Pittsburgh Technical Council

The Hydrant: Demystifying Content Marketing

The Hydrant: Demystifying Content Marketing

Article Published: April 28, 2014

By Paul Fireman

We hear about how important it is all the time. We incorporate it into our marketing and social media strategies. But we might need to take a step back and figure out what purpose our efforts are actually serving.

Content marketing engages current and potential customers by showing them that you are the kind of person or company they want to get to know better. Instead of pitching your organization directly, content marketing enables you to establish a relationship with your market by providing content that people enjoy reading. The keyword here
is enjoy.  

People tune out direct sales pitches. We are bombarded with so much information every day that we’ve become experts at filtering out the junk. We DVR our favorite TV shows so we can skip the commercials. We install ad blockers on our Internet browsers. If you want people to listen to you, you need to have something worthwhile to say.

Content marketing is all about the long run: it won’t help you make a sale right now or even next week. What it will do is attract and entertain new readers and viewers. Over time, that on-line presence increases your organization’s trustworthiness and credibility. Provide content your audience wants to read, not what you think they should know about you.

Being an effective content marketer involves building trust, so be transparent. Post about your company’s unique methods, values, and the way you do business. Talking about these practices convinces people that you are the kind of company with which they should do business. These kinds of posts also establish your on-line personality, which shows your followers how you’re special and better than the competition. That personality will keep them coming back for more.

Engaging with your market also involves building credibility. That means linking to other respected opinions, blogs, and posts, while always providing your own opinion or slant. While many content marketers simply repost what others have already said, reposting content doesn’t say anything about you, so create your own! Building credibility means asking the right questions about content. Afraid that you don’t have all the answers? Who does? To find solutions and insights, you have to engage your readers by making them think about important questions.

Make your audience want to hear what you have to say, engage readers with opinions, be a thought leader, and have fun. If you do, your content marketing strategy could make your readers want to buy what you have to sell, or at least come back to read more. 

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