In the olden days of marketing, the preferred tactic for businesses to reach their target customers was mostly based on pushing advertising, promotional and sales-focused messages in front of an audience. TV, radio and print ads were favoured means of marketing a product or service.
Today, however, we have evolved. We are all exposed to thousands of marketing messages every day and it is getting increasingly difficult for brands to cut through the clutter, and rightly so.
When is the last time you actually paid attention to a TV ad without pulling out your phone or getting distracted by a million other things? And out of the thousands of ads you were exposed to in public transport in the last week, how many did you actually read? And more important, how many do you actually remember?
Because consumers are exposed to such a large volume of information each day, we as marketers have to compete fiercely for their ever-decreasing attention spans.
The best way to do this is by creating Content Marketing Strategies to reach our audiences.
But, what is Content Marketing?
The Content Marketing Institute defines content marketing as:
“A strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience – and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
So, the key concept of content marketing is for brands to use media that they own such as their website, social media accounts, or other types of publications, to distribute content that their target consumers actively want to engage with. The principle relies on an exchange of value between the business and the consumer: the business delivers content that is of interest, and in exchange, consumers give some of their attention to the business.
Content marketing is about communication without directly selling. Over time, businesses can establish a relationship with their targeted consumers and gain their trust. Content marketing should be employed on an on-going basis and be an integral part of a brand’s overall marketing strategy.
Providing valuable content to a target audience is not necessarily a new marketing concept. In fact, the tire manufacturer Michelin has first published its ‘Michelin Guide’ in the early 1900’s, where it provided travel tips to drivers. However, the internet (particularly Search Engines and Social Media) has turbo charged content marketing and made it an essential for modern businesses. Examples of content include:
- Whitepapers, Case Studies, How-To Guides, and eBooks: These can be particularly relevant for B2B services companies that can showcase their expertise in a particular area.
- Blogging: either to deliver informative, or more entertaining content depending on the business and its objectives.
- Online tools: for instance, an A/B test statistical confidence calculator can be a great tool for a digital marketing agency to offer.
- Infographics and illustrations
- Non-commercial branded videos
This content should not only be reached by user via search engines when researching a particular topic, but also regularly pushed via the company’s social media accounts, email, and any other type of owned media.
Content Marketing Benefits
Content is king, not only to consumers, but also to Google and other search engines. Unique, high quality content published on a blog or website attracts inbound links and ultimately boosts a business’ online presence. By creating great content, you are therefore not only providing something your target audience wants to interact with, but also improving the performance of your website.
Content marketing also helps because it’s proven to generate over three times as many leads as outbound marketing and costs 62% less.
We can stay here all day and tell you all about the benefits of using content marketing as part of you marketing strategy, but we think that having a chat and understanding your brand’s needs is a better way to showcase the importance of it.
If you have any questions or you feel you are ready to dive into the great big ocean of Content Marketing, get in touch with us today.