The ‘traditional’ world of marketing has receded. People are harnessing the ability to skip forward during television adverts. We have learnt to ignore an advert in a magazine. More recently, people have become so adept at ‘surfing’ the web that they have become desensitised to banner advertisements and call-to-action buttons.
The sole purpose is to grab your audiences attention online. But how do you achieve that in an online landscape where some techniques have been rendered practically obsolete?
Any smart marketers understand in full that traditional marketing is becoming less and less effective every day people are browsing online. It has been recognised that there is a much more cost effective and efficient way to achieve more significant results.
*Queue* Content Marketing.
But what is content marketing, and how is it truly defined?
Content marketing is the creation and sharing of valuable, relevant and consistent content in order to attract, acquire and retain customers. The objective of content marketing is to add value and ‘intelligence’ to your given target audience in such a way that it drives profitable customer interaction.
Content marketing is dependent on creating and curating relevant and valuable content with intent to enhance or change consumer behaviour. This is an ongoing process and it is best integrated into your overall marketing strategy. It focuses on the authenticity of media, not temporarily leasing it from another source.
In basic terms, content marketing is the skill of communicating your prospects to your customers without selling. Instead of constantly pitching your services or products, you are instead delivering information that makes your buyer more intellectual. The core of this content strategy is the belief that if businesses deliver consistent, ongoing valuable information to buyers – then ultimately they will be rewarded with their long term business and loyalty.
Content marketing is being used by some of the greatest marketing agencies in the world, including IKEA, Coca Cola, Microsoft, Apple, Sky TV, Unilever food solutions, Nestle and more. It is also largely executed by many small and medium businesses around the globe – And why? Because it has been proven to work! time and time again.
Content is the Future of Marketing
Companies send us information all the time – it’s just that most of the time it’s not exactly relevant or valuable. That is the difference between content marketing and the old ‘traditional’ information-pushing style of marketing which is now being left behind. This is what gives content marketing its respect and leverage in the industry.
In today’s world you still end up with thousands of marketing messages per person per day, but good content marketing makes a person stop, read, digest, think and behave differently.
Without Great Content – How are you Marketing?
Disregarding what type of marketing tactics you use, content marketing should be part of your natural marketing process. High quality content anchors itself deep in all forms of marketing:
- Inbound marketing: Content is essential to driving inbound traffic and leads
- SEO: Search engines positively enhance businesses that publish quality content consistently.
- PPC: To get the optimal rewards from PPC, you need great content to reinforce experience
- PR: Successful PR strategies touch on topics that readers care about, not just their business
Think of this – what if your customers looked forward to receiving your marketing communications? What if when they received it: via print, email, website, blog, they spent worthwhile quality time absorbing and digesting the meaning of your content?
Be confident & calculated with your content marketing strategy
In the grand scheme of things, content marketing is still a relatively new concept.
The general idea behind it is easy to understand: to create valuable content that attracts attention, builds hype, and establishes trust and credibility. As with everything new, there is a bit of a learning curve.
Effective content marketing involves content planning, content creation, and content distribution. Address the needs, interests or pain points of your intended audience.
For instance, if your audience consists largely of small business owners, then writing content on costly marketing techniques and automation software systems is quite likely going to fall short of their attention.
When creating content, don’t hesitate to be transparent with revealing your motivation. Your audience is usually able to quickly deduce what your motivation is anyway, and being transparent about it helps to build trust.
Note: It is easy to fall into the trap of producing content for content’s sake. If your content doesn’t tempt readers to the next stage in your funnel, it is unlikely that you will ever produce the results you are looking for with your content marketing strategy. You must know the journey that you are taking your audience on, and where exactly you intend for them to end up.
Remain consistent with your content in order to build up a respectable following, and to gain your place as an authority speaking to the industry, not someone who is merely talking about the industry. This is the genius that lays behind content marketing.
If you enjoyed reading this, have a quick read of these articles:
- Is Lead Generation Sales or Marketing?
- Do’s and Don’ts for Successful Lead Generation
- 5 Cliches in Lead Generation you should Avoid
- Tips & Tricks: Write a Decent Blog
- 5 Good Reasons to use Google Ads
- 5 Ways to improve your SEO ranking by Michigan Tech