I talk a lot about ‘content marketing’ because the term encapsulates so well how most independent service providers can attract ideal clients and gain rapid visibility on the Web. Most coaches, consultants, authors, and speakers don’t have large marketing budgets, but the Internet is accessible to all.
These days, any professional can use the Internet to market their services, with very little funds and no tech skills. A business blog is the fastest way to build an online reputation and gain visibility. Then there is Facebook and Twitter, all completely free and easy to use.
What counts are your words. How you write is very important. Your content – be it blog posts, articles, white papers, special reports, even audio and video clips – all contribute to readers getting to know, like and trust you.
I expect more people and even big companies will increase their use of content to market their businesses as the economy is more difficult simply because it’s practically free.
Big businesses are often slow to recognize a good thing. But even huge companies are beginning to realize the best marketing may be free, in the form of content. Really effective content isn’t written by the advertising department but is crafted by writers to educate, engage and enrich the lives of customers.
Here’s an interesting article about trends in content marketing and budgets during the economic recession as it affects big companies, by Joe Pulizzi of Junta42Blog:
The Trickle Out of Traditional Media into Content Marketing Turns to Flood Starting Now
The economic "crisis" (or whatever you want to call it) will fundamentally change where marketing dollars go. Frankly, I’ve been surprised that more companies haven’t taken this on sooner.
Yes, companies spend between 27 and 30% of their budgets on their own content, but that number should be more like 50%. The case for content – engagement, search engine optimization, lead generation – it’s there, no doubt about it.
Here’s the news though. Yes, advertising spending will drop substantially over the next year+. And yes, money will be moving around quite a bit, with more (even though a much smaller dollar number), going into online marketing. But the shift from traditional to content marketing activities will happen swiftly because of one big reason now – marketers now have the excuse they needed.
What Joe is pointing out is that even big businesses are realizing that they can save on media purchases and still do marketing but it will be in the form of content. That still costs money, as they pay for writing services, but since there’s an economic crunch and they’re cutting back on advertising anyway, this will open the flood gates to using lower cost content marketing instead.
We professionals are no different than the big companies when it comes to opportunities on the Internet. It’s up to you to write well enough to make a significant splash.