What Is Content Marketing?
You’ve probably heard that content is “king” in the digital marketing space. Maybe you’ve read somewhere that content marketing is 62 percent more cost-effective yet it brings in 3 times more leads than paid promotions, ads, and other outbound strategies. Or perhaps the fact that adopters boost their conversion rates by up to 6 times compared to non-adopters.
However you look at it, content is an effective tool for marketing and setting your business up for success. But what is content marketing, really?
What Is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is a strategic process in which marketers consistently produce and distribute relevant, informative, and engaging content to create value for a target audience. This proven practice is the core of digital marketing, which is aimed at improving search rankings, enhancing brand awareness, and generating interest in products or services.
In other words, content marketing is all about creating and publishing great content that resonates with your target audience (aka customers). It’s a vital component of any solid marketing strategy, and it’s easy to see why.
Different types of content are at the heart of pretty much any kind of online interaction with your customers. It helps consumers sail through the buyer’s journey, from initial search to discovery and eventually making the purchase decision.
In saying so, content helps brands generate more leads, increase sales, and grow their businesses. If leveraged creatively and correctly, it can maximize content return on investment by making sure that each piece of content — be that a video, infographics, article, email, blog post, or any other format — gets in front of the right audience and at the right time.
Content marketing is not about the mechanical process of publishing one piece of content after another. You’ve got to learn how to produce and promote inspirational, educational, informative, useful, and compelling content that’ll reach the right readers on the right platform. It must be content that your target audiences want to consume, so that it can inspire the desired action, such as a purchase, email subscription, etc.
Why Is Content Marketing Important?
Content marketing campaigns are fairly new but have already proven to be quite effective. Let’s look at the top reasons why savvy brands have embraced this type of marketing.
Benefits of Content Marketing:
It attracts leads for free
Every business needs to attract customers to stay afloat, there’s doubt about that. This is where content marketing comes in handy. Instead of coughing up $2 per click using ads, you can pull in 10,000 or more customers to your website for the price of posting a YouTube video or writing a blog post.
If you have a good content marketing strategy, every blog post, video, article, or Ebook will help bring customers for years and years. This means that content marketing offers a lifetime ROI. A paid ad will attract a customer only once, but when you create content it can drive traffic to your website or online store for years, making an asset rather than an expense.
It’s a tool for staying competitive
The internet has provided an almost level playing ground for every business on a global scale. That means a small boutique shop in Tallahassee, Florida is competing head-to-head with a giant retailer like Walmart or Amazon. Thankfully, there’s another equalizer: content.
That’s right; over 90 percent of all brands and modern businesses have adopted content marketing, from industry titans like P&G, Apple, and Coca-Cola to your favorite taco food truck.
If you’re not using content, you may be losing business to competitors. If you do, you’ll be a leg up on your rivals that don’t use content marketing. It’s that trivial, but incredibly important.
It helps you engage with an evolving consumer base
Technology is fast-evolving, and it’s changing the way your customers make purchase decisions. Today, consumers go to social media, use Pinterest, watch YouTube videos, or ask friends for recommendations via messengers. Content helps you reach your target audience wherever they may be.
It is highly personalized
Content marketing involves studying your typical customer. What’s their demographic? What are their interests, dislikes, or desires? By doing so, you can tailor your content to resonate well with your readers. This helps not only drive lead generation but also increases conversion and sales.
It saves money!
As we’ve already mentioned, content marketing costs 62 percent less than advertising, sales, and other outbound marketing campaigns. Even more impressive, content delivers ROI for many years to come. That’s because it is not a one-and-done type of marketing.
Content marketing is the strategic practice of providing free media-form content to customers to get their attention and interest in return. This type of marketing is designed to boost brand awareness, improve search engine rankings, increase lead generation, and ultimately convert them into loyal customers. It can also be an excellent tool for PR and customer service.
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