What is Content Marketing?
Today’s online audiences are constantly looking for information. They make buying decisions based on what they research about products and services.
Content marketing is the name given to the information that is searched online. High-quality, valuable content attracts, informs and engages an audience. It may not obviously promote a product or service, but it will provide interesting and relevant information that is useful in the decision-making and buying process.
Unlike other forms of online marketing, content marketing relies on anticipating and meeting an existing customer need for information; it does not seek to create a new need. Organisations providing custom content show they are interested in building relationships with existing customers.
What exactly is the content?
Content is information presented in a digital format. These formats are many and varied: webpages, news, video, whitepapers, e-books, infographics, email newsletters, case studies, podcasts, how-to guides, question and answer articles, photos, blogs, SlideShare, social media. The list goes on.
The choice of which format to use, or how many to use, or for what purpose, depends on what your audience wants. As always, it comes back to understanding your audience.
The benefits of good content marketing are:
People searching the web for answers and solutions see your brand
The information you provide establishes a connection that can be nurtured
- Regular, relevant content built up over time connects with more people.
Content marketing is an intelligent response to the new, relationship-based, buyer-driven, digital marketplace. When it works well, it results in outcomes such as:
- Learning and development
- Increased sales
- Cost savings
- Loyal customers.
Content marketing strategy
Giving away useful information for free is nothing new, but you need a strategy to implement the content.
- Why are you giving away information for free? Work out your reasons for creating content, the risks involved and your vision of what success will look like. You may already have a bank of content just waiting to be shared. Make an inventory of existing content and other resources or pieces of information that can be turned into content.
- What are your goals for your content marketing? Consider the obstacles you face and the opportunities you identify. Then look at the value you are looking to establish through the content.
- Who are your audience personas and content maps? Get close to your audience. What do they want? What are their needs? How can you meet them? Map out how they might come across you and why they might stay with you.
- What is your brand story? What ideas and messages do you want to communicate? How do these differ from your competition? How do you see the relationship with your audience evolving?
- What is your channel plan? This should include the platforms you will use to tell your story; what your criteria, processes, and objectives are for each one, and how you will connect them to present an integrated whole.
Contact us to find out how to engage with your audiences by creating and implementing your content marketing strategy.