Why we know content marketing works…
Let’s start with the fact you are reading this post. Did you know that companies will spend $300 billion by 2019  to speak directly to their consumers with content marketing? We can all agree that in order to grow professionally or as a business, we need to push ourselves past our comfort zones. Planning a content calendar, coming up with relevant topics, and writing content is not everyone’s cup of tea. It’s not easy! That’s why we’ve assembled this roadmap to create effective, visible, and sharable resources that will help you and your company generate new leads.
1. Speak to Your Audience
More likely than not, the service and products you offer provide value to someone or something specific. There is a group of people that are more likely than others to benefit from what you do. If you properly identify this segment of people, you can shift your perspective to see your company from their eyes. I challenge you to shift your perspective and walk in their shoes. Either in a direct survey or an exercise from your clients view point, ask a few questions like, “Why this business?”, “Who do I serve?”, “How do I bring value?” and/or “What challenges do I face?”. The answers to these questions will help identify ways that you can authentically align your product with the aspirations they have for their business. Work with your team to create a content calendar that addresses specific topics in the buying/selling or client lifecycle of your target audiences industry. You will be amazed at the conversations it starts…
2. Give Helpful Information
Don’t hesitate to give some valuable direction and advice that people can access for free. Think back to the first time you rode a bike as a kid. If you were just given an instruction guide or told how to ride, would you feel safe jumping on the bike alone? Ok, even for the more adventurous folks, companies have more on the line than a few scraped knees. Leaders of these businesses want to have advocates that they can depend upon as they work towards their goals. In no way are we suggesting for you to share your secret sauce, but rather demonstrate how their company can create its own secret sauce. Be different as it is very difficult to always be the best, no matter the category of your business. Recently, I had coffee with a gentleman who has helped stage 2 businesses grow for more than 25 years. He shared the most effective content marketing in their publication was a story about who you are and what you can do. When you share free information, you are demonstrating your confidence in your offering. Chances are, someone else does what you do. However, you can set your self apart so that business leaders see that you have the ability to walk alongside them to help them achieve their goals.
3. Provide Industry Examples & Data
The numbers don’t lie. Here is a list of some small time companies that have used content marketing to establish their position in the marketplace. Hubspot (no pun intended as they are a content marketing platform, but they practice their preaching through incredible free resources for companies that are hard to ignore), Pategonia, Warby Parker, Blue Apron, Whole Foods (now owned by Amazon), Apple, Google, SpaceX, Chewy, AirBnB and JetBlue to name a few.  You may read these and say “Well…they have a $X seven figure marketing budget.” This is true, but here are some examples of companies that don’t have the massive budget, but saw an incredible return from leveraging their time and limited resources in the space. Number one in our book is Dollar Shave Club, an overnight sensation as they literally produced a creative video on a small budget that generated 12,000 customers in two days. Don’t expect these results, but don’t ignore the opportunity of this strategy. Core Power Yoga is another great example.  They leveraged social media networks, customer content, and word of mouth brand awareness to attract more franchisees and become the largest yoga chain in the United States.
4. Be Consistent & Visible
Don’t be afraid to fail. There is never a perfect time to get started. This is Loba Creative’s first blog post and we are a year and a half into serving our clients. We decided to start practicing what we preach to our clients. With that in mind, content marketing is a mid to long term strategy and takes time to develop; so, make sure to stick with it once you start. After you get the content going, transition your focus to distribution. Involve your key stake holders or marketing team, furthermore split up content assignments as this will help hold you accountable and also generate better overall ideas. Visibility is important and plays a large role in the growth of small businesses. Makes sure to do your best to connect with your audience. Leverage your communication channels to make your hard work visible. I encourage you to share on your social media platforms and even send via email to prospects (after a relevant conversation) with a link to a post that is helpful to them.
5. Include Company Info & An Author Bio
I hope we can agree that we can’t be the best at everything. As you develop your content marketing, you are ultimately framing out the specialties that you and your organization have. I encourage you to invite team members to create content and share articles (with permission) from those who influence your company. We all have people that sit at our table of influence, and we sometimes invite new ones as we go into unchartered territory. Be authentic to who you are and your skillsets, but make sure to include your personality, company information and the authors bio for your readers. People like to attach a face and background to where they are getting information from or who they are doing business with. With that in mind, be respectful of your reader’s time and try to keep it brief with links to pages for more information.
Loba Creative is a full service brand agency. Simply said, we like to make people smile when they interact with your brand. We also like dogs, a lot. Orlando is our home and we currently partner with start ups and established brands nationwide.
Keal Blache is the President & Co-Founder of Loba Creative. He has helped many growing companies develop their brand experience. Keal’s career started in the banking world, working in enterprise information systems and investment banking at Suntrust (Atlanta) and Sumitomo Trust (NYC), respectively. He has held marketing positions at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, UCF Athletics and Insurance Office of America (IOA).
6. Lastly Share Your Sources
I won’t be the first or the last to talk about content marketing. The following sources did a great job of highlighting important information on content marketing and provided some of the great examples in this post. Check them out!
 Content Marketing Will be a $300 Billion Industry in 2019
A Neat Infographic
 The Big 2017 Content Marketing Spend
50 Best Content Marketing Brands
 Best Content Marketing Brands 2017
11 Most Powerful Content Marketing Examples By Small Business
 Top 11 Most Powerful Content Marketing Examples by Small Business