“Content marketing” is a rather broad term, and it gets thrown around a lot in the online marketing world. But what is content marketing, exactly? Where does it fit into your overall marketing efforts? How can you create an effective content marketing strategy? And what are some examples of content marketing at its finest? Keep reading to get answers to all of these questions, and see why, when it comes to marketing, content is king.
What Is Content Marketing?
As defined by the Content Marketing Institute, “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.”
That’s really just a fancy way of saying content marketing is putting the right content in front of the right people in order to get a desired action from those people. This differs from traditional marketing because the content you provide is not merely promotional materials; it’s content that is useful to your audience in some way.
Where Does It Fit In?
So, what is content’s role in your overall marketing efforts? When you think about it, the answer is quite clear: It’s the key to all marketing. You need content before you can develop a social media strategy. SEO relies on quality, consistent content for rankings. Your PR efforts should focus on creating content of value to customers. Inbound links must be within some kind of content to have value. Even paid advertising efforts, like PPC, need great content behind them.
Look at anything a business shares online, and you’ll see examples of content marketing in action. Effective content marketing can provide you with more loyal customers, reduced costs, and increased sales, making a solid content strategy the cornerstone to all of your other marketing efforts.
Developing a Content Marketing Strategy
Now that you know the value of marketing with content, let’s look at how to actually create an effective content marketing strategy. First, it’s important to know that contenting marketing and a content strategy are two separate, but related, things. As defined above, content marketing is, at its core, a marketing effort. But content strategy is all about the creation and management of the content your business will use. It involves planning the content throughout its lifecycle, aligning that content to your business goals, creating it, analyzing it, measuring its success, and more.
This is where you should begin. Plan out your content in as much detail as possible. What kinds of content are your customers interested in? How can you provide that content? What topics should you cover? What content formats are most effective for each topic? The list goes on, but the more detail you can put into your content strategy, the more effective your content marketing will be.
You’ll want to ensure that you are supplying content for prospects in every stage of the “sales funnel.” From initial interest to making a purchasing decision, there should be content for every person visiting your site or viewing your content. Examples of content marketing for people in your sales funnel might include:
Blogs about your business to increase brand awareness
In-depth guides that offer advice to nurture warm leads
Detailed pamphlets about your products or services for those considering making a purchase
Content should also have a role in retaining your customers and increasing customer satisfaction, which might include providing newsletters with important information for current customers, and other content marketing examples.
Once your strategy is in place, it’s time to focus on the marketing aspect of it. If you’re not sure where to start, look around for some content marketing examples that you can emulate. You might look for a campaign that shares a similar voice to the one you’re shooting for with your own company. You might look for content marketing examples from your competitors to see how they’re selling similar products. Once you have some ideas, start marketing your content.
It’s important to note here that consistent content is key to a successful content marketing campaign. Consistent content allows you to develop a strong brand voice, makes your business more relatable, and helps you to connect with customers. So, across all of your content channels, make sure you are providing a consistent content experience.
The Bottom Line
The key takeaway here is that, when it comes to marketing, content is king. Before you focus on any other marketing efforts, you should focus on developing a content strategy, creating quality content, and marketing the content to your ideal demographic. For more examples of content marketing in action, contact Platinum Passports Marketing.