What Is Content Marketing?
September 18, 2012 2:06 pm
If you’re living in the world where marketing and digital delivery intersect, then you’ve probably heard the term ‘content marketing’. Or maybe you haven’t?
Well, I live in that world, and am working with content on a daily basis. I’ve been doing it now for almost two years. I was thinking about that time span recently, and I had a little bit of a moment. It occurred to me that before I started working at Digital Relativity, I hadn’t even really heard the term content marketing. And I was a marketing professional.
Now maybe you’ve got your content totally dialed-in and have a strategy. But maybe you’re in that same boat I was a few years ago. Maybe you’re not even really sure what ‘content’ is, much less ‘content marketing’. It’s okay. This post is for you.
What is Content?
It’s such a simple definition that it almost doesn’t seem right. Content is basically anything that you create (text, photos, videos, infographics, white papers, case studies, blog posts, etc.) that you intend to share with your customers in some way.
But the philosophy behind this kind of content is not one of a pushy sales message. It’s of being a resource, an expert, an entertainer. Read on.
What Does Content Marketing Mean?
So you’re creating all this ‘stuff’, and then you’re putting it out there and sharing it for anyone to find. And when they find it, and deem it useful or educational or entertaining, then you’ve hit the sweet spot.
Joe Pullizi’s definition of content marketing is spot-on:
“Basically, content marketing is the art of communicating with your customers and prospects without selling. It is non-interruption marketing. Instead of pitching your products or services, you are delivering information that makes your buyer more intelligent. The essence of this content strategy is the belief that if we, as businesses, deliver consistent, ongoing valuable information to buyers, they ultimately reward us with their business and loyalty.”
It’s a simple concept, but one that many companies either fail to recognize or fail to implement.
Wait a minute, I’m already doing content marketing!
Yeah, you probably are. Especially now in the age of social media, more than ever we are all sharing and answering questions and talking to people. If you’ve ever snapped a picture with your smartphone, and then uploaded said photo to a company blog, Twitter profile, or Facebook page, then you’ve just shared a piece of content.
The difference is that if you have a content marketing strategy, then you’re purposefully creating stuff that will be helpful to your target market and current customers. You’ve got a reason for posting that particular photo. There’s some strategy behind the blog post you’re writing, and you’ve thought about keywords and placement and distribution. You’re sharing with a goal in mind.
Why Content Marketing Is Important to Your Business
Customers have more power now than ever before. They decide when they’re going to receive marketing messages. They choose when to skip tv commercials, when to go online, which brands to ‘like’, who’s allowed to call their cell phone, and who can email them.
When they do go out there to search for information, then the company that provides an answer to their question is going to win, every time. The company that provides entertaining content is going to win. The brand that educates their consumer is going to win.
Moving Forward With a Plan
So what should you do? You need to make a content strategy a priority for your marketing efforts.
Start thinking about the questions that your customers are asking you everyday. How can you answer those questions using content marketing tactics? How can you represent those answers in photographs, videos, an infographic, or a blog?
And then think about how you’re going to share your content. Which platforms, which outlets. Fold content marketing into your existing marketing efforts. Really examine and measure which pieces of content do well.
How are you using content marketing in your business?
Tags: authenticity, brands, content, content marketing, digital marketing, planning, social media, strategy
This post was written by Sarah Powell