If you’re in the world of marketing or advertising, you’ve probably heard the term Content Marketing. If you’re reading this article, you may be a little mystified by what it actually means. Don’t worry, I am about to clear it all up and also give you some tips on getting started with becoming a content marketer.
The Content Marketing Institute, a great resource all things related to content marketing, defines it this way:
Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.
Just as the name implies, content marketing is a strategic marketing approach that distributes created content that is specifically designed to appeal to your target audience.
One key aspect of a content marketing strategy is that the content does not explicitly promote a brand or a product; rather it provides information that has some intrinsic value either for knowledge or entertainment purposes. In other words, if your content makes your audience either laugh or learn, then you’re probably on the right track.
What is Content Marketing?
Content Marketing may not be right for all companies but most will see some benefit as long as their goals are clear and the content strategy is one that achieves those goals. So, what’s in it for the businesses?
- Brand Awareness: Many companies, especially consumer-facing brands, can use content marketing as a means to generate brand awareness. The content itself may have nothing more than entertainment value to the audience but this interaction creates brand awareness, as long as the content is well branded.
- Audience Engagement: Content marketing can be an effective way to start a conversation. For example, you post a piece of content and the audience comments on it. This is an opportunity for you to engage with them.
- Thought Leadership: Some companies benefit greatly from being seen as a thought leader in their industry. After all most of us want to do business with the most knowledgeable and capable companies out there. Producing content that shows that you are the expert, goes a long way to positioning you as that thought leader.
- Lead Generation: Let's say you want to produce content that teaches your audience something of great value. It wouldn’t be too much to ask for a name and email address in return for downloading that content. This is the foundation of using content marketing for lead generation. The content itself should something the audience perceives as high value and if it is, they might be willing to provide their contact info to read it.
The Secret to Content Marketing
It’s really not that much of a secret and I’ve already alluded to it earlier in this article. The secret to great content marketing is to create value for your audience. If you’re not sure how you can add value through content marketing, ask your existing customers what kind of content would be helpful to them.
I’ll let you in on one more secret. In case you haven’t figured it out by now, this article is an example of content marketing. Does this mean you’re going to call me next time you need some creative designs or marketing help? Who knows, but I do know at least you visited my website and I’ve created more brand awareness for Clevr Designs.
How to Get Started in Content Marketing
First, you need a content strategy and an in-depth understanding of the audience you are targeting. Before you can create content for them, you need to know what they want.
The second thing is to go with what you know. Your customers often turn to you for your expertise so use that to attract more customers.
Next, you need to figure out what form of content is best to relay your message. Content marketing can include written articles, videos, podcasts, e-books, webinars, infographics, white papers or any combination of these. Create what you’re comfortable with.
Finally, just start creating. It may be difficult at first but pick a subject that you are knowledgeable about and start writing. Like anything, it will get easier the more you do it. If you’re still not sure, get help with your content marketing plan from a professional.