What is content marketing, and why is it important for businesses?
When you’re busy with the day to day running of your business, you might not have time to think about creating content for your blog and so on, even though you know it is important. And it really is, because your content is essential for interacting with your existing customers, and reaching new potential customers. For most businesses, content marketing is an essential part of their marketing strategy. But what does content marketing really mean though? Lots of people tell us they’re not quite sure what it actually is – but in reality, it’s a lot more simple than people think it is.
Content marketing is simply creating and sharing content – either text-based, or video content – that can help to attract a certain audience, and to keep them interested and engaged, with the aim of encouraging customer action that leads to profit. It’s distinctly different to traditional advertising, because you’re not trying to convince someone to buy a product or service from you – rather, your content marketing is aiming to show them that you’re an expert in your field, and that in turn proves to them that your business is one that they want to engage with.
By investing time and money in your content, you can increase the reach and awareness of your brand, boost your sales and engage with new prospects and customers. You’re not just showing off what you do with content creation or marketing– you’re creating the kind of blog posts, video and other content that your audience and your target customers would be looking for, even if they weren’t looking for your business specifically.
No matter the size of your business, who your target customers are or the aims you have for the next few months, marketing is what is going to help you reach your goals. Outbound marketing techniques are becoming significantly less effective than they once were, because customers simply don’t want their day to be interrupted by marketing emails or calls – and if you’re honest with yourself, you probably don’t either.
Content marketing is the way that many businesses are getting around the problem of outbound marketing, and for good reason. Here’s just a few of the things that can help your business with:
- Keeping your leads and prospects up to date with your most recent products, services and offers
- Increasing sales and other conversions
- Saving on costs
- Helping you to keep customers engaged with your brand
- Reaching new members of your target audience and showcasing your products and services
- Creating a lasting sense of community for your customers and fans of your brand
It all sounds pretty convincing, and for good reason – great quality content is behind a successful marketing strategy. Have a think about it – all the strands of a marketing strategy need great content:
Social media marketing can’t work without a good content marketing strategy.
It’s much easier to get great results from your SEO endeavours when you publish quality content consistently – it’s what the search engine algorithms want.
PR strategies appeal to what the audience wants, and care about – which is what is contained in your content.
PPC can only work well with great content to drive it.
Outstanding content will help to support and drive your inbound marketing.
If you can create the sort of content that your target customer actually looks forward to receiving, and finds it useful to the point that they actually share it with other people that find it useful too – well, that’s the holy grail of content marketing. But content creation and marketing isn’t quick, and for some businesses, it isn’t easy to implement either.
Our friends over at the TheMarketingHelpline.com have provided more in-depth information about content marketing including:
- Strategy challenges
- The skills do you need to create successful content
- How should you implement a marketing strategy
- Determining the type of content you’re going to produce
- Identify content topics
- Deciding the type of content you should produce
- How you should you measure the success of your content marketing strategy