What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is tough to define, because it is an extremely vague phrase. Content can be many things; blog articles, web page copy, infographics, presentations, videos, photos, and much more. But if content can be so many things, what is the difference between a rubbish piece of content and one that is useful? The answer – a useful piece of content fulfills a specific purpose and engages with the reader, viewer, or listener.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, content marketing can be defined as “a technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience.” Another speaker on the topic, Hannah Smith, says that content has to be created to fulfil a particular task; to educate, to entertain, to persuade, or to sell. She argues that it cannot fulfil all of these functions at the same time, so you must pick your battles and focus on achieving what you need to achieve. Effective content marketing targets one of these goals, and as a result, the material is much more focused.
Your approach can depend on the product or service that you are offering, or it can be guided by the identity of your brand – but you must know what you are trying to do with your marketing material. This is where a comprehensive strategy is your best friend!
Our content marketing services follow Search Engine Optimization and Social Media best practices and include:
- Website Content
- Video Content
- Email Marketing
- Visual eBooks
- Traditional eBooks
- Info graphics
- Social Media Content
- Press Releases
- White Papers
- Case Studies
Benefits Of Content Marketing
Content marketing is more than advertising, it is all about showing your customers who you are, rather than just telling them.
#1. It builds a community of loyal customers
Giving good free information out can build a tightly-connected community of customers who are loyal to your brand which they have chosen to follow. By giving your customer community valued content for following you, they have a reason to invest time in your brand. If you publish content at regular intervals, followers effectively ‘check-in’ with your brand.
#2 – Content marketing generates sales more efficiently.
Small businesses depend on large sales, especially in the first year or two. The only problem is that smaller businesses don’t always have the customer base of larger competitors, which means you have to work harder to generate sales. Content marketing is one of the most efficient and successful ways you can do that, but only if you know how to use it correctly.
#3 – Content marketing pulls in unexpected customers.
By keeping an active blog presence and making your social media sites the go-to hotspots for what you offer, you’ll do more than pull in new leads. You’ll attract customers you never expected.
#4 – Content marketing establishes yourself as a thought leader.
On the plus side of the ledger, content marketing can establish startups as thought leaders and domain experts, it can provide potential and existing customers with relevant and interesting information, and it can drive search engine optimization.
#5 – Content marketing is cheaper compared to alternative forms of marketing.
Content marketing is relatively cheap compared to most other options, but it requires you to invest your time, effort and a lot of patience before you can reap its returns.
#6 – Content marketing increases sales.
The biggest benefit to content marketing is increased sales.
#7 – Content marketing builds valuable relationships with your audience.
Content marketing helps you to build valuable relationships with your audience and, ultimately, make sales.
#8 – Content marketing helps make a personal connection.
Content marketing helps you make a personal connection.
#9 – Content marketing positions you as a helpful resource.
When you provide your community with advice on how to solve one of their most pressing problems, they’ll see you as a helpful resource.
#10 – Content marketing can enhance your brand image.
Businesses of all types can enhance their brand image and overall marketing efforts by producing and sharing quality content. In fact, research conducted by Kapost has found that per dollar, content marketing contributes to three times more leads that tradition online advertising, such as paid search. As a result, developing a content marketing strategy can be a momentous game-changer for your business’s marketing plan.
#11 – Content marketing shows people your human side.
The final benefit of content marketing is the opportunity to show people that you’re human.
#12 – Content marketing helps beat your competition.
Content marketing is better because your prospects prefer it; it costs you less money; it produces more sales leads and customers; it helps you beat your larger competitors; and the marketing results you begin generating today will last forever.
#13 – Content marketing boosts customer engagement.
Content marketing is more than just the creation and distribution of content – it’s a relationship-building tool that, when executed properly, builds brand awareness, boosts customer engagement and retains interest throughout the sales conversion process.
#14 – Content marketing attracts people with real interest in your brand.
The power of content marketing to propel brands forward in this new anti-interruption era is clear. The jury has returned with a verdict, and it’s guilty. Content marketing is guilty of attracting people who have real interest in the solutions a brand can provide
#15 – Content marketing improves employee attitudes and confidence levels.
Content marketing improves employee attitudes and confidence levels.
#16 – Content marketing helps nonprofits raise money.
Content marketing helps churches and nonprofits raise more money
#17 – Content marketing attracts job seekers and recruits the right employees.
Another way to find talent is through your own company website. Brafton Inc., a content agency, says “hiring managers must think like marketers and realize that job seekers are customers, too. It’s as important to sell the brand … to professionals looking for work as it is to market goods to prospects on the conversion edge. Content marketing can be effective in both situations.”
#18 – Content marketing works with any industry.
I know what you’re thinking: “Content marketing is great, but it won’t work for my industry. I don’t have anything worthwhile to say!” I can promise you that simply isn’t the case. Any company, in any industry, can have a successful content marketing strategy and can truly win business because of the information it shares.
#19 – Content marketing improves your customer experience.
Content keeps the Internet buzzing and great content is what gives brands something to discuss with their customers beyond complaints and challenges, compliments, or questions.
