If you’re familiar with digital marketing then you’ve undoubtedly heard this term before. While it’s prevalent in our digital age, it’s actually been around for a long time, and began getting popular in the 90’s. It’s meaning has obviously evolved a bit since then. So, what actually is “Content Marketing” and why should we care about it?
If we were to define it, it’d look something like this:
Content marketing means creating and sharing valuable free content to attract and convert prospects into customers, and customers into repeat buyers. The type of content you share is closely related to what you sell; in other words, you’re educating people so that they know, like, and trust you enough to do business with you.
Any marketer reading that definition would recognize that this is an important technique to master. We’re entering into an age where consumers want to be able to use their digital tools to interact, but still feel like there’s someone on the other end listening to them. This is why so many companies use social media mediums to open up a dialogue with their consumers now. Suddenly there’s a conversation between business and consumer that hasn’t always been. Most of us would agree, it’s a change for the better.
It’s important to distinguish, though, that content marketing isn’t simply posting a Facebook status. It comes before that; it’s understanding who you are as a company and what role that plays in your audiences’ lives. Once you figure that out, creating relevant content will be a bit easier. And consider this: if your content is really good, the consumer might even look forward to your marketing, they might even seek it out. It’s the difference between selling to someone and helping someone buy – one is intrusive and the other isn’t.
Most of us at this point recognize that traditional marketing strategies simply don’t work. We’re bombarded with print ads, commercials, pop-up ads, that we don’t even see them anymore. Beyond that, many of us actively try to remove ourselves from being exposed to them in the first place (I can’t be the only one who refuses to watch a YouTube ad in its entirety when given the option to “Skip Ad.”) Spotify uses ads against us to bully us into paying for Premium, which so many of us do because we hate ads that much.
The problem isn’t advertising or marketing. It’s delivering messages in a way that disengages consumers. If you need help structuring out a content marketing strategy, try visiting the Content Marketing website. They’ve put together a seven step process to help businesses get started.