Content marketing is defined as the creation and distribution of valuable information (such as videos, white papers, infographics, blogs, etc.) that is aimed at the specific interest of an audience. More specifically, content marketing provides relevant and appropriate content to prospective and current clients to help them solve their specific issues. The word “value” sets content marketing apart from other forms of marketing or advertising. Rather than pitching products or services, content marketing focuses on delivering consistent, helpful, information.
Valuable content can be shared across all forms of marketing:
- SEO: Search engines reward businesses that publish consistent, high-quality, content.
- PR: Effective PR strategies should focus on issues that clients care about–not about their company’s products or services.
- Social media marketing: Businesses should develop and establish a content marketing strategy before their social media strategy.
- PPC and Inbound Marketing: These strategies require great content to be effective.
The core belief of content marketing is that if a business–large or small–shares valuable content, buyers will eventually reward this distribution of knowledge with loyalty and business.
Why Content Marketing Matters
There is a vast amount of data that demonstrates that content marketing is a successful strategy when implemented correctly. Generally, content marketing allows businesses to achieve the following results.
- Attract loyal customers. When businesses create content aimed at solving customers’ problems, they gain the attention of more loyal and committed customers. Furthermore, consistently strong content helps to build your company’s reputation as you are seen as a problem-solver.
- Develop a client-focused relationship. Businesses that create and share valuable content develop stronger brand recognition and market reputation.
- Decrease marketing costs. Companies that develop and execute a sound content marketing strategy actually lower marketing costs over time because content marketing builds on itself. Importantly, valuable, high-quality, content increases traffic and builds your relationships with your industry and your clients. Done correctly, and in time, content marketing helps lower your CPA.
- Boost sales. Companies that utilize content marketing convert prospects into customers because they educate potential customers about a variety of services or products, and also help them through the buying decision process.
Common Misconceptions of Content Marketing
The biggest misconception surrounding content marketing is that it can only be delivered via blogs. This is not the case at all. It is important to consider different types of content marketing in order to convey valuable content to potential and current customers. Some examples of types of content marketing can include (but are not limited to): infographics, podcasts, web pages, videos, whitepapers, and more.
People also believe that content marketing is only for SEO (search engine optimization); this is not true. While content is one way to improve your position in search engines, valuable content that people read and share with others will move your site close to the top of search results. When creating content, you can make it search-engine accessible, but focus on providing content that your target audience would find valuable.
Some people believe that content marketing is easy and cheap; this is false! Creating content that is valuable to your consumers requires a deep knowledge of the digital landscape, your audience, and, of course, your brand. You must spend the time and resources to develop a content marketing strategy to ensure that your content converts to successful business results.
Finally, there is a misconception that content marketing’s value is not measurable. A variety of tools, such as Google Analytics, allows you to measure data from your website, social media channels, and more. You have the capability of accessing specific results so that you can understand and assess how your audience interacts with your content.