You can’t avoid it ... you hear about it all the time. “Content,” is arguably the biggest buzzword in marketing right now. How does this fit in to the plethora of mortgage marketing activities within the business-to-business (B2B) and business-to consumer (B2C) marketing space? Content strategy and content creation need to be a part of the overall marketing mix as does your inbound activities.
What exactly is content? Content is actually an umbrella term that encompasses all marketing formats that involve the creation or sharing of content for the purpose of engaging current and potential consumer bases, according to Wikipedia. Content includes articles, blogs, e-mails, newsletters, videos ... you get the idea.
So what’s the difference between content marketing and inbound marketing? The cornerstones of inbound marketing include Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and a strong Web presence overall. Inbound focuses on getting found by customers. Therefore, content is an integral part of your inbound strategy, not subordinate to it. There is a symbiotic relationship between the two because compelling content distributed electronically is what allows the search engines to find you more easily. Without compelling content distribution, you will find it difficult to compete against many mortgage companies that are doing a really good job of it and can therefore be found online, allowing you to build the necessary trust factor between yourself and your constituencies.
I wanted to clearly identify the difference here because the term “content marketing” is all too frequently misunderstood as being its very own form of marketing, when it should be a part of your overall marketing strategy. Content marketing emphasizes the importance of content in attracting both consumers looking for a mortgage and referrers of business to mortgage companies. Good content is the strong thread that runs through all other tactical pieces of your strategy and essentially ties them together. If you cut that thread, the other pieces of your strategy can easily fall apart. Accordingly, your content can be viewed as an essential part of the overall marketing mix ... it reinforces all other communications you put out there which is inclusive of your outbound marketing tactics—direct mail, television spots and all other forms of advertising.
So, when you are executing your 2012 marketing strategy, make sure you pay close attention to how you will integrate your content and inbound marketing strategy with the other tactics you plan to implement over the course of the year. If you need help coming up with good content to distribute, there are plenty of ideas out there to help stimulate your thoughts to keep you from running out. Simply conducting searches on hot topics of interest using the Twitter search feature or setting up Google Alerts will take you far in this regard. By doing this, you can continue to educate yourself and, in turn, educate your constituencies by developing your own thoughts and opinions based on your findings and sharing them. This is not only fun, but it will clearly position you as an expert and ultimately drive them to your site and motivate them to call you.
Patrick H. Seroka is president and chief executive officer of Seroka, the only Certified Brand Strategists in North America specializing in the mortgage industry. With Seroka, you'll experience unique, second-to-none client service and benefit from compelling marketing communications. Plus, we guarantee your growth. For more information, call (262) 523-3740 or e-mail [email protected]