If you are or desire to be someone who earns their living as a professional coach, content marketing should be at the top of your priority list. In order for any small business to thrive, the #1 objective everyday is to get and keep customers. Making that happen in today’s ultra competitive marketplace is tough, but content marketing done correctly provides and advantage.
Just recently, one coaching professional mentioned the challenge of getting around to network in her community. Part of her challenge is working another position, and having 2 school age children. Part of her challenge is… how to manage life, career, family, and grow a business?
Working smarter – in part – is about using proven strategies instead of re-creating the wheel. Embracing content marketing as a marketing strategy is a reliable approach to winning in small business. Let’s clarify why.
Useful content should be at the core of your marketing
Consumers have shut off the traditional world of marketing. They own a DVR to skip television advertising, often ignore magazine advertising, and now have become so adept at online “surfing” that they can take in online information without a care for banners or buttons (making them irrelevant).
Smart marketers understand that traditional marketing is becoming less and less effective by the minute, and that there has to be a better way.
Enter content marketing.
But what exactly is content marketing?
Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
Content marketing’s purpose is to attract and retain customers by consistently creating and curating relevant and valuable content with the intention of changing or enhancing consumer behavior. It is an ongoing process that is best integrated into your overall marketing strategy, and it focuses on owning media, not renting it.
Basically, content marketing is the art of communicating with your customers and prospects without selling. It is non-interruption marketing. Instead of pitching your products or services, you are delivering information that makes your buyer more intelligent. The essence of this content strategy is the belief that if we, as businesses, deliver consistent, ongoing valuable information to buyers, they ultimately reward us with their business and loyalty.
And they do. Content marketing is being used by some of the greatest marketing organizations in the world, including P&G, Microsoft, Cisco Systems, and John Deere. It’s also developed and executed by small businesses and one-person shops around the globe. Why? Because it works.
Content is the present – and future – of marketing
Go back and read the content marketing definition one more time, but this time remove the relevant and valuable. That’s the difference between content marketing and the other informational garbage you get from companies trying to sell you “stuff.” Companies send us information all the time – it’s just that most of the time it’s not very relevant or valuable (can you say spam?). That’s what makes content marketing so intriguing in today’s environment of thousands of marketing messages per person per day. Good content marketing makes a person stop…read… think… behave… differently.
Thought leaders and marketing experts from around the world, including the likes of Seth Godin and hundreds of the leading thinkers in marketing have concluded that content marketing isn’t just the future, it’s the present (see the video below on the history of content marketing).
Marketing is impossible without great content
Regardless of what type of marketing tactics you use, content marketing should be part of your process, not something separate. Quality content is part of all forms of marketing:
- Social media marketing: Content marketing strategy comes before your social media strategy.
- SEO: Search engines reward businesses that publish quality, consistent content.
- PR: Successful PR strategies address issues readers care about, not their business.
- PPC: For PPC to work, you need great content behind it.
- Inbound marketing: Content is key to driving inbound traffic and leads.
- Content strategy: Content strategy is part of most content marketing strategies.
So, what does all this mean for the coaching professional?
First off, the most effective coaching professionals will gain a clear understanding of who their ideal consumer is, and where their pain points are. Identifying your ideal customer is the most critical step to creating an effective marketing strategy. For every type of customer a coach deals with, they should have a ‘Customer Avatar’. That’s a detailed outline of their ideal consumer. It informs every step of the marketing process.
When used properly, the customer avatar will inform the business owner on what to say in their marketing, where to target their advertising, and what kind of offers to make available at every stage of the process. Savvy small business owners use the Customer Avatar to create content that strategically and consistently meets their ideal customer right where they are.
The most effective content marketers have the pulse of their marketplace, and they provide education, inspiration, and entertainment in a way that makes their customer want to remember them.
The people you want to serve are hungry for something. The job of the coaching professional is to find out what their ideal consumer is hungry for, and to feed them a solution they want to eat, in an appetizing way.
If you haven’t started using content marketing yet, this is a great time to add it to your priority list. Stay tuned, we’ll be going deeper and providing details on how you can create a content marketing strategy for your coaching practice.
Let us know in the comment section below if you found this helpful. We welcome your feedback because it helps us serve you better.