What is content marketing?
The Content Marketing Institute, an online digital information resource on content marketing, defines content marketing this way:
Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
The definition focuses on valuable and relevant. This is how the definition of content marketing differentiate content for marketing from any other content (literature, music, yellow pages, etc.). The piece of content can be part of content marketing strategy if readers want to consume it and seek for it. And most important – content gives the readers some value.
Why use content marketing?
To fully understand why content marketing can be beneficial, we have to understand 3 step buyer’s journey. You can read more about the buyer’s journey here.
Before the buyer decides and buy the product, he goes through 3 steps in his buying journey:
A customer may have a need but is not aware of it. He has to recognize the need or a problem first.
- Research and consideration.
Once a customer is aware there is a solution to his problem, he will research and educate himself.
Finally, the customer makes the decision of buying or not and moves forward the buyer’s journey.
Se when preparing content, have in mind for which stage you are preparing it. Content should be prepared for each stage of the buyer’s journey. The same content is not valuable to all in the same way. Know who your buyers are and do not be afraid to prepare different content types for the same topic.
5 content marketing examples
The content marketing can be explained through different examples. Here we will cover 5 most common content sources, but that does not mean that is all there is. There all all kind of content, and we can build marketing around any type of it. My only advice for now would be, focus your content creation around your buyer personas and buyers journey.
Let us focus on these five most common content types: infographics, webpages, podcasts, videos and books.
- Definition of infographic by the whatis.com, TechTarget:
An infographic (information graphic) is a representation of information in a graphic format designed to make the data easily understandable at a glance. People use infographics to quickly communicate a message, to simplify the presentation of large amounts of data, to see data patterns and relationships, and to monitor changes in variables over time.
Read more about how to effectively use infographic for marketing campaigns. You can find an example of a great infographic for content marketing by copyblogger.com on the right.
Why your website must be an effective content marketing platform? It is critical that your website acts as the centerpiece, where content is created and traffic is directed to. If you send an email newsletter or post a blog on social media channel, they should all link to your website. Your website is where you want your leads to go to learn more about your products and services. Why? Because there you have full control over it.Your website is codependent on your content marketing strategy and vise versa. If they don’t work well together and support each either, neither will be successful in generating leads and converting leads into clients.Here are 3 good content web pages and what you can learn from them by Neil Patel.
Here are 7 reasons why you should start a podcast as part of your content strategy: it is convenient to consume, it increases your reach and grows your audience, it is inexpensive and quick to produce, it gives you a forum to interview experts in your industry, it helps you stand out from competitors, it builds trust with your audience and finally it helps acquire more customers.Here you can read an interview with the podcast guy, Dave Thackeray.
Video content is being consumed like never before. YouTube has turned into the second biggest search engine in the world. That’s right, not Bing or Yahoo, but YouTube is where people are searching on right after Google for everything. Recipes, product demos, how-to videos – you name it, they’re searching for it.
Gary Vaynerchuk is a master of content marketing using online video, just take a look at Gary Vaynerchuk YouTube channel.
You can use e-books as lead generation tools, offering your users the chance to opt in with their contact information in exchange for your information.I helps you earn more traffic and drive more revenue for your business. Writing an ebook also gives you the ability to showcase your authority on a subject in greater level of depth than a blog post allows.Example of good ebook usage: https://offers.hubspot.com/7-core-services-of-inbound-marketing-and-sales
Like this infographic? Get more content marketing advice that works from Copyblogger.
Those are just a few examples of content marketing. We could also have mentioned newsletters, white papers, ebooks, movies, apps, public speaking, presentations, and blogs.
They are all great channels for great content.
What is great content?
If you have ever struggled through reading a piece of marketing and only finished reading because you had to, then you have experienced bad content marketing. Marketing is impossible without great content. So useful content should be at the very core of your marketing.
The very essence of content marketing is adding value. That’s the secret! Have you ever caught yourself skipping an ad? Did you ever think about the reason why did you skip this particular ad? Because it provided little or no value at all. Content will be great, when your customers look forward to receiving your marketing.
How do I start practicing content marketing?
The easiest way is to start blogging. It will likely be hard at first, but the more you do it, the better you will get at it. Following tips from websites like Copyblogger you will quickly learn how to craft content for your website or blog that will engage readers and turn them into customers or clients.
If you are not sure how you can add value through content marketing, ask your existing customers what kind of content you can produce that would be helpful to them now, or would have been helpful to them when they were looking for your product or service. They will tell you.
Key takeaway …
Content marketing is educational. It is not about the products the company sells, it is about your audience and what they care about. Answering your audience’s questions is a key way to have a great content. You can use various types of content for reaching out to your audience, but if you are just getting started, I recommend you start with writing a blog.