So what exactly is Content Marketing?
Let’s be honest. It’s the latest buzzword for an old concept . . . good writing used to convey interesting information. Today, it’s just packaged a little differently and includes a few new media – blogs, video, podcasts, and social channels. You can date content marketing all the way back to Gutenberg. Print was Content Marketing 1.0.
Actually there are two “buzz phrases” – content marketing and inbound marketing. In today’s iteration, these are complementary concepts and you’ll frequently see the two phrases used interchangeably. Both content marketing and inbound marketing are frequently contrasted with “outbound” marketing tactics, essentially traditional advertising channels like TV, radio, billboards and print ads. Outbound marketing tactics are “hard,” designed to create demand and generate an immediate response. Inbound strategies assume that some demand exists, and seek to find and talk with an audience that is interested. With outbound advertising, you seek the customers and pull them in. With inbound marketing, the customers seek information and find you.
Inbound marketing strategies make sense and fit the decision-making processes of today’s customer. Buyers research online long before they contact a business that they’re interested in working with. Content marketing provides the answers buyers need to make decisions. Messages are informational, intended to educate people who may be interested in your business, your products and your services. It’s a “softer,” longer-term strategy designed to answer questions rather than create demand.
There are several reasons why content marketing is a good investment for printing companies:
- There’s lots of interesting content. Printers have a lot to write and talk about. They are in contact with fascinating people in their communities and learn a lot about what’s going on around them. There is no other industry that can produce as many relevant case studies or funny customer stories.
- There is an interested audience. While print may not be the top of mind need that it once was, the product is still ubiquitous and people are interested in new and old ideas. Print is tangible and durable. It’s appreciated for content, as art, and for historic value.
- Many people are likely to buy print at some time or another. While there aren’t as many professional print buyers as there once were, there are a lot of occasional buyers; and others who might consider print if it’s presented to them as a viable and valuable option.
Content marketing will help you establish a brand and make your company first choice for solutions, not just prices. Most printing companies can succeed with a combination of conventional and content marketing, if their program is well planned and consistent. For printers, the basic content marketing channels are blogs, direct mail and social networks. But there’s a problem – consistency. When things get busy, niceties (like your company blog) fall to the bottom of the list.
How can DP Marketing work with you?
That’s where DP Marketing comes in. If you’d like to do it yourself, we can help you put together a strategic marketing plan, a budget and a calendar. (Note: the calendar may actually be more important than the budget.) Remember that continuity and consistency are critical. We can also help with implementation, including blog content and social media posting. Let’s talk. We’ll put together a custom program that fits your company, your goals, and your budget.