What is Content Marketing and Does it Matter?
Traditional marketers for many years have used content to disseminate information about a brand and to build a brand’s reputation. A great early example of content marketing was Poor Richard’s Almanac, first issued by Benjamin Franklin in 1732.
In the early 20th century, the Sears, Roebuck and Co. mail-order catalog was the ultimate content marketplace, much like Amazon is today. You could even buy a house straight from the catalog. You just picked out the home you liked and Sears would deliver it just for you. From 1908 to 1940, Sears sold between 70,000 to 75,000 homes, so there are plenty of these homes still out there. To find them, you just need to know where to look.
What Type of Content Does Your Marketing Need?
You need to be focused on creating, publishing, and distributing content for your targeted online audience. As an important component of your digital marketing strategy, your content must attract visitors attention and generate leads to help expand your customer base.
Your content marketing main function is to generate leads. Accomplishing this will increase online sales while building brand awareness, reputation and credibility. Content marketing is also a great way to create engagement within an online community of users.
Your Content Marketing Needs to Attract and Transform
Great content marketing attracts new prospects and transforms them into loyal customers. It also helps create brand loyalty, provides information to consumers, and creates a willingness to purchase products.
This is a relatively new form of marketing which does not involve direct sales. Instead, it is designed to build trust and rapport with your visitors.
Your Content Marketing has to Anticipate Needs
Unlike other forms of online marketing, content marketing relies on anticipating and meeting a new or existing customers need for information, as opposed to creating demand for a new need.
In a Mashable Article James O’Brien about Red Bull wrote, “The idea central to content marketing is that a brand must give something valuable to get something valuable in return. Instead of the commercial, be the show. Instead of the banner ad, be the feature story.”
Content marketing requires you to deliver large amounts of content, preferably within a content marketing strategy. You have to take a unique approach to content marketing while keeping in mind another statement O’Brien made in the Mashable article, “Red Bull is a publishing empire that also happens to sell a beverage.”
Your Content Marketing has to Focus on the Customer
It’s an important step when you decide to use content marketing to grow your business. When you make that decision it mandates that your main focus has to be on your prospect or customers needs.
After you have identified the customer’s needs, information can be presented in a variety of formats, including news, video, e-books, email newsletters, podcasts, how-to guides, blogs, etc. Most of these formats are part of your overall digital marketing strategy channel.
Your Content Marketing is an Evolving Process
Digital content marketing is a management process that uses electronic channels to identify, forecast, and satisfy the content requirements of a particular audience. It must be consistently updated and added to in order to influence the behavior of customers.
Your Content Marketing Opens a New Conversation
Your marketing is designed to open a conversation with your visitor about your product or service. The only goal of this conversation is to establish rapport and cause your visitor to act by purchasing whatever you are offering.