specialist.
In this book, I draw on old ideas and presents them in a fresh, new light. This new concept in content marketing is sure to ignite any content marketing campaign and is set to revolutionize how we approach different media forms. My ultimate aim is to increase your business’s profit margins, so hurry up and get this book to share in the secrets gained form decades of hard-earned experience.
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