Wikipedia (a reliable source we know) defines content marketing as:
“Any marketing that involves the creation and sharing of media and publishing content in order to acquire customers.”
Pretty vague. And that hazy notion is how many of our clients originally view content marketing.
But content marketing is so much more. It’s the new way to reach an audience overburdened and over stimulated by a constant stream of information and ads by reaching through cyber space and offering value directly related to their lives, building trust in your brand. And profit always follows trust.
A much better definition comes from the Content Marketing Institute:
“Content marketing is 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.”
Every market bulges with high caliber competition. What company wouldn’t want to separate themselves from the pack by becoming relevant to their consumers with the end result of “driving profitable customer action.” Now we’re talking business.
WHY DO I NEED IT?
It’s a digital world. Right now you are reading this article on a tablet, phone or computer. It has yet to be printed, never making it beyond the confines of a digital device. Look around, how many of your peers are on a phone, computer or tablet? Odds are, if not all of them, a high percentage.
It’s a digital world, but more importantly, it’s time to own some of that digital space.
We don’t mean just a website. While an important tool, a website is only one device in the digital marketing toolbox. What is drawing people back to your site again and again, keeping your business top of mind for when they need a mechanic, lawyer or vacation accommodations?
The secret ingredient, content marketing will help to:
- Separate you from your competition
- Establish you as an expert in the field
- Develop your brand
- Establish your digital imprint as a company that provides quality service
- Added SEO Benefits
Stay tuned for our continued Content Marketing series that unpacks each of the 5 main benefits.
In a world where traditional marketing borders are obsolete, and forms of digital marketing such as banner ads, are going unnoticed, the ability to directly engage with your audience, developing the opportunity to hold their attention (a priceless commodity these days) will provide endless rewards.
For example, if you have made it to this point in the article, we have already held your attention far longer than a Facebook post, tweet, banner ad or many times, the length of time someone spends on your website.
How is your brand working to stay engaged with your audience? Are you holding consumers attention and enticing them to interact with you longer than scrolling past your Facebook post?
WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT CONTENT MARKETING TO ACCOMPLISH?
We could just as easily start this as what not to expect: an overnight success. An e-mail that leads to instantaneously selling 40 products or an article that generates 40 bookings. It doesn’t typically happen that way.
Too many companies take a stab at the world of content marketing with 2 well-crafted e-mails, 3 blogs and a few social media updates, quickly abandoning their efforts when they see little return after a few attempts.
We understand the goal of marketing is to establish more customers, create more sales and ultimately add to the bottom line of the business. While it may be hard to put energy into efforts that don’t provide instant returns, most strong marketing strategies take time to develop a strong ROI.
Especially with content marketing, the key to developing a strong strategy and ultimately a strong return comes from remembering that it is a journey focused on establishing touch points to create a top of mind reference for when your customer needs your service.
Not only does content marketing help create a top of mind presence for your customers, it also helps to create a higher Search Engine Optimization (SEO) ranking, allowing you the opportunity to engage with potential customers. Google places a higher value on companies providing relevancy to customers, moving them closer to the coveted first page listings.
A content marketing approach developed strategically around your company’s goals will help you break through the cyber noise to your target audience, establishing you as a trusted expert creating loyal customers willing to share your content on social networks, recommend your products and purchase your services/goods.
Article by Alexandra Black | Brand Development Strategist