The playing field has leveled. Bootstrapping entrepreneurs now have the same opportunity to reach the masses as a Fortune 500 corporation. The days of hiding behind a multi-million dollar advertising budget to sell sub-par products and services are over. The Mad Men era is behind us, it’s history. Entrepreneurs take a deep breath, relax, just be you and you will win. This is the zen of content marketing.
Content marketing is about building an audience of one. Content marketing is about creating a personal connection. Content marketing is about entertaining, while you educate. Content marketing is about advertising without advertising. Finally, content marketing is about turning your audience into customers.
This is the zen of content marketing
Building an audience of one
The zen of content marketing begins when you clear your mind and think of nothing but your audience of one. This is your one customer, your one twitter follower, or the one person reading your blog. Even if you have hundreds of customers, followers, or readers, you still must focus on the one.
Who is this person?
What is their age and gender?
How do they spend their time?
What do they like and dislike?
Why would they choose to do business with you?
Why do they like or follow you?
Why do they read your blog?
What is special about this person that makes you special to them?
Creating a personal connection
Once you know everything you can know about your audience of one, you then can create a personal connection with this person by finding your shared path to enlightenment. The path to enlightenment is supported by study and understanding.
You must create shared experiences while you study and understand the problems of your audience as you both seek enlightenment. However, this is not enough. You do not want to connect with them only through a “textbook” understanding of their problems. You must also connect with them by understanding their problems through your personal experience. This requires that you not be an academic, but a practitioner.
Then you must create conversations around these problems, showing not only understanding, but authentic empathy gained through personal introspection. This is the zen of content marketing.
Entertaining, while you educate
As you practice the the zen of content marketing, you must be aware of your audience’s present situation. Use this awareness to educate and entertain them with astute observations of the world impacting your shared experiences in the present moment.
Invite your audience to share tea with you over a webinar while you teach them about a new technique you have been practicing. Record that webinar and release it as a youtube video and a podcast. Transcribe that webinar and release it as a series of blog post and an ebook. This is the zen of content marketing.
Advertising without advertising
The purpose of advertising changes depending on the requirements of the situation. Advertising may be used for selling, branding, raising awareness, or educating. Make no mistake, the zen of content marketing is used for the same four reasons.
However, traditional advertising requires far too much heavy breathing and it’s too aggressive. The zen of content marketing is the exact opposite.
When practicing the zen of content marketing, you never want to exert too much energy. For the best results, it must come to you naturally. The zen of content marketing delivers all the benefits of traditional advertising without the stigma of being aggressive.
The zen of content marketing leads with shared experiences and problems, follows with education and entertainment, then closes with an opportunity to do business with someone you know, like, and trust. This is the zen of content marketing.
Turning your audience into customers
What makes the zen of content marketing work is the reality that we all want to do business with someone we know, like, and trust. When you practice the zen of content marketing, your audience will naturally get to know, like, and trust you. You and your audience will find harmony marked by rapport.
Once you build that rapport, you will only have to passively deliver a call to action that reminds you audience that you are also in the business to make money. And once you build that rapport, they will be happy to pay you.
To get your audience to know like and trust you takes time, but its timeless once you do.
This is the zen of content marketing.