What Is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is simply creating and sharing valuable content (online materials such as videos, blogs, social media posts) to attract, acquire, and engage a target audience with the aim of driving customer action.
In other words, it does not explicitly promote your brand but it’s intended to stimulate interest in your product/services.
Why is it so Important?
The points below are just the tip of the iceberg.
Anyone can use content marketing to their advantage to:
- Give relevant information that your customers are seeking
- Build a community of loyal leads
- Improve SEO and hence Google ranking
- Increase brand visibility and popularity
- Position your business as an industry expert and leader
- And also add brand value to your product or service
So Why Are Most Companies Using CM?
Companies these days are doing so well in their businesses with the help of content marketing and there are vast reasons why companies are using it.
Basically, these reasons are the same as in the case of any other marketing practice.
It does not come as a surprise that practically every company aims at winning customers (or maintaining the existing ones) and, as a result, at increasing the sales of its products and services.
All actions within marketing are focused on this very goal.
Content marketing is no exception.
However, if we assume that generating income is the objective, we will easily come to a conclusion that is too obvious.
Specifically, in the context
of the budget of marketing actions, you must be perfectly aware of what the money is spent on and what effect you can expect.
The major objectives of marketers who decide to launch content marketing are as follows:
- Increasing brand awareness
- Lead generation
- Converting leads into customers
- Building the image as the industry leader
- Customer engagement
- Customer retention
- Website traffic
Depending on the approach, the objectives can be defined more or less precisely.
Some marketers agree that generating leads and converting them into customers are completely different actions.
However there is a lot of truth in the opinions of those who simply breakdown the objectives into three different categories:
- Higher Sales
- Customer Loyalty
- Brand Recognition
This list (whether in the short or full version) seems familiar, doesn’t it?.
After all, everybody wants to sell a lot and be recognized within the industry.
Here the key question arises if the objectives are the same as the ones of the traditional marketing, then why content marketing?.
No need to look for the answer.
Traditional methods do not always correspond to the real needs of the businesses.
If you carried out a survey checking which of the above marketing objectives are not important for the company, you would learn that, regardless of the industry, company and market size or the turnover, everybody wants to sell and be recognized.
We also know that, if several companies try to win the customer, this is quite a challenge.
Bombarding customers with advertising content is becoming less and less effective.
The human brain becomes resilient not only to the number of outdoor messages, but also the more or less classic forms of display.
People are noticing more and more ads but a number of them keeps dropping.
Customers also hate spamming, whether public or private with such messages.
Yet after all, the marketer wants the best for customers.
The marketer just want to let you know about a new chance you’re missing out.
Like a hundred other marketers in a hundred other industries.
Consequently, the classic marketing often turns out to be ineffective.
In principle, it focuses on the direct message put in front of the customer, which stands in their way.
It aims at stopping them in their tracks even for a moment and forcing them to react to the offer.
While reading e-mails from our colleagues, we need to filter the promotions, and while visiting our favourite websites, we must look for the content among the aggressive banners.
Benefits of Using CM
Content marketing has many benefits for online entrepreneurs, did you know them?. Here are a few of them.
a. More Inbound Approach
Content marketing is one of the tools of inbound marketing.
As we mentioned earlier, it is a situation where a company strives to draw the attention of potential customers by providing them with quality content.
These actions are effective only after some time, as it is not easy to build one loyal group of recipients who we can expect to buy our product.
Companies applying the inbound solutions are considered as places where the real experts of the industry work.
What comes with it is that the customers are more willing to spend their money on organization which they perceive as professional.
For the customer, the very moment of “getting to know” the company and its offer is much more pleasant, as it comes without the hard sell.
Building the company image based on inbound marketing is surely an action worth dedicating some time.
b. Customer Engagement and Innovation
A customer interested in the given subject is an engaged customer.
Logically, any person reached by content marketing must be interested in the subject which the content relates to.
Interest does not mean already a potential purchase, but one person who voluntarily subscribes to the company blog is a more valuable lead than a hundred recipients of e-mailing.
If our recipients regularly read the contents which we provide, then in their eyes we are the experts and innovators of the industry.
This is often decisive when it comes to a purchasing decision.
The reach achieved by whisper marketing is an extra gain.
People who frequently take part in webinars that we organize, will sooner or later spread the good news.
Meanwhile, it is hard to count on the recipient of our e-mailing or brochures to become our ambassador.
c. Search Engine Optimisation
Probably everybody knows “SEO”. It involves actions aimed at affecting the processes of content search on the internet in such a way that internet users encounter our content as often as possible.
A situation when the customer googles the name of our industry or a term referring to it and our website is in the front position of the search results, it seems to be the utmost accomplishment.
Obviously, in times of huge competition almost in every sector, it is really difficult to achieve.
There are numerous myths on how the suitable website software can help to achieve such a result, but the truth is just the opposite.
Indeed, an unsuitable preparation of the website does a lot of harm, but a suitable one does not help.
The proper SEO actions ensure a good starting position to achieve excellent results, but the latter depend on the content.
Keywords, metadata and efficiently and clearly written codes are friendly for the robots whose aim is to evaluate the usefulness of our website, but this is not enough to deal with the key issue.
The robots give a high index to the websites which offer good content.
How Do They Do This?.
They automatically analyse what is on the website.
As they are not able to evaluate the content quality in terms of the subject matter, they check whether the visitors forward the content (e.g. by placing a link on a thematic forum or in the social media).
Thanks to content marketing, which is based on nothing else but creating and publishing interesting content, a static company website can become livelier and increase its index significantly.
d. Better Use of Company Resources
In many organisations, knowledge about tools as well as resources goes waste.
Companies often prepare data for industry reports, but do not always have an idea of how this data can be used beyond the in-company circulation.
Meanwhile, if it is properly processed and described, it can constitute a perfect and most importantly a white paper.
Others willingly apply the tools in video conferences and they do not realize that often a tool used for the purposes of in-company meetings can be useful also as an online seminar tool.
The conclusion is that we can make a better use of our knowledge and other resources which we already possess and which in big part have not been used so far.
The argument for this kind of use will convince everyone lower operating costs and a better marketing effect.
It cannot be assumed straight away that content marketing allows creating “something” out of “nothing”, but the preparation and launch of a campaign in a way forces us to analyse the resources and think about what we can get out of them and what extra costs we will need to incur.
This way quite a few managers who were convinced that they perfectly knew their company discovered completely new areas.
Here are some tips to create good content. Your content should:
- Entertain – Create quizzes, competitions, games and branded videos
- Inspire – Use celebrity endorsement, community forums and reviews
- Educate – Provide guides, infographics, trend reports, press releases, articles and ebooks
- Convince – Promote events, meetings, product features, case studies, interactive demos, price guides, calculations and webinars.
The Rewards From Content Marketing:
- Increase traffic to your mom website
- Your customers become ambassadors
- Stronger relationship with your customers
- Positioning as a thought leader
- Fewer customer service enquiries or complaints
Do’s and Don’ts of CM
- Write with passion
- Be helpful and provide value to the reader
- Always measure – What Works or not
- Be visual – Add images.
- Neglect preparation – Craft with time
- Don’t just focus on yourself, focus on your readers and audience
- Don’t over pitch – leave simple offers away from the content.
Finally, without content marketing you are losing lots of sales in your business, it is the only way to spread your brand across, generate leads and buyers.
So make good use of it while you can.
Here are more content marketing-related posts you should take a look at:
- Strategy of Content Marketing: 21 Tips to Skyrocket Your Affiliate Sales
- The 7 Powerful Content Marketing Strategies You Never Knew
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