If we were sitting in a cafe having coffee, and the subject of lip balms came up, I would have to tell you about an absolutely wonderful lip balm I discovered quite by accident a few months ago. The little company has a whole line of skin care and even makeup. I’ve never been much of a makeup girl, but one day a friend posted on Facebook about wanting to find a natural eye liner. I replied with a link to the eye makeup on the Etsy shop that sells my marvelous lip balm.
Now I’m not sure whether my friend, or any of the other people who saw my post about eye makeup, ever went to buy anything from that shop. I’m pretty sure a lot of people saw the post, though: my friends, her friends, the friends of the other people commenting on the thread. That’s hundreds of people hearing about a little company, and at no cost to the company.
This is the power of everything under the umbrella of “content marketing”–blog posts, social media shares, email campaigns. These are powerful tools, but you can’t always trace where they go. Their power lies not simply in people clicking over to a business website and buying something. The real power is in the connection people have to a product and their desire to tell others about products they may not have even used themselves. They just like the company for some reason.
Really, though it’s not “some reason”. It’s when content creates impact for a great product. As a business owner, you get interested in content marketing because it promises to be an effective way to attract people to your business, and it is. But not in a strictly linear way. Emails or blogs get shared around long after you write them. People you spoke to a few years ago, who didn’t need your service then, remember you because of how knowledgable you were and how you answered their questions. Or maybe they stumbled across your blog or saw a share on a friend’s page. Good content takes on a life of its own. This is why you should keep creating it! You explain your business in different ways, so that the maximum number of people can connect with what you’re doing.
When you consistently produce quality content, you’re building your reputation and fan base. Fans don’t always need your product when they first read your blog or connect on social media, but if your content creates impact with them, they’ll come back when they do need you. Or they’ll tell all their friends about you.
I’ve worked on websites for many years–I launched my first in 1996. I consider myself pretty knowledgeable on website platforms and an expert in a few. I’ve built hundreds of websites. Yet on Saturday I learned something that blew my mind.
I was at a WordPress conference and finally had an opportunity to ask a question that has been bugging me for the last year. It was about a tool produced by ServerPress. I had heard about the product, even seen a demo and thought I understood it. I really liked the company, knew the owner and wanted to be a supporter, but I couldn’t see how it would apply to me from the knowledge I had from reading and listening. So I finally asked. I shared with a friend what I was using to accomplish the same result and we agreed that I really didn’t need it. Then in a passing comment I realized my answer and my need. Now I “get it” and am waiting for it to change my life. 😉
I’m like my customers and that I understand. Occasionally a call or webinar I wanted to attend gets forgotten. Sometimes a blog post doesn’t convert. Oftentimes promotional email goes unread. Usually I am too afraid of others’ perceptions to ask the questions that will get the answers I need. And so I miss out on products that can be life changing. That is why it so important to continue to teach the message. That is why and how adding new content–on blogs and social media–is so important. When you potential customers finally have the AHA! moment, they have a resource for more information. So keep at it! Sometimes content creates impact when you least expect.