Look around, content is everywhere! There’s content about products, events and experiences. There is marketing and campaign content. There is content generated by you, your friends and family.
News is content. Advertising is content. Companies have content writers. We are all producers of content.
Content is shared by billions of people around the globe daily. People share stories, photos, videos, music, thoughts and opinions creating real relationships and real connections.
The evolution of the digital landscape and social media platforms provides you access to a global audience and through the art of creating unique, valuable and entertaining content, we can easily gain the time, interest and attention of your target market wherever they may be.
Content marketing is about captivating, connecting with, and gaining the attention of your target audience – potential fans, tribes and followers – those prospects and customers who are interested in what you do, who you are and what you offer.
By consistently engaging with your audience, content marketing’s aim is to enhance your brand perception, nurture customer loyalty, boost interest in the products and services you offer, develop emotional capital with your audience and build long-term trust in your brand.
The key to marketing success in today’s marketplace is through the creation of a winning, long-term content marketing strategy that cuts through the noise (Google algorithms, billions of websites, blogs etc), with content that speaks directly to your target audience.
So, what exactly is content marketing?
According to 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”.
Simply, it is a digital marketing strategy where brands create specific, educational and informative content for their ideal customer persona and promote that content on a consistent basis driving organic website traffic, increase qualified lead generation, and building brand loyalty.
Content marketing is all about providing a strategic solution to a problem by sharing valuable, relevant and helpful content rather than directly advertising your products or services to solve your customers problems.
Content marketing is simply brand storytelling with a plan
Stories are known to influence our buying decisions and enhance brand loyalty through building our emotional connection to a brand. Powerful content must therefore attract, engage, and delight your audience.
The successful brands today are those who are focused on answering customer questions and problem solving with informative, interesting, engaging and emotional stories. This content has the power to draw those same readers into a brands respective marketing channels.
If your business demonstrates its expertise and subject authority by providing quality content to a target market, it is a proven perspective that customers are more likely to buy your products or services.
According to author and speaker Andrew Davis, “developing a content brand takes an audience-first approach to business storytelling that builds a loyal audience.”
Quality content equals success
As our commitment to content marketing grows and evolves, it’s timely to remind ourselves on the value it can bring to your brand. How effectively you communicate with your customers over time has a direct influence on their buying behaviour.
Content marketing assists you to sell your products and services but does not sell directly. Content that educates, entertains and informs your target audience is an effective way to market your brand and support your business goals (including selling).
By being clear on your brand’s ethos and merging your brand’s content and story you can build an emotional connection with your customers.
Establishing that connection with your audience is increasingly important in the age of transparent consumerism where today’s consumers buy products from those businesses who meet/fit with their own moral values and standards.
Customers are more likely to engage with a brand if there is sufficient trust built (trust equity).
A compelling piece of quality content has the power to inspire your customers to ‘take action’. To future-proof your business, quality customer-led content must be included in all forms of marketing. That is, content that is focused on your customer’s benefit, not yours.
To reach, engage, and convert new customers for your business, you must create content people want and lead them to a solution. (ie. website, blog, specified landing page, social media page etc)
It’s worth highlighting here that content marketing is a long-term strategy, and quality outperforms quantity every-time. The ability to strategically, frequently and consistently create high-quality content with your customers in mind, empowers you to indirectly sell effectively to your targeted audience.
It takes time but with the right approach you can position yourself as a recognised thought leader in your industry.
Content types which deliver brand success
Content appears in many forms. New mediums are always evolving however the preferred forms of content you should consider include:
- Blog posts (For best practice SEO, blogging should a priority as Google wants your website to be a publishing platform)
- Case studies
- White papers
- Web pages
- Guides and user manuals
- Social media posts, the list goes on.
You don’t need to use all types of content to create a successful campaign. Trial a few and measure your results. When creating a content marketing strategy and plan, it is far more beneficial to create less content but of a higher quality than large amounts of low-quality content.