What is Content Marketing?
Content Marketing: You have probably heard the term used multiple times in marketing circles but have yet to figure out what this is. Simply put, content marketing is advertising through conversation. It is the creation of original content designed to create an engaging, long-lasting relationship with your customers rather than a one-time ad selling experience through which the customer does not feel engaged. Content marketing answers the question of “what value can my brand create for my customers outside of what I sell?”, and answering that question by producing content to meet that need.
Though we have been met with the age of digital marketing, marketers have still found ways to use traditional tools such as public relations and advertising to reach their target audience. However, it is easy for large segments of a target audience to miss an ad or to choose to ignore a press release, and as such marketers need to find new ways of reaching them. One such way, is through content- compelling, informative, and engaging content, that is meaningful to the audience while still achieving the company’s marketing objective. The aim behind content marketing is to build a rapport with the audience by fulfilling a need for them, and through building the rapport, customers will be more likely to buy into what the brand is selling. It is simply meeting the customer where he/she is and taking them to another level.
How Content Marketing is done
To be able to effectively use content marketing, the first step is to understand your brand and what you stand for. Other than selling your product/ service, what is the overarching aim of your company, what is something the brand truly believes in? Secondly, get to know the audience, what are their interests, their needs, how can your brand meet those needs through content, and get their attention.
After figuring that out, the next step, and arguably one of the most important, is to create great content! The basis of content marketing is the content, the tool through which you will be reaching out to the audience. As a result, emphasis needs to be placed on making the content original, engaging, informative, and relevant to the time, place, and audience.
Because content marketing is a conversation between the brand and their customers, it creates room for the brand to listen to the customers. How are they relating to the content and how is it helping them. Through this conversation, you will find that the customers are helping you to decide what to do next. Think of it as a simple way of getting to know the market without having to do a survey.
Worthwhile benefits for your brand
The versatility that Content Marketing provides is an asset. The content does not have to be just words; it can be video, audio, images, etc. It is really about what the brand is trying to achieve, who the brand is targeting, and the best content to target this audience.
There is a lot going on in the marketing world, brands are increasingly trying to be seen and rise above the noise. The ways in which customers behave are changing. Gone are the days when a brand could put a product/service in front of a customer and they immediately want to buy or use it. Consumer behaviour is changing; they are making more informed buying decisions. As consumer behaviour changes it is only natural that a brand’s marketing behaviour must also change to keep up. Content marketing is a multi-faceted approach that has long lasting benefits, and does not have to cost your brand a fortune to implement. Think of it this way, great content creates a great customer experience, which creates greater returns for your brand.