You’ve heard the term being thrown around by marketing gurus but what is content marketing exactly? While it might not sound like anything too different from what you’re used to in regards to traditional marketing, content marketing is actually very different. Let’s clear up exactly what content marketing is and how to know if your approach is working effectively.
Ok, so what is marketing then?
So, content marketing, in a nutshell, is written material that is educational, not promotional. Instead of writing about your brand, products or services, it’s content written for your audience and designed to teach them something about the industry you’re in. For example, a travel consultant might share a blog on how to score a free flight upgrade to business class. The blog doesn’t advertise the fact that they’re a travel consultant who can book your flight in business class, only how you might go about getting an upgrade. It’s educational and doesn’t push a sales message. It answers the question that travel consultant probably gets asked by their customers too. That’s content marketing.
What does content marketing actually look like?
An estimated 93% of B2B marketers use content marketing so chances are you’ve seen what it looks like without even knowing it! The most obvious form of content marketing is informative blogs that you find on a business’s website. Like the example given above, they answer a question potential customers are searching for online. Content marketing can also take shape in e-books, videos, infographics and webinars. Basically, any content that’s designed to answer a specific question and can provide your audience with educational information is content marketing.
As a business, what will I need content marketing for?
We’re glad you asked! Marketing is impossible without great, valuable content. Content marketing is the best way to turn your service or product into something different from everyone else’s on the market, no matter how common it is. By sharing engaging and educational information your audience wants to hear, your brand becomes credible and authoritative on topics that matter to your potential customers. It’s a great way to be discovered by the right audience and earn their trust and loyalty. Content marketing is a long term strategy that often works out more affordable than traditional marketing. In fact, content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about three times as many leads.
How do I know that the content I’m sharing is right?
First off, it’s important to remember that content marketing requires a lot of persistence and patience. However, it should be measurable. The right strategy should see your customer relationships grow and strengthen, traffic to your website should increase, your active and engaged subscriber base should grow and you should see an increase in open rates for your email newsletters. To achieve these goals, consistency is key. According to emarketer, 60% of marketers create at least one piece of content a day. That might sound like a lot of content. But if it’s valuable and something your potential customers are looking for, it’s going to be worth it in the long run.
Where can I find more valuable content?
There are a few ways you can go about getting the content you need for your business.
Write the content yourself: First off, you could write the content yourself. You’re the expert when it comes to your business and the industry you work in so it makes sense that you start blogging the answers to the most common problems and questions your customers have. Need help getting started? Read our article on how to write a blog.
Hire a freelance writer: So, that one piece of content a day is probably going to take up some of your valuable time. If you don’t have the resources to create that content in house, you might consider hiring a content writer. Freelance content writers are able to take a brief and produce an article that you can then upload straight to your website. This requires you sending the writer a brief, negotiating a price, editing the work and then uploading it to your website. It’s a lot less time consuming than writing it yourself, but it’s still a fair bit of work.
Buy the content you need: That brings us to our final method of getting content – purchasing it from a content marketplace. This gives you the ability to buy the content you actually need and want, without having to hire a writer to produce it for you. Simply purchase the blog you like, edit it to make sure it suits your website and brand, then upload it to your website! You can also use the content in your email newsletters and share it to your social media pages.