Content MarketingWhen your everyday is consumed by the world of marketing it is easy to forget that not everyone is aware of how marketing products or services has evolved over recent years, and that we, in AgriBusiness, need to embrace these developments.

I recently posted some blogs around the use of social media, including a basic guide to Twitter, and to follow on from them I want to address the topic of Content Marketing. This has come up a number of times from people asking me ‘What is it?’, ‘Why is it different to traditional marketing or PR?’, ‘Does it really help me sell more?’, and ‘How do I go about it?’ – You get the picture.

So, to start from the start, what is Content Marketing? The official line direct from the Content Marketing Institute is that 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 customer action. Put in other words, by us at Green Acre Marketing,

it is the content you create that tells the story of your product, service or brand in a way that is useful to existing or potential customers and further embeds your brand and image in their mind.

Types of Content
There are many types of content that would be relevant to your AgriBusiness customers. For example – How-to guides, Product/Service reviews, Case studies, FAQ’s, Interviews, Templates, Resources, Advice, Technical articles, Product guidelines, Company news, Opinion pieces, Videos, Infographics, Research and original data. Sometimes content may not always relate directly to your product or service but can be viewed as parallel content i.e. content that would also be of interest to your audience.

Remember that content needs to be relevant and worthwhile for the audience you are trying to engage with to keep them interested. Great content also lets you showcase your company’s personality and brand story. The saying ‘people buy people’ is never more true, so let your true self shine through!

Publishing your content
When you have all this great content created, how do you get it published? All companies go through the struggle of getting traditional media to pick up on stories that they would love to tell others about their product or service, but very often those stories are not juicy enough to sell newspapers. This is where digital marketing and social media come into their own. Once you have the platforms set up (e.g Facebook, Twitter, Website, Youtube, Blog) you can publish your content there. For example, write a new blog post on your website and do a Facebook post and Tweet to promote it.

The best part about content marketing and using your social media platforms to publish it, is that you can measure what people like and don’t like, simply by the rate of engagement. Use the Analytics tools available with each platform to find out how many people liked your content, engaged with your content, bounced straight off it, etc.

What to watch out for
Be realistic in how often you can create content. It sounds easy to write a 400 word piece twice a week but, from my experience, unless that is your sole purpose in life, it won’t happen. Set realistic expectations of perhaps two articles a month and once you can keep up the routine then think about doing one per week. Whatever you can manage, be regimental as your audience does not want to be bombarded with material one week and then not hear from you for another 6 months. If you are having a good week creating content, store your drafts and schedule for another week. For example, WordPress allows you to schedule draft posts for publication.

The power of Content Marketing
I am a real believer in the power of content marketing and have experienced it first-hand. I have had phone calls from new customers who said they saw particular pieces I had written. They had formed an opinion that I knew a thing or two about the areas of marketing they needed and, as a result, they picked up the phone to do business with me. So, to the sceptics who ask ‘Can content marketing really drive sales?’ I would say, absolutely.

For assistance with your content marketing strategy or for help with putting a plan together for your AgriBusiness, please contact us at Green Acre Marketing.