We live in a strange and wonderful age. The internet is basically a modern-day genie, summoning whatever we want, whenever we want, and we’re not even limited to three wishes! But, unfortunately, the people doing the wishing are, you know, people, and sometimes people are terrible. Which is why it can be easy to get cynical about this thing called the Net. There’s a lot of hate, a lot of VERY STRONG OPINIONS, a lot of actual crime that goes down, and sometimes we just think to ourselves: ugh, the internet is the worst. Right?
I feel you on that. I understand that sentiment. But here’s the thing: The internet is also an amazing gift — especially for entrepreneurs. If you are reading this as a business owner right now, there is a decent chance your current business can only survive because of the internet. When we realize that, we grudgingly accept its existence — but only grudgingly. We maybe scorn or judge those ‘self-obsessed’ folks who just spend too much time on the interwebs.
Millennials, amirite? Always on a screen! Always so disconnected!
And yet, while you grumble about millennials, your 17-year-old neighbor shares a selfie with her 55k Instagram followers. That college dropout makes a video for his Youtube channel that happens to have over a hundred thousand subscribers. Some 19-year-old blogger sells a single sponsored post on her health blog for more than you make in a month.
Millennials understand one thing that older business owners need to grasp, and quickly:
Making great content works.
The internet might be a scary place, but it’s also a beautiful place — a place that gives you and your business a startling opportunity, unprecedented throughout all of history: you can reach whoever you want! Yes! You can actually be heard in almost any corner of the earth! You can find your target audience in just about any country, any province, any city! You can talk to them!
There’s just one thing you have to do, and this is what makes some business owners cringe. To actually reach your target audience on the internet, you have to…drumroll, please….
Create original content.
It’s so simple and so obvious, I honestly don’t understand why so many businesses opt out. There are dozens of platforms, hundreds of options, a seemingly unending plethora of opportunities for you to create content. You can blog, tweet, photograph, design, host live videos, produce narrative videos, write for Huffpo, make memes for Facebook, paint your face in Snapchat, lip sync, interview, prank, dance, cook, or even just smile — all of it is content. And, when used for your business, all of it is content marketing.
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