Let’s move on to the second marketing channel you can use: content marketing. When is the last time you read an article, heard a podcast, or watched a video online? It was probably pretty recently. Content marketing includes all these things.
When you do this correctly, the right content can do the following:
- Build up your email list
- Educate the market
- Build your brand
- Gain publicity
- Create relationships
- And so much more…
Think about people like Paul Graham, James Currier, and Mark Suster. All of them are well known for their blogs. This is content marketing in action.
Another benefit of this is that you will always have content available. Once you put money into an ad, for example, that’s all you get. But your content can bring in customers for several years to come.
The caveat here is that content marketing usually required the knowledge of another channel if you want to find success. So, this, too, is a slower way to bring in customers…unless you have an extremely solid promotion system available to you.
To get traffic to your content, you can use social media or SEO, which we will talk about in a bit, or email marketing. You can also get traffic by using ads, premium content, or other articles.
Here are some strategies that you can use to improve your content marketing:
- If you want to find content that is almost guaranteed to go viral, check out Reddit for your topic. You will find articles with a ton of comments and upvotes. Look for those that have at least 100, and then write a similar topic for your blog, making sure to put your own voice into it. Then, you can promote it.
- There are two types of content that get a lot of traffic and links. They are opinionated journalism and research-backed articles. You can also get some surveys going, and you can use websites like Pollfish to find this. See? Easy.
- Go to Google and search for “best X blogs” or “top X blogs,” using your industry as X. Then, get in contact with these bloggers and offer to pay them for a review of your product. You might end up spending a couple of hundred dollars, but it could be extremely lucrative over time.
When the internet first started, and people began to use it for marketing, it was very interesting to see how the same methods were used many years before.
What do I mean? Take influencer marketing, for instance. Celebrities have been endorsing products since the 1760s. Content marketing has been used for many years, too. Ben Franklin, for example, published “Poor Richard’s Almanack” in the 1730s. Email marketing isn’t that different, either, considering mail order catalogues have been sent to potential customers since 1498.
People use these methods, and they continue to use them, because they work. Even things like radio ads, television commercials, and billboards still have a place in the market. According to a recent study, out-of-home advertising hit a new high of $8 billion by the end of 2018.
There are several mediums that are part of paid advertising, and they are both online and offline. The offline ads that you might consider are radio ads, magazine ads, television ads, newspaper ads, bus ads, and billboards.
Online ads, which are also called pay-per-click, or PPC ads, include:
- Display ads (also known as banner ads, which you can see on websites)
- Email ads (ads that you see when you use email, including Gmail)
- Social media ads (ads you can see when using sites like Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, LinkedIn, YouTube, and other sites)
- Media ads (ads and product placement that you see in movies, video games, or other media)
- Newsletter ads (ads that come in email newsletters)
- Search engine ads (ads that you see on Bing, Google, or other search engines)
The big benefit of paid advertising like this is that it is very easy to do…but, you must have the budget for it. That being said, it is a great way to test your message, get feedback from others, and to quickly repeat what works. The downside, however, is that as quickly as an ad can work, it stops very quickly.
Basically, there is a short window of exposure when you use this type of marketing channel. They go up and go down very quickly. Other marketing channels can stay up as long as you want them to, but paid advertising just doesn’t.
As your ad spending rises, it can become more expensive and more difficult to keep track of. This can also cause issues such as the inability to see underlying issues. On top of this, you rarely can build up a relationship with your customers.
This type of marketing channel works great for things like impulse buys or for products that offer a quick value for the customer. For startups, however, most of you want to look at this as a secondary option to methods such as content marketing. The exception to this is for eCommerce products, as paid ads are often the first measurable marketing channel that you can use.
Here are some case studies and strategies that you can use if you want to use paid advertising:
- Media that is done outside of the home often doesn’t sell every available advertising spot. If these spots are not sold, it’s lost money. This is a great window of opportunity for you, as you can negotiate a lower cost for the ad space. For instance, you might normally pay $10,000 for a billboard ad, but if there is nothing up there, you might get it for several thousands of dollars less.
- You also might want to create a single keyword ad group, or SKAG. Basically, you run ads to a specific landing page on a specific topic, which optimizes the landing page for SEO purposes. This lets you keep getting traffic, even after ads are turned off, and then create a message to improve conversion rate.
- Also, think about creating a normal social media post, and then work with influencers to promote that post. Once that happens, you should then promote the post with an ad so that you can fully leverage the social proof from the promotion that the influencer did. You can look online to learn more about working with influencers, and how to edit and create Facebook ads.
Next week- Email Marketing and Search Engine Optimization!