“If a speaker delivers the most amazing speech of his or her life, but no one is around to hear it, did he or she really deliver a speech?” asks Sean Bradley in Speaker Magazine. “It’s the same thing with online marketing and advertising, Bradley goes on to say. If you’re not represented properly online, you won’t be found.
Understanding the “lay of the land” means understanding how powerful the Internet is as a resource of visibility, credibility, and business development, Bradley continues. Traditional marketing talks about three stages to the buying cycle, he reminds speakers:
- Stimuli (ads that lead to point of interest)
- First moments of truth (purchasing the product or service)
- Second moment of truth (the ownership experience)
Google, he notes, revolutionized this cycle in a book titled ZMOT (Zero Moment of Truth). Consumers’ ZMOT is the time between stimulus and purchase, where they search for more information, reviews, and feedback to help them determine if they want to buy.
Bradley brings this idea into the speaker’s world. “When people hear about you through an ad or blog post, or you’re recommended by someone, chances are they will Google before they call,” he remarks. “What do you think they’ll find? Is your content relevant and current?”
The Content Marketing Institute concurs: “Smart marketers understand that traditional marketing is becoming less and less effective by the minute, and that there has to be a better way.”
But what exactly IS content marketing? Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and destributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acwquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.
The operative term here is “consistent content”, which is precisely what blogging for business is all about. “Persistent” would be an appropriate desciptor as well, since the long-term effectiveness of any business blog depends on reliability and continued effort.
Content is king online. But that content must be accurate, current – and dependable. The content of a business blog must not only attract new customers, but keep regulars coming back. As the “hub” of any business’ or professional practice’s online marketing effort, the blog has a steady job to do.
Sure, a business or practice may be just one tree of many in a forest of competitors, but blog marketing is one way to help that tree make a big sound!