Content Marketing 101: What is Content Marketing?
When was the last time that you paid attention to an ad in your favorite newspaper or magazine? Do you know the last commercial that you actually sat through?
If you’re like most of us, you probably don’t remember. And, that’s because the days of traditional advertising are over. Ads in print, television, and the radio are ineffective advertising relics that aren’t going to hook potential customers and keep them coming back to a business.
That isn’t exactly breaking news, however. Innovative marketers have picked up on this trend years ago and have focused on content marketing instead. In fact, major brands like Microsoft, Cisco, Procter & Gamble, Toyota, Coca-Cola, Adidas, and John Deere have all embraced content marketing. Don’t worry. Content marketing can also be used by small businesses, just ask River Pools and Spas how effective content marketing has been for them.
Depending on which marketer or so-called guru you ask, there are a variety of definitions for content marketing. One of the cleanest definitions that I prefer comes courtesy of 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.”
As opposed to making a sales pitch, content marketing is an ongoing process that looks to change or enhance your customer’s behavior by providing them with content that they’ll find either educational or entertaining. Think of it this way. You’re engaging and interacting with your customers. Not yelling at them to buy your product or service.
You can share this relevant information with your customers through blog posts, videos, infographics, podcasts, white papers, and even interactive content like webinars or surveys.
Let’s say that you own an organic grocery store or a farm stand who has a large amount of customers who love delicious avocados. You could write the following article; ‘5 Amazing Avocado Recipes You Didn’t Know About.’ The article isn’t pitching the business. The store is providing its customers something useful that will engage and inspire them. When the customers do decide to make one of these recipes, which store do you think they’ll purchase the ingredient from?
On top of that article, the store could produce a YouTube video showing viewers how to actually make those recipes. Maybe they could also create an infographic that illustrates the health benefits of avocados. Again, the store has never been plugged. It’s all about sharing valuable information with their avocado-loving audience.
No matter the size of your business, or what industry you’re in, content marketing is an absolute essential component of your marketing campaign. Why? Because it’s the present, and future, of marketing. Most importantly, it works when you create quality content.
Keep in mind that you won’t see an increase in website traffic or sales overnight. Content marketing is an ongoing process that will include some trial and error.
To help guide you through this process, we’re going to provide a Content Marketing 101 series both here on Evolvor and our YouTube channel. Along the way, you’re going to learn about the benefits of content and some priceless tricks for you to try out.