The world is changing and so are consumers. In fact, they’re on to us; us being marketers. Consumers have learned to “shut off” what we consider traditional marketing. Think about it: they have DVRs to skip television commercials, they stream music online instead of listening to the radio and they purchase subscriptions to those music services so that they don’t have to listen to ads. They’ve even shut us off mentally. Consumers are now able to surf the web without paying any attention to banners or buttons. So, since traditional marketing is becoming less and less effective, what do we do? Insert content marketing.
What is Content Marketing?
According to the Wikipedia definition, Content Marketing is:
Any marketing format that involves the creation and sharing of media and publishing content in order to acquire customers. This information can be presented in a variety of formats including news, video, white papers, e-books, infographics, case studies, how-to guides, Q&A articles, photos and more.
What is the Purpose of Content Marketing?
The purpose of content marketing is to attract and retain customers with relevant and valuable content. But this isn’t a once and done sort of thing. Content marketing is constant. It is an ongoing process that should be integrated into your overall marketing strategy. Think of it this way, content marketing is your way of communicating with your audience without selling to them. Don’t get me wrong, that is your ultimate goal, but content marketing is what fosters that goal. Instead of pitching your product or service you are giving your audience relevant and valuable information that not only makes them smarter but sets you apart as a thought leader. Ultimately, you get rewarded with their business and loyalty.
Content Marketing is the Future of Marketing
Or is it? I’d like to think that it’s the present. Any marketing is impossible without great content. What about social media? You may get them to click with some interesting tweet, but what happens if they get there and it’s just some blog post you’ve half-assed to get some traffic? They’ll leave and you’ve just lost a potential customer. What about SEO? Search engines reward businesses that publish quality, consistent content. I mean let’s be real, that is why I decided on this topic to write about today. We are a training company and I want people to know about our Content Marketing training course. In order to do that, I have to produce quality content around the topic of content marketing. How about PPC? For your ads to work you need great content behind it. It’s just like social media. You can write a great ad that gets clicks, but if they land on a page with crummy, poorly thought out content, you’re going to lose them and you’ve just lost money on that worthless click.
Content marketing, when done right, will make your audience feel closer to your company. It will give them a personal connection and you the status as a knowledge leader needed to develop the trust consumers need to feel like they’re making better decisions. At the end of the day, you should be thinking about one thing with every bit of content you produce: will your customers look forward to receiving this piece of marketing?