While the goal of content marketing is to make a business’s brand visible, an even more important goal is to develop trust between the business and its customers. Every blog post, newsletter, and social media newsfeed should communicate why a business exists and how it can meet the needs of its clients. Even more, every piece of content should give readers a valuable take-away, something that will answer their questions, aid them in solving a problem, or prompt them to think about a service or product differently.
As I’ve noted before, the return on investment with marketing has more do to with long-term rewards than it has to do with short-term profits. Content marketing especially follows this line of thought. A blog, for instance, informs an audience over a span of time and with a breadth of helpful topics. Potential customers may not consider purchasing a service or product until months or years later, but the blog provides them with consistent, useful content while they are making that decision.
Successful content marketers know they’ll be in their line of work for the long-haul before they see the rewards for their efforts. As a content writer, I understand this. Yet even I often fall into the trap of wondering if the content I’m writing is making a difference when I don’t see immediate proof of its impact.
When I find myself bemoaning how few people actually read or like the content I’ve written, I have to remember: it’s not about me.
Sure, I want to have a readership to grow my business. But what matters is not how many people I reach but how my content helps those people it does reach.
As her posts usually do, Bernadette Jiwa’s recent post clarified this concept for me. “As businesses owners, leaders and creators,” she states, “we can adopt one of two strategies. We can build a business with the intention of getting more customers, or we can want more for our customers.”
More for our customers. That is where the value of content marketing lies. Not in the reach or the likes, but in what customers take away. If only one person reads my posts and that person walks away knowing or understanding or considering something new, what I’ve written has served its purpose.
Maintaining this perspective isn’t always easy, but it is more rewarding. Rather than writing to receive likes and followers (which can be more than a little disheartening), I’m striving to write to create a continual impact, the type of impact that gives potential customers, no matter how few, what they’re seeking again and again.
My hope is that, over time, the small impact my content makes will accumulate to create a large impact for both my business and my clients. After all, as Jiwa notes, “[W]hen we want more for our customers, we end up being the kind of company more people want to do business with.”