Content marketing basically encompasses anything that you distribute with the intention of your audience consuming it. Blogs, tweets, Facebook posts, whitepapers, emails, newsletters...most of these pieces of content are all what social media expert Gary Vaynerchuk would call "jabs."
Vaynerchuk recently said, "I’ve done 185 episodes of a show answering questions people ask me on Twitter. I write articles. I answer questions on Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook. I do this all for free. Not because I have to land the hook. It’s my hope. It’s my aspiration. But it’s not why. I do it because it gives me a chance to even throw the right hook at all."
Your audience truly doesn't owe you anything. They have a choice of who to consume their information from whether you are providing plumbing services or selling a destination. If you make your content marketing so stellar that they continue to show up to read your content over your competitors, then you have a much higher chance of also earning their trust as customers. You'll become their go-to source of information for whatever it is that you provide, and they will tell their friends, family, and online networks about your business and/or your content, which increases the likelihood that some of these people, too, will become your customers.
As Content Marketing Institute explained last week, "There’s a time and place for the hard sell in your marketing process; but you’ll get more value from your social media channels if you focus on creating authentic, two-way conversations rather than high-pressure pitches."
How are you delivering value for your customers (or future customers) right now?