What is marketing?
It intrigues me that when we talk to SME business owners about marketing, the first connection the majority make is one or more of the following:
- Brochure Design
- Social Media
- Digital Marketing
I suggest that, in themselves, none of the above are marketing. Each is a tool that can be used to carry out marketing but has no function unless there is a message. The one word that is fundamental to marketing is….
Talking to (and preferably engaging with) your target audience is at the heart of effective marketing. You have to tell people what it is you offer and how you can deliver value to them. If you aren’t doing this, why would anyone choose to do business with you? While my list above gives examples of ways you can communicate, none of them can operate effectively without something to say.
Content is the elephant in the marketing room.
If you want to communicate with your customers and your market, you need to know what you intend to say to them. You need some content; yet this is commonly the ‘elephant in the marketing room’ that SME businesses struggle with. Creating good, relevant content can be hard work. For some people, even coming up with ideas of what to talk about is a struggle, never mind crafting it into words that people will want to read. I believe this is a key reason why people often focus on the communication tools rather than the actual message they want to get over. Focusing on a new website or a brochure etc. changes things from a need to delivers sustained, relevant marketing content into a design project. I regularly come across half finished websites where a web designer has done their bit and designed a website but then the realisation sets in. No-one has really considered what content is going to be included in this great new look.
Driving, creating and using content is at the heart of what BSA Marketing does
And things are getting more challenging….
There was a time when you could produce a new brochure – or even a website – and once you had gone through the pain of writing the content and getting it published, it was good as marketing collateral for a fair while; at least 2 or 3 years, often longer. These days with interactive websites, e-newsletters, social media and blogs, never mind an explosion in other online marketing platforms, the life of content can be measured in minutes – or less! This means one thing – if you want to stay in the mind of your contacts you need to keep creating new things to engage them. Realistically for most SME businesses (particularly B2B) you don’t need to be creating new content every day. Indeed there is an awful lot of noise – particularly on Twitter – where clearly people just tweet for the sake of tweeting. There is no real thought as to the value or relevance to their audience of what they are saying. This is definitely quantity over quality. You might not need to create new content every day but creating good relevant content at least every few weeks is the standard you should aim for.
Creating a process that introduces new message ideas and develops them into relevant, usable content is incredibly valuable.
Embrace the content elephant
If you have a process to regularly create new marketing content, this not only meets the needs of your core marketing communication, it also opens up other opportunities. You can submit relevant articles to trade magazines, sector blogs or other media read by your target market. Good, interesting content is always in demand and if you can get a name for delivering good copy, you can find opportunities to get your message out grow significantly with little extra effort on your part. Developing and sustaining effective content creation and use is at the heart of what BSA Marketing does. If you want to embrace the content elephant – give us a call.