Content Marketing

What is content marketing

Content marketing is a technique that focuses on creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to specifically targeted customers. The purpose of this technique is to help businesses attract, acquire and continue to engage members of their target audience. Content marketing should therefore have a positive impact on customers.

What can it be used for

  • Attracting new customers.
  • Acquiring new customers.
  • Engaging and retaining current customers.
  • Creating goodwill surrounding the company because of the focus on producing valuable information.
  • Improving brand awareness.

Types of content marketing

There are several ways that content marketing can be used.

1.Books

  • Books help authors get discovered.
  • Provided that the content written is relevant, it may also position the author as an expert in that particular field.
  • In turn, this increases the possibility for attracting new prospects to the brand.

2.Informational and educational resources

  • E.G. Blogs/ Whitepapers
  • These materials place a focus on exactly what the customer needs.
  • Producing a website or blog that caters to the interests and questions posed by a specific target audience will help establish trust.
  • E.G. Funnel Wiki (located on the align.me website) ensures that the public can have free access to tips and resources that will help them with B2B marketing.

3.Public Speaking

  • Public speaking allows a person to be posited as a thought leader in that particular field. This increases the possibility of attracting new customers.
  • Through events, they also gain a chance to make connections as well as network with likeminded individuals.

4.Posting Articles

  • Actual blog contributions imply dedication to the topic at hand.
  • Additionally, making ‘guest contributions’ to other blogs will also expose the business to other readers.
  • This is why it is important to create engaging content from the outset, as publications are likelier to feature an established author.

Five stages to Content Marketing

NB: Before engaging in these stages, ensure that you have planned a clear Content Marketing campaign, defined a specific target audience, and mapped out what you believe they would find most engaging.

1.Research/ Collation

  • Find useful information that is relevant to popular trends amongst your target audience.
  • Ask yourself what they would find helpful.

2.Organization

  • Ensure that your research is divided into specific, clear sections, and centered around specific themes to prevent any confusion.

3.Put materials together

  • Here is where you should start drafting highly engaging articles or posts, but ensure that you do not plagiarise any information.

4.Spread the word

  • Share your content on spaces likely to be inhabited by your target audience.
  • Publish on social media outlets like Facebook and LinkedIn.

5.Recycle content

  • Your content can be reused in the future by following the same process.

Differences between traditional marketing and content marketing

Traditional forms of marketing might come in the forms of advertisements or sponsored banners that have the tendency to interrupt viewership. The goal here is to engage the customer in direct selling.

On the other hand, content marketing focuses on producing legitimately relevant information that is distributed strategically. The main focus is to communicate useful knowledge to the customer.

With the proliferation of the digital age, traditional marketing is continuing to lose its effectiveness, as customers have become experts in avoiding the unnecessary adverts and noise that exist on the Internet. This is where content marketing comes in handy.

Advantages

  • Unlike traditional marketing, content marketing is tailored to focus on both attaining new prospects and retaining current customers. This makes it a long term tactic.
  • By focusing on providing valuable information to customers as opposed to solely direct selling, there is a better chance to forge a stronger, more honest relationship with the audience that is most likely to use the product or service.
  • Content Marketing allows the brand to be positioned as an expert in that particular field. This can lead to the brand image being strengthened.

How to share content marketing

As consumers become more demanding and knowledgeable, they decide when, how and where they want to consume their content. The source (whatever comes up first in Google) and the channel (blog, social media, news sites) used to deliver content are no longer of importance. It's therefore key to deliver your content via different channels, and make sure it's easy to share:

Software

There are many different types of software to assist with content management. A full list can be found here. The following are just a few examples of products that can help you create thoroughly engaging content:

Statistics

The following statistics were drawn from ‘Content Marketing Essentials (2013)’, by Mandloys Digital Agency.

  • Having a blog increases customer traffic by 55%.
  • 70% of consumers prefer to learn about companies and their offerings through articles (rather than advertisements).
  • 60% of consumers find a company more trusting if they know it has customized information.

Resources

  • Content Marketing Institute is a platform that has many resourceful articles on how to successfully utilize the technique.
  • Copyblogger is a great software and resource. The podcast has valuable tips in it about how to construct great content from some of the world's best copywriters
  • Issuu is a great resource for content and a publishing online platform.
  • In his Web Strategist blog, Jeremiah Owyang lists a range of Content Marketing software providers.

NB: For more detailed information on Content Marketing, please refer to Mandloys Digital Agency's excellent article. This can be found at the following link: http://www.mandloys.com/contentmarketing/