Context is the king
How many times have we heard "Content is KING"? There is no denying that content is important but keep in mind that we are producing enough content every 48 hours that is equal to ALL the content since the beginning of time. That's a TON of content! How do we stand out in the sea of info that is out there today?
A lot of people will say the answer is SEO and one of the most-read articles on my site is the article on 7 SEO tips for your blog. People are constantly trying to find the right strategies to inch their way to the top of Google search.
Yes, it's definitely important to use techniques to get your site moving up on search engine results pages (aka, SERP), but even more important is providing quality, relevant, well written content that people actually want to read!
If done correctly, SEO honestly shouldn't actually affect the content of your blog. Are you surprised to read that? You probably know people who would argue with you about your keyword density and the like but as Google keeps changing and refining its algorithms, it has become more and more challenging to "game" the system by using artificial techniques of adding keywords to an article to make it more likely to end up at the top of a Google search.
Instead, Google has become more context sensitive and as a result, the old king of "content alone" has been overthrown!
Actually, that's only halfway true. Context and content work together to provide an ultimate value experience for your audience – it's marketing magic. Without one or the other, something will be lacking and your marketing will suffer.
Without providing useful content, well, your audience really doesn't have a reason to find you and stay engaged with you over time.
But even if you are providing useful content, you won't have the impact with it alone that you would by providing it in the proper context.
What Is Context Marketing?
Because everyone has been focused on content alone, I know that shifting focus to context can be a little confusing. (As if we needed something new to learn in social media, right? <grin>)
So let's talk about what context marketing is. Context marketing is a way of presenting your content positioned in a way that provides the most value for your audience. It's like putting a display of Kleenex in the middle of the cold and flu remedies at the drug store. It's like the way Amazon suggests books you might be interested in based on the items in your shopping cart, its knowledge of what you've been interested in during your previous visits, and the patterns of other people who bought what you're currently purchasing.
In short – context marketing is the practice of knowing your audience so well that you know what knowledge, products or services will be incredibly valuable to them. No fluff, no muss, just VALUE.
Context marketing done right doesn't feel pushy. It feels valuable, useful, and helpful.
How Do You Use Context Marketing Effectively?
The very best way to use context marketing effectively to benefit both your customer and yourself is to know your customer as precisely as possible. (And in reverse, if you don't understand your customer precisely, you will never be able to provide effective context marketing.)
How do you know your customer?
By engaging them on social media. (You had to know that was coming, right?) But seriously – social media is the number one tool for getting to know the precise interests, needs, and challenges of your ideal client so that you can provide exactly what they need - and be their hero in the process!
I've said this over and over again and while many people get it, I still see people and brands of all sizes that still don't get it. Just broadcasting your message on social media without engaging people (providing content that is out of context) isn't useful and can actually hurt your brand. It's seen as spammy, intrusive, and no one likes being on the receiving end of a sales pitch.
On the other hand, providing information that is set in the proper context to solve your ideal client's problem (providing how-to information, providing inspiration, providing hope, providing humor, providing connection, etc.) establishes you as credible, useful, and authoritative. It also increases their desire to do business with you in the future.
Content alone is dead – CONTEXT IS KING! Long live the king!