WHAT IS CONTENT MARKETING?

DEFINING CONTENT MARKETING

Content marketing is fast becoming the bedrock component of all organizations’ marketing strategies. While there are an abundance of articles being written about it, many people are in the dark about content marketing. And with the rise of media consumption across multiple devices, it’s not going away. But what is it?  And how can savvy marketers use this system to win new customers?

Before we get to that, we have to define exactly what content marketing is. First of all, let’s break it down and identify what marketing is and what we mean by content.

Marketing is how an organization creates value in the eyes of it’s customers and builds relationships with them.   As a result, they in turn capture value from the customer.  Mostly this value takes the form of profits and customer evangelism.  As in personal relationships that don’t end after one coffee or a single meal, customer relationships are ongoing.   So successful marketing campaigns doesn’t just engage with one article or video. They maintain a rapport and continually create value for customers.

We’ve all heard the phrase, “content is king.”  Though what do we mean by “content”?  Is an article or blog post content? Yes.  Is A video content? Yes.  Is an image content?  How about an infographic or podcast? Yes, yes and yes!  Content is everything; any media that is produced to be consumed by viewers or listeners.  Though the content in question is any communication material that specific customers respond to.

In short Content Marketing is the process of creating valuable, relevant media to attract, inspire and engage an audience.

WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES?

Content Marketing Challenges

Content marketing relies heavily on digital delivery. Whether it’s online news, streaming podcasts or on-demand video, most consumers get their information online.  Due to the abundance of information available to and directed at them, consumers often sift through hundreds of messages a day. Consequentially consumers attention grows steadily more scarce. And many businesses can find it difficult to cut through the noise.

Another issue is our multi-device world.   Customers move seamlessly from their smartphone, laptop, tablet, to a smart TV.  Because of this flow of nomad information, content must also be flexible.  Device agnostic responsive design principles have to be considered when creating content as well.  As a result, the media marketers release must look good not only on large screens, but small, and everything in between.

Lastly, customers are not only multi-device, they’re also multi-channel. So what do I mean by that? Basically, they are not only on Snapchat but  Facbook also, can be found watching Vimeo, sometimes on Twitter or found browsing Instagram during a short break.  There are many different information channels that potential customers are involved with.  Another challenge of content marketing is choosing the correct ones to use.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?

Content Marketing Benefits

The best content marketing helps businesses cut through the noise.  Because compelling content can provide thought leadership and brand differentiation.  Furthermore, if the media is thought-provoking, relevant, and entertaining customers will notice.  And that continued engagement has shown to elevate organization to the forefront of media channels and cement them as a trusted resource.

0%

of customers trust solutions that provide useful information—without trying to sell something

0%

of customers trust solutions that provide information and best practices for the tools they’ve bought.

What do the numbers above tell us?  Seems like the majority of consumers appreciate and trust organizations that create media that speaks to them.  By harnessing the power of consumer-centric communication, a business becomes trusted. As shown in Havas’ Prosumer Report, 78% of consumers think it’s somewhat or very important for a company to be transparent.  Customers want clear, open communications from the companies they patronize.

GETTING STARTED

Getting started with content marketing requires a strategy and some planning. First of all, marketers must make sure their content plan targets their specific audience.  Follow the five guidelines below to assure content is relevant to your audience.

  • Engage viewers where they are: Content should be created to be shown on the channels that customers frequent.  If it’s Youtube, make a video. If it’s a blog, write helpful articles.
  • Based on audience needs: Content marketing is about helping the consumer.  What are their frequently asked questions?  What are they interested in?
  • Create a narrative: People love a god story.  So, produce content that tells a continuous and interesting narrative.
  • Be purposeful:  Don’t create content for no reason.  So, whether it’s brand awareness or lead generation, make sure the goal is known.
  • Measure Success:  Content’s success or failure should be measurable.  Success may be measured in downloads or in increased social media engagement. From this attention, successful marketers figure out what speaks to their market.  Then they can replicate prior successes.

If you’re unsure of how to create content that engages, take a look at this video for helpful tips and tricks.

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