What is Content Marketing & Why Do You Need It

If your business is looking to grow its customer base sustainably then this article is for you.

As time marches on, consumers are becoming increasingly jaded with traditional “push” marketing messages. Brands are seeing diminishing efficacy from traditional marketing methods and instead are focussing on a content-first approach to marketing, also known as content marketing.

Social Chalkboard

What is Content Marketing?

Content marketing is a strategic approach to create long-term and loyal customers through the creation and dissemination of interesting, value-based content that puts the user first.

By putting the user first and building a value-based relationship with them, the brands ultimate, long-term goal with content marketing is to positively impact its bottom line.

If you look at traditional marketing tactics like TV ads, billboards, and magazine ads – what do they all have in common? They’re all trying to sell a product to a general audience. The focus is on the sell.

On the other hand, content marketing takes a more personalised approach for your modern consumer. It focuses on delivering content that is relevant to a well-defined target market, that is consistent and that ultimately, drives a profitable purchasing decision.

This is a long-term strategy. Content marketing is all about building long-term relationships with consumers by providing them with high-quality content.

By the time the user is ready to make a purchasing decision, your brand ends up being front of mind for that user. Why? Because they trust you. This user trust derives from the sustained and consistently high content you’ve been sharing with them since they first engaged with your brands content.

Bill Gates once said that “content is king” and with 90% of consumers saying that online content has a major impact on their purchasing decision, we have to agree.

What are the Different Types of Content Marketing?

Content marketing comes in many shapes and forms. The trick is to find which form of content marketing is best for your audience. You will want to ask yourself “what is content marketing to my audience? What do they respond to?”.

To help boost your creativity, here are 5 content marketing suggestions to inspire you:

Blogs
Blogging is one of the most popular forms of content marketing for any sized business and for good reason, too! Blogging is not just a way to show consumers that your business is a knowledgeable and trustworthy source, but it has the power to boost your SEO ranking.

Blog posts are low in cost but can provide a high reward. It’s key to find a topic that your audience will relate to and pretty soon they will be sharing your content all over the web.

Videos
Video content marketing is seeing a huge increase in popularity in 2019. One of the main reasons is that it’s incredibly engaging and has the power to grab your audience’s attention quickly. In fact, according to Lyfe Marketing, ⅓ of online content is comprised of video.

It’s a great tool to get your message across quickly and effectively.

Visual Representations (Infographics and Quotes)
In the age of shareable content, it’s essential that your content marketing considers how “share-worthy” your material is. Pinterest is full of interesting infographics and inspiring quotes that direct users back to their websites.

It’s a great tool to get your message across quickly and effectively.

Infographic

Source: Pinterest

Visual content marketing helps users get a better idea of how valuable your service is or how your product works. If you decide to use visual representations in your content marketing strategy, keep in mind who you’re targeting. Think about what information would benefit from a visual aid and what topic would attract your ideal customer.

Downloadable Material
Having downloadable content acts as an incredibly strong lead magnet. Content such as case studies, ebooks, and checklists see great success rates in generating an email list in return for the content.

These types of material are all centred around valuable information. Valuable information is what drives users to sign up and trust what you’re selling. If your downloadable content isn’t valuable or doesn’t deliver on its promise, your brand loyalty and level of authority may decrease. However, when it’s done right, you’ve just gained yourself a loyal customer.

Social Media
It’s no secret that social media makes up an important aspect of any marketing strategy. Platforms like Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook allow businesses to grow their personality and directly interact with their target audience.

Facebook

How you use social media in your content marketing strategy plays a large role in how your brand is perceived. Each of your social media posts should have goals. These goals can be either to convert customers, to connect with customers or to direct traffic to your website.

Whichever goal you choose, it’s essential that your content remains authentic.

What are the Benefits of Content Marketing?

The benefits of content marketing are pretty clear cut. Primarily, you’re harnessing a marketing strategy that generates an active and engaged target audience. Over time a portion of this target audience will end up converting and become loyal customers of your brand.

Moreover, content marketing is incredibly cost-effective and offers outstanding ROI levels. Compared to traditional marketing strategies, DemandMetric has said that content marketing costs 62% less and it generates close to 3 times the volume of leads!

However, it’s important to note that your content marketing strategies won’t see immediate results. Like all good things, the relationships you build will take time. But when it does, you can expect to see an increase in website traffic and support for your other marketing tactics.

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With the rise in popularity for authentic brand content, instead of pondering “what is content marketing?”, it’s time to get strategising! Look forward to attracting and delighting relevant audiences that find value in your content and by virtue of the value they extract, they end up becoming loyal, paying customers.