Content Marketing The Hot New Approach to Marketing
Today content marketing initiatives, be it a blog, online magazine, e-book series, podcast or a series of online videos has become a critical element of digital marketing .
Content has indeed become the hot new approach to marketing. And this is quite a radical change from the way marketing has been done for decades.
So, what is content marketing?
It is about the use of content for the purpose of marketing and branding. And it’s different from advertising or public relations in three important ways.
Firstly, advertising or public relations campaigns have a start and end date for the campaign. With content marketing, it’s an ongoing thing, a continuing narrative.
Secondly, unlike advertising it is considered a “pull” approach which rely on consumers seeking out the content. It’s a more inclusive experience.
Thirdly, content materials appear on a company’s own channels, such as its website or social media pages.
It should be mentioned that this is seen as an additional form of marketing and not as a replacement for traditional advertising.
In other words, it’s something that companies are using to complement their advertising strategies.
While advertising’s approach is to capture attention, this form of marketing is to provide materials that educate, enlighten and entertain consumers.
And the best types are the ones that can go viral over social media.
The content does not hard-sell products or services. In fact, it shouldn’t even be doing any soft-selling.
It is about exposing consumers to a brand’s message through the use of genuinely appealing content.
Content marketing about generating useful, interesting and appealing content that consumers will enjoy.
Like blogs and social media, it is not a fad. It’s a revolution in the way products and services are being marketed.
It’s almost impossible to effectively market your products, services or brand online without effective content.
It has to be entertaining, engaging and useful. All while converting visitors without them even knowing it.
Unfortunately, creating effective copy can be one of the most difficult parts to this type of marketing.
Content marketing requires planning when creating unique material.
Content isn’t created in a vacuum.
It must be an integral part of your overall marketing efforts.
That means you need to create a strategy for your content and plan it accordingly.
Failing to do so will cause your content to fail before it even gets a chance to succeed.
Creating a content strategy that incorporates buyer personas and the content life cycle will make all stages more effective.
It will be dependent on finding right keywords for each user at each step of the funnel, and build trust and an emotional attachment.
Creating goals for content will allow you to:
Build trust with your audience by guiding them through the decision-making process and establishing your business as an authority in your niche.
Spending too much time talking about yourself, or pushing a hard sell to someone at the top of the funnel, is going send users running for the hills.
And they won’t come back because they won’t see what you say as anything other than a sales pitch.
It will assist in building trust and differentiate your business as a resource for authoritative, unbiased information.
People are going to be really eager to show off the compliments you pay them, and that means links and likely some social media promotion.
Link building without link building!
Creating content that oversells yourself means creating content that’s less valuable for your readers. And content of little or no value doesn’t convert users.
If your content isn’t getting much traction in the way of traffic, shares or engagements, that could be a sign that it doesn’t add value or is otherwise low quality.
While you want to avoid duplicate content, but that doesn’t mean you should use a piece of content only once.
In fact, you should plan to use each piece of content three or four, or even five, different ways.
Finally, create a sense of urgency.
Through shared experiences you can bond with your prospective customers via well written, practical and valuable content.
Finally, since content marketing is a form of digital marketing, it is vital to test, optimize and improve.
This means you should constantly refine and review your personas, sales funnel, customer messaging and distribution channels to maximize your conversions.