While traditional marketing is not yet dead, it is almost there. Year after year, marketing strategies like direct mail and billboard ads are less profitable. And for good reason: consumers have a lot more options and information to use when it comes to making purchasing decisions.
Content Marketing Defined
It is a marketing technique that started to gain popularity in the 1990s when the internet started to take off. It’s about creating content that your target audience finds valuable, promoting it to them, and getting them to act in a profitable way for your business.
What makes it such a powerful marketing strategy is twofold. First, with the internet, it’s incredibly easy to scale a content marketing campaign and reach hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of people. Second, by offering valuable information to your target audience, you build their trust and they will eventually reward you for their loyalty. This is a fundamental law of social psychology known as the principle of reciprocity. He says we feel obligated to repay others when we get something from them.
Examples of content marketing
Many people hear “content marketing” and automatically think of “blogging”. Well, this is one form of content marketing and arguably the most popular. However, there are many different mediums that you can use to launch your marketing campaign. Here are the first four …
1. Blogging: Blogs are often the “heart” of the content marketing machine. They can serve as a home for all other methods. The best part about blogging is that you own and control everything. They are simple to set up and can be easily integrated into your current website. Integrating it into your site gives you the ability to track potential prospects and guide them to your marketing funnel.
2. Infographics: As one of the best mediums for visually representing data, infographics can be an incredibly powerful content marketing tool. Why? They give the reader the option of using that same image on their site with an attribution link to your website. This not only generates referral traffic but also helps boost your site’s SEO.
3. Video: Just like computer graphics, the power behind what makes video powerful is that it is a visual medium. If you are thinking to yourself, “I have no experience creating videos,” don’t worry. You don’t have to be an expert videographer or editor. As long as you have a phone with a camera it will be fine. Here are some great video content ideas to get you started.
4. Guides: More than ever, when people search for information, they are bombarded with solutions. In order for your content to “win” them, it’s important that it’s the most valuable. To do this, you can create an ultimate guide that walks the reader through everything they need to solve their problem from A to Z.
How can you use it?
Now the important part – how can you leverage content marketing to grow your business? It’s simple, really.
First, start with your goals. What are you trying to accomplish? Do you want readers to sign up to your mailing list, fill out a form, or call you? Don’t expect them to immediately buy your product after committing to the content you create. Instead, use content marketing as a way to onboard them as a lead and get them into your marketing funnel.
Second, determine your strategy. Who is your audience and what form of content would best suit the purpose you want them to achieve. Let’s say you are a restaurant. You would probably choose to create a video rather than a blog post because you will want your target audience to see the delicious meals you create.
Third: create your content. Detail is essential when creating content. You want to do your best, so don’t take any shortcuts. If you are having trouble creating the content yourself, freelancers are there to help.
Finally, promote like crazy! The reason many people fail in their content marketing efforts is because they don’t promote their work. You should spend as much time (if not more) marketing the content you have created as you do creating it.
Content Marketing, When Used Correctly, Can Be A Marketing Strategy.
It is not necessarily a “technique” but rather the culmination of various digital marketing strategies: blogging, social media marketing, SEO, etc.