Content Marketing Explained
Content marketing sounds more complicated than it really is; at least at a 30,000-foot view. I was discussing content marketing with a new client, and he was not clear on what it was. In an earlier meeting with him, he had told me he came across one of our blogs some time ago. He then subscribed to our newsletter because he felt that most of the blog articles were informative and helped to explain things without trying to sell something. I explained that this is what content marketing is all about. Content marketing is the creation of content, which is informational, educational, made easy to understand but it should not be about the products and or services a company sells.
Providing concrete information that is well written builds one's brand. It strengthens brand loyalty and reinforces a company’s reputation for being knowledgeable. An audience will continue to come back to learn more as you provide them with pertinent information and when the time comes to buy, you will remain at the forefront of their mind.
Educational articles, e-books, videos, entertainment, and webinars that answer specific questions people are searching for provide them with something they can’t always find. By becoming a credible, authoritative resource on topics that matter to potential customers, your business is more likely to get discovered. When strong, relative content marketing reaches the right audience it creates loyalty and trust – which, in turn, strengthens your brand and the customer relationships. Content marketing will help generate an active and engaged subscriber base, and as a result, even increase its profits.
The content can be more than a blog or newsletter. You can make videos that will be of interest to your audience. One of our clients, Pavement Surface Coatings, creates time-lapse videos of their product being installed. They are fun and exciting to watch. They are a great way for them to show off their product without “selling” it. These videos are used as content on their social media accounts, YouTube channel, and as visual content on their website.
Any opportunity you might have to publish information on various social media platforms your blog, newspaper or magazine articles, other company’s blogs, or anywhere else is worthwhile.
Reasons marketers put the effort into content marketing.
To be found by potential customers
Search engines like Google and Bing are utilized constantly. Therefore, you want to be sure that you come up in the top results when users search for keywords related to your business. Providing those answers via videos, blog posts, e-books, and other content is a great way to achieve this goal. But, showing up in the results is only one step in the process.
One example is REI, the outdoor retailer. On their YouTube channel, they do a great job of providing content that is of interest to their audience. Topics range from “How to Break in Your Running Shoes” to “How to Assemble Your Bike at Home.” These videos provide great answers and advice. This content adds value and reinforces consumer brand loyalty.
To build an interested and engaged audience
Your content needs to attract and engage the audience to your brand, as well as the products and or services you provide. The goal is to establish a long-term relationship with you as subscribers, customers, advocates, or better yet, all of the above. Once you have developed an audience, you can then address content marketing that will increase sales, gain insights, and create evangelists for your brand.
New Customer Acquisition
Marketing is usually about generating revenue, and content marketing is a powerful tool. When you are able to build trust with an audience that wants to hear from you, they are more likely to convert to a customer.
To increase the revenue from existing clients
Content marketing is often used to create customer loyalty by upselling, or cross-selling, products or services. We often blog about trends in marketing, new services, or strategies and then share what we’ve written to our clients. For example, after posting a blog, we share it on LinkedIn and Facebook, and we send a newsletter with that article featured. This is done to engage our clients and engage potential new ones. It is also used to inform clients. A reader may not have realized that we offer a particular service and might be more inclined to reach out after learning about it. In short, content marketing is a way to share, educate and inform your target audience in order to build your business reputation as an expert in the field.