Content Marketing and Blogging: The Future is Now for Your Small Business
In case you missed it, there is some crazy stuff happening out there right now for small businesses throughout the world. Times are changing. Marketing has evolved. What was true yesterday no longer applies. This is why I know the following statement to be true:
Blogging, within the next 10 years, will be the pillar of any business and individual brand.
Yep, what was originally viewed by many as online blabbers looking to have a voice has revolutionized commerce and economies as we know it.
20 years ago, what defined having a ‘business’ was the ownership of some type of storefront or professional office. Today, what defines the image of that same business is its website.
It used to be that company websites were few and far between. But now, in a short space of less than 10 years, businesses are expected to have websites. Such an idea would have been preposterous to many less than a decade ago, but the information age has come in with such a furry that a website is the core representation of a business and its brand.
So the question is what is the next phase of this Web 2.0 revolution? What’s next that consumers will expect?
Over the next few years, as consumers embrace web technology even further, and as they are more and more adept at judging a business by its website, they will soon look for a company’s, or an individual’s, blog. Yes, just as a website is a consumer must today, a company blog will be a consumer must tomorrow.
Although I know many of you are shaking your heads in agreement right now, there are sadly still some that may feel like blogging is a silly rambling of words that holds little weight when it comes down to the successes and failures of a business.
Oh, if I could only help everyone to stop seeing the world their way and instead see the world the consumer’s way. But alas, many will be left behind. Many businesses will not embrace. Many will simply fade off as so many did before them. Such is the way of business cycles, and such is the times in which we now all live.
So my question for you is simple: Are you in or are you out?
Seriously, have you decided to make a commitment to elevating your business to the standards that are expected in the 21st century? Are you ready to make blogging and content-giving a lifestyle, and not just a poorly thought-out new year’s resolution?
Infopreneurship and Content Marketing
As many of you know, my entire life and business changed drastically when I, along with my two biz partners, elected to become ‘infopreneurs’. For those of you who haven’t heard the word, an infopreneur is like an entrepreneur, the only difference being that an infopreneur’s entire foundation is built upon giving information to others so as to build value in the marketplace. Another phrase for this could be called ‘content marketer’.
The best way to explain content marketing really has to do with a company’s approach to business. For example, it used to be that I saw my business as a ‘pool company’. Yep, that’s what we were. We installed lots of swimming pools and therefore we were a pool company.
In hindsight though, this mentality was all wrong. Today, I see my business as a content marketing company. In other words, my entire goal is to give more valuable, helpful, and remarkable content to consumers than anyone else in my field, which will in-turn lead to more sales. Through this blog, I’m able to share these principles with tons of other companies in and out of my industry. Literally, I have absolutely no fear about the fact that I ‘give away’ every single trade strategy and ‘secret’ I have here on this blog to companies down the street that I might be selling against in an appointment tonight.
And why such a strategy?……………… Because it works.
The more valuable information you can give to others, the more you will become viewed as an expert and therefore gain their trust—hence the utmost need to blog.
Blogging as a Culture
And when I say ‘blog’, I don’t mean that your business has a section on your website that says ‘blog’ on it and when a visitor views the page they see a handful of articles that are weeks, maybe even months, old. Such a strategy is ludicrous and an utter waste of time.
I recently had a nice gentleman call me from Minnesota who was just beginning to catch the vision of what Web 2.0 is all about. One of the questions he asked me was about blogging and if I was still doing it after having established my company’s website as the industry leader (through blogging). Honestly, I had to snicker a little bit at the question because blogging, i.e. content marketing, is not a quick fix. It’s not something to ever check off of your ‘to-do’ list. Frankly, blogging should be to a business what breathing is to man—done, almost without thought, because of one’s need for survival.
This is the great misunderstanding that so many businesses have. Content Marketing is not static. Search engines, as well as consumers, simply appreciate web sites that are constantly evolving and being added upon. This way they’ll keep coming back and also the scope and influence of the site itself will just grow and grow, line upon line, with every new bit of valuable content that’s added.
This is why my swimming pool company, at least as long as I own it, will receive 1-3 fresh articles in its blog every week forever. And when I say forever, I really mean forever . At this point, adding articles isn’t a question of ‘if’ because it’s part of our culture. This also includes adding more and more video and relevant pages to the website itself on an ongoing basis. Again, it’s all about more and more great information. Such is the goal and once a business realizes and embraces this critical paradigm, everything will change.
So that is my challenge to you. Become an infopreneur. Embrace information. See yourself, and your business, as a content marketing machine. And as you do this, I can absolutely promise you that every ounce of energy and effort you put in to it will return 10-fold. Such has been the case in my life as well as thousands of other forward-thinking persons who have made the decision to see business and marketing in a whole new light.
Questions about content marketing? Agree or disagree? As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Latest posts by Marcus Sheridan (see all)
- Using Video to Improve SEO and Inbound Marketing in 2017 - August 23, 2017