Don’t overlook the real opportunity of content marketing

The power of blogging and content marketing for business development or any burgeoning venture is, as the internet has touted time and time again, tremendous.

We all know that you need it to drive visitors to your site.  You need it to help convey the emotions you are looking to foster in your readers towards your brand.  You may even need it to help educate your customers on why your product or service matters, or how it works.

It’s an opportunity for people to get a taste of what it is you or your business are all about, before any transaction has occurred.

But, regardless of who you are or what you are doing, our world has made us all into content creators, in one form or another, whether we know it (or like it) or not.  And, with very rare exception in the online world, if you don’t have it you don’t exist; at least not to your target audience. You know… the people who really matter because they actually give a shit about what you are doing, selling, pitching or sharing.

For those of us who rely on content as part of our professional toolkit, how often have you felt like getting content out is just another chore on your already long laundry list of to-do’s?  Assuming you are one of the few who are regularly and consistently checking this task off of your list, it’s one thing to just put the content out there, making sure it hits your desired keyword density and says nice things about your product.

That’s to be expected and is mandatory.  But if that’s all its doing, you’re missing out on the point,  and arguably the fun, of what I see as the real opportunity that content marketing affords the driven entrepreneur, business developer, marketer or salesperson.

When you create content, you can draw the reader into a reality almost entirely of your own creation. It’s your very own, almost free, reality distortion field.  You can pose questions or raise concerns that might never have been considered in the mind of your reader previously; where your services or products are now the obvious answer.  You can construct scenarios that are conveyed from a perspective uniquely your own, where you can control the interpretation, the sense of urgency and the framing within which the reader has suddenly found themselves.  Even if it is just for a fleeting moment.

You can incite new ways of thinking about things, with everything crafted towards a goal that you define.

In the moment where the reader is engaging with your piece of content, you have their attention, which is perhaps one of the most valuable commodities that exists today – for anyone in the business of winning hearts and minds, and eventually dollars.  You will quite literally hold their perspective on the world in your hands, and, albeit for an extremely brief moment, if done right, you can control someone else’s perception of reality.

What a powerful and potent tool to have at your disposal! The trick is to recognize and appreciate the myriad of angles from which you can create something that will realize and embody this full potential. And that’s something that every business developer, marketer or business person should bear in mind before even beginning to think about creating their next piece of content.

It’s not just about getting eyeballs or clicks, its about leaving the people who engage with you with a little more value than they arrived with.  It’s about working towards the goal of having your words resonate and linger with them, so that even long after they’ve clicked away onto something else and left your little corner of the virtual word, your voice and intent will remain as a lingering echo in their minds, acting as a little push towards the future actions you hope they will take.

It goes without saying that there are lots of ways to successfully apply content marketing to the pursuit of your goals, whether that is growing an audience, selling a product or positioning yourself as an expert.  And while it is true that you will always need to craft your content in consideration of what will actually drive people to your site to consume it in the first place, what’s potentially even more important is how you’ll use the opportunity you’ve just gained to your best advantage once someone is there, lest you miss out with them and have to start all over again.

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