What is content marketing?
When people perform a search or visit a website, they’re looking for relevant, high-quality content – which may or may not include information about your product.
Content marketing is a strategic marketing technique that marries the consumer’s desire for high-quality content and your desire to attract your target audience and, ultimately, make a sale.
At its core, content marketing is the practice of creating and distributing text, imagery or video content that is entertaining, informative and helpful to potential customers. Whether you work for a global company or you’re a one-person shop, good content is good for your bottom line. Content marketing can help grow your business through:
- Better lead generation. When customers are impressed with the quality of your content, they’re more likely to share their contact information, either to access more content or to learn more about your product.
- Increased name recognition. High-quality, engaging content is imminently shareable. The better your content, the more likely your current customers will want to share it with their peers – which not only increases brand exposure but also gives potential customers a reason to trust your brand.
- Greater customer loyalty. While often touted as a means to acquire new customers, content marketing is just as effective at retaining current customers. Tracking what types of content your customers consume gives you a better understanding of what resonates with your target audience. In turn, more focused, valuable content engages your customers beyond the initial point of purchase and keeps them coming back for more.
When should I use content marketing?
A good content strategy can serve as the cornerstone of nearly any marketing plan – and the best time to start incorporating content marketing is now. These four tips can help you get started:
- Define your goals. As with any marketing plan, you’ll want to determine what it is you want to accomplish with your efforts. Don’t simply start churning out content because “Content is king.” Be intentional.
- Determine what type of content is appropriate. Depending on your overall goals, you’ll want to develop a variety of different content. Webinars and e-books are useful for certain industries – think marketing, manufacturing, and logistics – but other industries may lend themselves to a different medium, such as blog, social media, or video content.
- Distribute your content. In addition to creating content, you’ll need to determine the best way to disseminate it. Does your target audience primarily receive content via social media? Email marketing? If you don’t know where your audience lives, you won’t be able to reach them.
- Don’t forget to optimize. Once you’re up and running, you can use analytics to track your progress and adjust your content accordingly. Your customers will tell you what’s working and what isn’t through their engagement.