The Content Marketing Institute defines content marketing as,
“A marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”
To break content marketing down a little more it can be described by a way to communicate with your customer and prospects without selling. You’re providing something that sparks an interest in them, you’re not giving them a sales pitch. Evidentially it must translate into a sale, but your main goal is to find your target audience, give them useful information, and keep not only their attention, but also their business.
Blogs are often seen as the only form of content marketing. People sometimes lack that you need content marketing for social media platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn. Providing valuable information to your followers can eventually lead to business-to-business sales. Other forms of content marketing can include; infographics, webpages, podcasts, videos, and books. With content marketing, you’re breaking through the barrier of noise that ads provide. Content marketing can bridge the gap in forming trust and relationships. With trust, you will gain name recognition and provide after sale services.
The Content Marketing Institute recently conducted a survey. They found that eighty-eight percent of business-to-business marketers use content marketing. Along those same lines seventy-six of marketers use content marketing to reach their consumers. Out of the businesses using content marketing only one-third of them felt their efforts were effective. One aspect that most don’t recognize before diving into the world of content marketing is the long-term commitment needed for success.
Above we talked about building trust and relationships. These don’t happen overnight! Content marketing is a process. You must ask yourself a few questions before starting. Who is my target market? What information is relevant to them? How often should I post this information? All these questions are going to be different for every business.
Three key reasons that you should be using content marketing:
- See an increase in sales
- It will end up being a cost saver
- Retain customers who have more loyalty
Besides these three reasons it will also help other marketing strategies. Content marketing can also provide content for your social media. SEO’s reward businesses with good content. It will be a key part to driving inbound traffic and leads.
In conclusion, content marketing is the present and future of marketing. Companies are constantly sending out information, much of which is not relevant or of value. Content marketing has proven to be useful in markets with lots of competitors and advertising clutter. In the Content Marketing Institutes definition of content marketing – the key word is value. You must add value. We skip advertisements because when we see little to no value. Finding what will be valuable can be as simple as asking your existing customers what would be helpful to them now or would’ve been helpful to them when looking for your product or service.