At a time when misinformation spreads just as quickly as the real thing, it’s important to take information from all but the most credible of sources with a hefty grain of salt.
Take content marketing for example.
Judging by the hype that’s out there, anyone would think this increasingly important form of marketing came shortly after that other relatively recent arrival on the block, social media.
But that’s not the case at all.
An old dog with new tricks
As I’ve pointed out a number of times previously, content marketing has been around since a business operator or spokesperson wrote a regular column in a newspaper, or held a seminar, or had a regular guest radio spot, or even printed and distributed a newsletter.
In other words, it’s been around an awful long time.
But what the internet, and more recently social media, has done for content marketing is give it powerful new wings.
First email, then websites, and then social media have provided content creators with the tools to reach audiences that were only possible via mass media means just a decade or two back.
Better still, they have also given wings to promoting “traditional” content as any event organiser will happily confirm.
Minimal barriers to entry
The best part of this evolution for smaller business operators is that most of these distribution channels can be started and grown at no, or at least little, cost.
A blog can cost you nothing. Likewise, email and membership of the various social networks. Search engines don’t charge a cent to crawl your blog or social network to increase your prominence in their listings.
In other words, your entry costs can be absolutely nothing but the time you invest into setting up and maintaining them.
The ramifications of such low entry costs are massive for smaller organisations.
Get your free connections!
Whereas before businesses would have to purchase expensive mailing lists or advertorial to get their message to thousands of people, now all it can take is time to plan your strategy, set up your channels, create your content, and distribute to what can amount to many thousands of recipients.
But probably the most important addition to this toolkit is the social media group.
This blog has banged on about groups for a number of years now, but all the hyperbole is worth every character of text dedicated to it.
Phone number audiences
When you consider that just one social media group can contain up to hundreds of thousands of members, it doesn’t take too much applying and creating good content to start to appeal to the kind of numbers previously well out of reach of most smaller organisations.
Admittedly, many smaller organisations struggle to create compelling content.
However, the numbers that can have access to your content—and the new business leads that creates—even make the cost of hiring a writer or editor to assist with this is money well spent.
Then there are the myriad other benefits of engaging in social media groups. But that’s the subject of another blog.
Are you tapping into this rich vein of new business leads?
In addition to being a leading eBusiness educator to the smaller business sector, Craig Reardon is the founder and director of independent web services firm The E Team, which was established to address the special website and web marketing needs of SMEs in Melbourne and beyond.
This article was originally published on SmartCompany.