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What’s Your Story? by Nicole Valentin

The 21st century is the age of content-driven media – Facebook, Twitter, SEO, YouTube and the list goes on. Because of this new trend, advertising has changed drastically in the past decade. That means your business can’t just focus on selling the product anymore. You have to capture  the consumer with relevant and engaging stories. Now, more than ever, companies are starting to see the need for content marketing.

So…what is content marketing? In short, it’s the act of communicating to customers and prospects without selling. What?! Not sell? That’s preposterous! Well, It’s not that you can’t sell. You just have to find another way to do it. With the invention of DVR, we skip over the commercials, banner ads don’t phase us and most of us don’t sit still long enough to even glance at a magazine. It’s time to restrategize.

Content marketing isn’t a new idea. In 1896 John Deere published its first customer magazine called The Furrow. Jell-O published a free recipe book in 1904 that led to over $1 million in sales in 1906. In the 1930s, P&G created a radio program with other soap companies called the “Soap Opera” which is the where the TV version from today. It’s all about delivering information that makes your buyer more intelligent. Great content equals more business and increased loyalty.

Still unsure of how content marketing can work for you? Not to worry, we have 4 tips for great content marketing.

  1. Don’t start big, start better. You don’t need to “go big or go home” trying to find one dazzling mega message. Focus on providing a lot of great information. Different types of content will appeal to different audiences.
  2. Don’t just share your own content. Sometimes new businesses make the mistake of solely sharing their own content. You must link to other marketers and interact through social media. By doing this, you’ll cast your net a little wider and build your credibility. The more you help other marketers share their content, they’ll help you in return.
  3. Focus on the story first. Content marketing is more like a marathon instead of an all out sprint. Focus on the long-term strategy of engaging your audience with great story. Whether it be an fb post, eblast or video, having a great story will naturally lead to lead conversion.
  4. Mix it up. Share a wide variety of content to keep your audience interested. Great content marketing makes a person think and behave differently.

Remember, it’s all about telling a story. If your business is involved in the community, tell us about it. Did you find something cool and creative and can help you and others like yourself? Tell us about it. If we like you, chances are we’ll like your business. So figure out what your story is and tell it to the world.

About Nicole Valentin

Nicole Valentin heads one of Tampa Florida’s most innovative advertising firms, NV Advertising, which she founded in 2010. Ms. Valentin graduated from USF's School of Mass Communications with a B.A. in Advertising and counts on over 12 years of advertising media experience. In her spare time, Nicole loves traveling, learning about world cultures and spending time with her family - especially her dog, Jake. You can find Nicole on Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

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