#20 – Content marketing helps grow a long-term audience.
Each piece of content you create is an opportunity to hook new people and grow your long-term audience. As this audience grows, you’ll have an even bigger base of people willing to share your content.
#21 – Content marketing establishes selection criteria and a framework for decision-making.
Ultimately, great content can help establish selection criteria and a framework for decision making that favours your product or service over a competitor.
#22 – Content marketing levels the playing field in the marketplace.
The Internet has leveled the marketing playing field between small/medium businesses and corporate behemoths. One of the online marketing tools that places all businesses on equal footing involves content marketing.
#23 – Content marketing creates informed buyers.
This ongoing stream of valuable content creates informed buyers who will, in-turn, reward you with business and loyalty.
#24 – Content marketing gets people’s attention.
Outstanding content will rise above the noise, and more and more people will find it, consume it, and share it. The fastest way to grow your audience and get more people paying attention is to pump out awesome content.
#25 – Content marketing can increase email response rates.
Because outreach is often the first experience a prospect may have with your brand, it’s vital to make a great first impression. Email response rates can be increased by keeping communication professional, free of any spelling or grammatical errors, knowledgeable (understanding a site’s audience and purpose) and centered around value (here’s how you’d like to serve that audience).
#26 – Content marketing encourages virality.
Years ago, brands would rely on word of mouth to spread a message, and in recent years many believe this has died out. In reality, it’s completely the opposite, word of mouth marketing has grown at an incredible rate – it’s just called social media now. The ability to share something with a certain number of people, and then be able to watch it go viral in real-time is fantastic.
#27 – Content marketing gives you the opportunity to experiment.
With content marketing however, brands have the chance to test the water. They have the opportunity to publish multiple pieces of content and monitor the performance of them. From here, they are able to optimise to give their audience the most engaging and well received bits of information. Making mistakes is part of life growing up, however when it comes to marketing and advertising, big mistakes can sometimes lead to a reputation being tarnished.
#28 – Content marketing increase your viral launching pad.
Benefit #3: Increases your viral launching pad. If you ever want to launch a viral campaign, you’ll have a base of users to start you off with. Let’s say you want to launch a video contest, where users send in funny videos around a specific theme and the winner gets a prize. If you hadn’t been publishing content, how would you find 100+ people to submit videos?
#29 – Content marketing reduces your dependence on external sources.
Content marketing also has significant benefits specifically for lead generation, according to Brendan Cournoyer, content marketing manager at Brainshark Inc. “Content marketing reduces the need to obtain lists of leads from external sources just to keep your sales funnel full,” he says. “Instead, you create the content and generate more leads yourself.”
#30 – Content marketing gives you more control over your message.
Cournoyer adds that content marketing gives companies more control over their message, so they can make sure it’s aimed at your unique audience of potential customers. “After all, no one knows your business better than you.”
#31 – Content marketing increases newsletter signups.
Content should add such a large amount of value that visitors want to sign up for more information and talk about the content.
#32 – Content marketing influences purchasing decisions.
If content marketing is assuming more significance in 2013 that’s because more and more businesses begin to realize how much it influences purchase decisions.
#33 – Content marketing boosts employee morale.
We celebrate every new team blog post. It’s become fun to talk about what we’re writing about next, or brainstorm with teammates about the outline for a particular piece. Getting more of your team to contribute – and then showing them the retweets and engagement it generates – can be a source of pride.
#34 – Content marketing elicits favorable responses from your customers.
Some 91% of B2B marketers use content marketing, and 86% of B2C marketers do. And no wonder: Customers and clients, and potential customers and clients, respond more favorably to content than they do to advertisements and overt selling.
#35 – Content marketing is recyclable.
If you’re at a crossroads with using your content once or “recycling” it, try picking the second option. Content must build upon itself in order to last and developing it out into more detail will only help your marketing and strategy.
#36 – Content marketing makes it easy to create additional value in the future.
Here’s a secret: you don’t always have to produce new content. Recycling existing content can be just as effective and significantly less time consuming. But let’s get this straight, recycling doesn’t mean taking an article that you posted 2 years ago and changing the publication date. To recycle content the right way — the smart way — you should be adding value to something that you’ve already created.
#37 – Content marketing educates your employees.
Because of this dedication to continuous education, the content you create can then often be used to further educate other members of your team in addition to the audience you are targeting. The content we create for more general audiences often has a more detailed, in-depth counterpart created simultaneously to help better educate and inform our team members about information that matters to our industry, their jobs, or anything else of pertinence.
#38 – Content marketing is reusable.
One of the best parts about creating visual content as part of a content marketing strategy is the way various elements can be reused. More specifically, there are often innumerable opportunities to reuse pieces of artwork from visual content like infographics and infoguides.
#39 – Content marketing can be repurposed and reimagined without reinventing the wheel.
Since feeding the content marketing beast with more and more content while keeping within a limited budget is difficult, here are how twenty content marketing experts responded to the question: “How do you define repurposed/reimagined/reused content and how do you refer to it?”
#40 – Content marketing spurs creativity.
