Definitions of content marketing oftentimes make the strategy sound more daunting than it is. Put simply, content marketing is about a give-and-take relationship between you and your customers: by freely sharing information that your customers will find valuable and relevant, you are offering them real value rather than a sales pitch.
Clouded by all of this content marketing jargon, you may not realize that you already have the skills necessary to use content to market your small business.
Here are the 3 content marketing skills you probably use on a daily basis without even knowing it:
1) Creative thinking
The first step of any content marketing strategy is ideation. To be a successful content marketer, you need to first and foremost be a creative and original thinker. As a small business owner or a potential business owner, you’ve already found yourself to be an ideator. Your inventive thinking led to the Big Idea that launched your business and now you’ve been entrusted with the important task of sharing your knowledge with your customers. Your knowledge and creative thinking skills demonstrate your ability to tackle business and marketing strategies in new ways, which makes you an authority in your specialty. By taking your skills as an ideator into the content marketing realm, your ideas and suggestions can become useful pieces of content for your customers or your audience.
Storytelling is essential to content marketing. If you know your audience, you know what kind of content would make a good story to them. Creating content that is interesting and important to your audience is central to content marketing, and the ability to weave that information into a narrative that is accessible and engages your reader from start to finish sets a great content marketer apart from a good one. The goal of great content is to add value to your customers; future profit opportunities will follow as you become a trusted source for information in your industry and your customer base grows. By focusing on creating content that tells a story that interests your audience, you will not only maintain your audience’s loyalty but it will continue to grow. To succeed as a content marketer, you need to be a good storyteller. If you’ve ever told a funny story to a colleague and gotten a few laughs, you’re already halfway there.
As the media landscape continues to undergo changes, content marketers with a bit of digital savvy have an upperhand. A great content marketer can use their creative problem solving abilities to adapt to new industry changes, i.e. the demand for more interactivity. Interactivity in your content has become non-negotiable – if you’ve written what you think is an engaging piece of content, push it one step further by including hyperlinks (maybe an inbound link to a relevant piece of content your customers may have missed), an infographic, or a video. Including interactive elements makes the content accessible to a wider demographic with varied interests and also creates more opportunities for measuring the success of the content beyond just clicks and visits. If you’ve been rolling with the media industry’s punches, you’re proving yourself to be a great content marketer.
Now that you’ve realized you’ve had these skills on your content marketing toolbelt all along, you can continue creating compelling and valuable content for your audiences and grow your small business.
Olivia Pawlowski is a contributing author at OnDeck, a technology company focused on providing small businesses with the online resources they’ll need to be successful. With her experience in the marketing and communications fields, Olivia’s marketing tips and advice offer small business owners insightful industry information as they tackle new marketing strategies.