Q: Ryan, how much does Content Marketing cost, and how would I get started?
A: Thanks for asking. This is a question I’ve been hearing quite often since the webinar our CEO, David Searns, held on Content Marketing last month (if you missed the webinar, it’s archived in our Idea Lab).
First, there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to Content Marketing. Content Marketing is a term that covers a wide array of marketing strategies which involve the creation and sharing of relevant and valuable information in order to attract, inform, and engage your audience. Or, as David put it more directly, it’s the art of selling without selling. So the first question is, which audience do you want to engage? Is it prospective clients who have never heard of you? Is it your current and prospective clients, who you want to stay top-of-mind with? Is it candidates?
Let’s start with the clients, candidates, and prospects you’ve already met. These folks have at least a limited idea of who you are and what you do, and they are likely to be receptive to content you send. So a great strategy for Content Marketing with people you already know is an email newsletter. There are plenty of tools out there that facilitate email marketing, but where most staffing firms struggle is with creating relevant content. (And you know, Haley Marketing can help!) You need to share ideas that address the challenges and interests of your clients and candidates. And don’t make your marketing just about staffing. If you can provide ideas that solve real problems for your clients, you’ll position yourself as an expert and a trusted source of information. Even better, the content you share becomes a great reason for your sales reps to make more follow-up calls–and have more meaningful conversations.
What about people you don’t know? For these people, your content marketing will most likely be executed using direct mail, personal email, social media and search engine marketing (SEO and PPC). Just like with your existing clients, you need to start by figuring out your prospects’ interests. Once you have a topic, you then need to create a great piece of content. It could be an article, eBook, webinar, video or even a blog post. And finally, once you have the relevant content, you have to promote it to your prospects. How? By any and all means possible! Start by adding the content to your website. Then promote the content thorough email, social media, and even cold calls. You might also consider promoting content through PPC (pay-per-click) advertising. If you have a printed version of the content, you can use it in direct mail and drop offs. With people you don’t know, your content marketing goal is to get people to engage with your ideas, so you can then get them to engage in a sales conversation.
One last note about your content. Make it original. While you can share links to content created by others, the best content will draw people to your website. And when it comes to SEO, the more original content you produce for your website (think regular blogging), the more people will frequent your site. With just one post a week, our clients see their web traffic increase by an average of 253%!
I hope this quick response helps answer your question about getting started with content marketing. As I noted, content marketing is a big subject, and there are lots of ways to be successful. If you’d like more specific ideas for your firm, call me at 1.888.696.2900 or email me at [email protected]. I’d be happy to help you brainstorm strategies, determine what kinds of content to produce, and tell you more about our blog writing and content marketing services.