There are other ways to increase your traffic or generate more sales from your reader base, but I’ve found the tactics above work extremely well. You just have to get a bit creative and be willing to think outside the box.
#41 – Content marketing is a natural fit for buying psychology.
One of the most effective ways you can boost your sales is to integrate psychology into your marketing.
#42 – Content marketing gives you the opportunity to find out what’s important to your customers.
By extracting data from the social space and segmenting out their user activity to figure out what people are actually saying, Whole Foods discovers what their followers are passionate about and learns more about what is important to them. They then create engaging content that their users enjoy.
#43 – Content marketing improves your social media presence.
Having a content strategy that will address the needs of your target market will make your website grow. And in turn, make your social media presence grow, and increase sales and leads.
#44 – Content marketing helps in market research.
Success in business depends on identifying a market that is interested in your solution. Market research can help determine which products to offer and the marketing mix to adopt for higher ROI. Using different content, you can address your market’s pain, struggles or needs and offer a relevant solution that is better than what is available in the market. Help ease your customer’s pain just enough on their own, to where they need you to completely rid of their problem.
#45 – Content marketing improves your PR strategy.
PR should embrace content marketing. If there’s one trend that has reached a tipping point in PR — it is content marketing. Content marketing is a perfect blend of SEO and social media for the online marketing mix. But for PR, there’s one other key point: media and blogger relations.
#46 – Content marketing lowers advertising costs while increasing ROI.
The BusinessBolts.com study says small businesses are finding benefits in traffic, search rankings and brand building in exchange for minimal effort. Sixty-two percent of small businesses reported spending less than $100 per month on content marketing and almost half (45%) said content has lowered their advertising costs.
#47 – Content marketing turns shoppers into buyers without the hard sell.
Content marketing makes so much sense on so many levels. It helps market a business well if it is backed up by a sound strategy and executed with consistency. The beauty of it is that it has the power to turn shoppers into buyers. It can sell without directly advertising goods and services. No hard sell necessary.
#48 – Content marketing lets you tell important stories about your brand.
Now more than ever, brands have the ability to unearth and tell their stories in ways that captivate and engage audiences. Smaller brands aren’t relegated to serving customers within a 50-mile radius. Brands of all sizes can commit to stories that befit their products, their employees and the essence of their brands, and they can tell them on channels with worldwide reach.
#49 – Content marketing generates positive buzz.
Pretty cool, huh? Of course it is. That’s why it went viral. What’s even cooler is how the marketing team behind this campaign is using content marketing to get people talking about Dove. They’ve generated positive buzz around their brand and they’ve got people viewing, clicking, sharing, and even blogging about their brand.
#50 – Content marketing keeps your employees engaged.
As a business leader, the principles of content marketing also apply to keeping your employees engaged. In your web content, you appeal to your ideal customers by being informative, helpful, and interested in their challenges. Those are the same keys to help your staff maintain enthusiasm and high performance.
#51 – Content marketing gives your employees a fresh way to contribute.
Content marketing is a important tool in attracting visitors to your company and engaging prospective customers it the sales process. But quality content is the most important feature of your content marketing. What better way to get great content than to tap the best resources at your disposal… your employees!
#52 – Content marketing focuses your team around a common vision.
Whether it concerns sales consultants, product marketers, R&D managers, customer service agents or the country manager, they all create content and information the whole time. Even when they never blog or create clean and ready types of content your content strategy typically uses, it’s essential to get them involved as they know your target audiences and story, and have good information sitting somewhere.
#53 – Content marketing can be applied all the way down the funnel even to product descriptions.
Viewed as the last stop, the very “bottom of the funnel” when it comes to communicating with consumers, the lowly product description is often overlooked. Considered the necessary but dullest ingredient in the marketing mix, product descriptions are, in fact, vital players in online sales.
#54 – Content marketing helps you manage your online reputation.
That is the key to managing your reputation online: Create your own domain, establish a clear, fleshed-out presence on multiple social networking sites, post to each of them at least once a month and keep monitoring the web for unflattering photos or mentions. If they come up, do your best to bury them with positive content.
#55 – Content marketing helps counter negative reviews.
Negative information is often hard to avoid. Literally anyone has the ability to share their views, opinions, issues and experiences with a company, online. Creating positive content can help negate any negative news.
#56 – Content marketing empowers your prospects.
Smart content marketing alters the perspective of prospects so that they are more inclined to do business with you. You do this by providing contrast, because people naturally perceive facts in a relative comparison to other facts.
#57 – Content marketing helps you respond to customer concerns proactively.
An easy method for collecting topics from audiences is to read comments, compare likes and shares between posts, and respond to customer concerns through reassuring content.
#58 – Content marketing encourages customer interaction.
Often, readers will start to converse with one another in a comment section. The unbeliever or critic is the one you should reach out to, but never sacrifice your integrity or style to please one haughty customer.
#59 – Content marketing gives your company a voice.
Employee-generated content makes the “one voice” approach to communication impossible. And that’s why it works so well. Sometimes an author’s unique style can become a huge voice for the company–authenticity, not corporate speak, results in real credibility and a real connection between an author and an audience.