There has been much discussion on the use of content marketing to drive audience engagement and ultimately business. Based on what I’ve seen, this is the big marketing trend for 2016.
Brian Clark, Founder & CEO, Rainmaker Digital succinctly describes content marketing as “creating and sharing valuable free content to attract and convert prospects into customers, and customers into repeat buyers. The type of content you share is closely related to what you sell; in other words, you’re educating people so that they know, like, and trust you enough to do business with you.”
Examples of content marketing include:
- A grocery retailer providing free weekly recipes and cooking tips using ingredients from its store;
- An auto service station distributing a newsletter with helpful articles on the proper maintenance of your vehicle;
- An exhibit display company that provides tips on how to conduct more effective event marketing;
- Radio talk shows that focus on a particular business (i.e. financial planning, real estate).
CONTENT MARKETING IS NOT A SALES PITCH. Customers are not stupid, nor do they want to be “sold” to. If an organization provides customers with valuable information on a regular basis that helps them do whatever they do more effectively, they will connect the dots themselves to that business.
Content marketing is a real opportunity for you to offer something valuable to a potential sponsor. By leveraging your communication channels to your audience, you are able to provide distribution channels for a sponsor’s content. This can be done through your web site, newsletter or publication, social channels, blogs, PR and onsite at your event or venue. This provides a significant activation element that a sponsor can take advantage of and increases the overall value of your sponsorship.
To help a sponsor develop a content marketing strategy around your activity or event, questions you might ask include:
- Why should the content be published (what the value proposition to customers)?
- Where are we going to distribute this content?
- When should we roll out this content to viewers? How often?
- Who do we want to see it?
- What reaction (or action) are we hoping to receive from the content?
- What will we do with the content after we’ve published it to extend its value and life cycle?
The selling point to companies should be that once customers bite on the content, they will want to continuously provide more content to drive chances for conversion by leading potential customers to their own web site or some other type of action.
The bottom line is that the distribution of relevant content can help your sponsors connect with your audiences in a meaningful way which will increase the odds of a successful sponsorship arrangement as well as add value to your relationship with your customers.