Content marketing is a strategic marketing process that focuses on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, consistent content in different formats to attract, engage and retain as many people as possible within a clearly defined audience and ultimately drive profitable leads to your speaking business.
It is the fuel for all your core digital marketing activities; search, social media, email and website marketing. It will help create relationships with your target audiences which lead to greater trust. And when your audience trusts you, they’re more willing to do business with you, endorse and follow you.
Your content needs to be designed to attract the right people to your site, engage those people and convince them to become champions, supporters and followers of your personal brand and your thought leadership.
Your objective with each visitor is to have them take an action that benefits your goals. Clearly, a genuine speaking enquiry from a qualified prospect is the ideal. However activities such as subscribing to your newsletter, following you on social media, liking, retweeting or sharing your content are also all relevant.
Ultimately, of course, some of your visitors will become clients. However, focusing on building an audience wider than your target clients gives you a bigger platform, a wider reach and greater influence and it is here where you are likely to generate the bulk of engagements; more clients are influenced indirectly by the reach of the speaker’s brand than by consuming their content directly and personally.
In short, content marketing is the art of communicating with people without having to sell to them; you are creating helpful, engaging content that anyone who has an interest in your area of expertise can benefit from, whether they qualify as a potential client or not. It is the currency that gives you visibility:
- Share-worthy content creates awareness of you and your personal brand. If your content engages readers they will share it via social media, email or word-of-mouth. They become influencers working on your behalf.
- Content drives results from SEO. Google has made this important since 1998. Content became and still is king since websites are predominantly about content and being found relies on content, not on design.
- Content drives bookings. Ultimately, clients are influenced directly or indirectly by content when it comes to booking speakers.
- Syndicated content drives qualified traffic. Content marketing is broader than just your website since it includes content on social networks, online publishers, comparison sites, blogs and other types of influencer site.
- User-generated content drives engagement. Buyer behaviour has changed. People now want to reference wider opinion from others. People dig out content to help their decision-making.
- Content on a range of platforms drives engagement. The importance of the internet continues to increase as mobile and smartphone technology evolves and we evolve with them.
- Content supports and integrates all the core digital media channels:
- Organic search: Content on your own website is core to supporting SEO, one of the key sources of new visitors. The relevance of keywords and quality of content is what attracts visitors and also links from other websites which will help your site to outrank competing speakers.
- Paid search (Google Ads): It is also important to provide relevant content on paid search landing pages to gain a better quality score in Google and to gain conversions. Both are important to get ROI from Google Ads.
- Online PR: The stories you share via other sites are ultimately content and should link back to content on your site.
- Social media marketing: The status updates you share through social networks and other sites are micro-content too and should link back to content on your site or blog. They should be part of a unified content marketing strategy to engage different audiences.
- Email marketing: The most established of digital communications channels. Email newsletters have always required quality content to engage and this is even more true today with competition for attention at an all-time high.
- Mobile marketing: Mobile marketing gives new options for delivering communications via each of the channels above. Since smartphone or tablet platforms are often used in different contexts this implies new types and formats of content may be needed to engage mobile users.
As you can see, content marketing offers a multi-channel lifecycle engagement strategy, unifying all your digital marketing communications to support client acquisition and your goals for growing your speaking business.
Having a strong content marketing strategy reduces – but does not eliminate – the need for separate plans for individual digital marketing activities.