When you think about it, the old notion of measuring the success of an advert by measuring the number of people who saw an advert was fairly bizarre.
Indeed whether it was people watching the TV or opening an email, it was a fairly useless statistic. For most of the people seeing the advert would not ever be interested in the product, no matter how good the advertising.
Thus I might see an advert for children’s nappies, but because I don’t have any children of the right sort of age, there is no point counting me in the statistics. But I would nevertheless be counted.
Subsequently it was realised that what we really needed to do was engage with our potential customers rather than simply count numbers.
The route through which this happens is content marketing. It exists because in the last few years most people have started to shut themselves off from the traditional world of advertising.
Just as they skip TV advertising by recording programmes, just as they bypass adverts in magazines, now they are also bypassing or even blocking emails and web advertisements.
And so instead the key issue has become finding ways of engaging with your potential customer by giving him/her information he/she finds interesting and helpful. Which is in essence what I try to do in some of my little notes to you.
This approach of offering helpful information thus becomes a constant process – it is not a one-off campaign.
Basically, content marketing is the art of communicating with your customers and prospects without pushing the selling. Rather it involves making your potential buyer more informed about, and more interested in, whatever you have to offer.
So that when they want what you supply, they come to you – because you have been helpful to them for months in the past with your thoughtful and perhaps entertaining commentaries.
Thus your advert immediately stands out from the sort of adverts most companies send out most of the time. It makes the recipient stop and read – and (and this is the key bit) it helps them remember you.
As a result, people who read your content marketing look forward to it, because it is not an advert – it is something that helps them do their job or cope with a specific problem.
In a very real sense this communication (which is sent out to subscribers by email and appears on the schools.co.uk blog) is content marketing – because it is suggesting that content marketing is worth doing.
If you want to see more examples of what content marketing is all about you might care to have a browse through past editions of the blog.
Or indeed you might like to call Schools.co.uk on 01604 880 927 and talk about how content marketing can benefit you. Or if you prefer, email Stephen@schools.co.uk