The aim of content marketing is to build authority in your market niche. In our last post on how to plan a content marketing series we explored how to write about a topic in great depth, sharing a lot of your knowledge and expertise with your audience.
Content takes time and for many businesses there simply isn’t enough time to go round; but, there is a way to make that investment contribute to the business ‘bottom line’ in ways beyond attracting leads.
Earning something for your content benefits your business with new customers and through creating another revenue stream that offsets the investment in creating the content in the first place. Here are just a few ways you could make your content pay.
1. Turn your expertise into a marketable product
Essentially this means selling your content. You create your content once and then package it in an appealing way, turning what you know or sell as a service into a marketable product.
But it doesn’t have to be a standalone product, you could turn your service into a scalable online service by offering personal online tutoring, guidance or training via the video calling and social platforms that already exist. For instance, as web copywriters we use the tools of the web to meet with clients, train new writers and consult with businesses on their content marketing plans. These tools allow us to grow our audience beyond our personal network and geographic area.
There are many opportunities to turn your knowledge into a monetised product/service, even where the monetisation might be as a loss-leader to draw more prospects into your sales funnel. Products you could create include:
- E-books (PDFs or ‘Kindle’ books)
- Training programmes (CD, DVD products or online video training)
- Templates (digital or paper-based)
- Tutorials (via video conference, phone or email)
- Packages of information (paper-based or virtual)
- Detailed plans or guides to a specific niche
2. Share your audience
Publishers have been doing this for over 100 years, so why should we digital age publishers be any different. We are all our own media outlets now and we can benefit from sharing our audience in the same way magazines and newspapers did last century.
But, sharing your audience doesn’t just mean ‘advertising’ in the traditional sense, you can earn fees for referrals and endorsing products or services you actually believe in, creating relationships with your audience as well as the audience of the item you endorse. In this way, you continue to build your own authority in your niche while monetising (or offsetting the cost of producing) your content.
- Advertising (banners, Google ads, mobile ads, etc.)
- Affiliate fees (earning for traffic and conversions to another site)
- Recommendations or endorsements
If you do pursue this method, just be sure your audience understands why you are doing so, and be clear with them about what constitutes an advert/endorsement and what is opinion. (Best practice here is to always indicate where you’re earning something for telling your audience about another product or service.)
3. Become a content marketing reseller
One way you can further your own marketing goal of becoming an authority in your niche is to resell products that are of benefit to your prospects and customers.
In a way, this is similar to #2 above, but instead of being an affiliate, you actually gain a product line or service for resale in your own business. That means that you are actively involved in the sales process, gaining customers of your own rather than referring them on to someone else.
This could work by selling products that compliment your own service or product offer. For instance, if you sell Health & Safety consulting services, you could become a reseller of safety equipment, benefiting your customers by providing a ‘one stop’ solution.
Building authority in your market niche with content marketing does take time, but through a creative repackaging of your talents you can make that investment give something back to your business.
In the next post, we’ll look in-depth at one piece of content that can attract prospects, build your marketing database and exist as a standalone monetised product: Easy e-books for content marketing.
If you only take up one or two of the suggestions that the author has given here then it can provide you a tidy little background income.
And this steady background income is always useful to help you through the peaks and troughs you always get in this type of business.