Traditional marketing strategies are becoming harder and harder to institute with the ever changing consumers of the world today. Our consumers are smarter and have ways to shut off and shut out marketing, for example most people these days own a DVR simply so that they can skip the traditional commercials on television. Marketers are now having to find new and more effective ways to reach our audiences.
But what exactly is content marketing?
Content marketing is the technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience-with the objective of driving profitable customer action.
The operative word here being “valuable.” Content should be considered a consumable, something that a customer can want, seek out, and use,rather than avoiding like a pop up advertisement. The goal should be to provide as much value from your content as possible for your audience. You may still be asking yourself, what content actually is, let’s discuss!
My favorite type of content to include in a content marketing strategy are “Inforgraphics.” These are long, vertical graphics that include data with charts, graphs, and facts, often laid out with pictures that represent percentages and portions cleverly. You may have seen these most commonly shared on blogs, Facebook, and Pinterest. As a former graphic designer who happens to also be a marketer, I love pretty things, I also love data and statistics, so the fusion of the two make me warm and fuzzy inside. To help you understand better, below is an infographic about infographics, infoception if you will.
Another up and coming content we are seeing more of are podcasts. These are digital and video files made available on the web for download or live listening, typically as a series, and following a specific theme. I like to think of them as a modern answer to the historic radio shows from decades ago. Remember those days, when there was no Television? You may or may not have ever heard a podcast, there’s one out there for everyone, any interest you might have, if you are a marketer I recommend this one.
One more example for you: video. Video is all over the web, if you are anything like me you are always searching for new video content. How-to videos, review videos, and vlogs are just a few examples of valuable content that we might find ourselves searching. There are approximately 819,417, 600 hours of video content just on YouTube alone, making videos one of the most searchable types of content.
So you see that content is anything that lives out on the web that people and companies use to educate and share valuable information with their audience.
Big deal-Why is this so important?
Content marketing is really the biggest driving force in the marketing world right now. You see, content never dies, content lives forever out there in the internet and is reused and re-purposed infinitely. The same infographic that you create will more than likely still search-able and viable ten years from now (and hopefully still relevant and correct). This is the kind of marketing that we are all striving for, that evergreen type that just keeps working for you time after time.
Content also creates a better customer. Giving good free educational content away helps to build a connected community of consumers who are brand loyal and have chosen to follow you. By providing them with the valuable content they crave, they have a reason to invest time and money into your company in the future. Not to mention, you get free marketing research by sharing content, when you socialize content online it opens your audience up to sharing opinions, questions, and feedback. You can then gauge your audience’s needs, demographic and attitude on topics you’re sharing.
How Will it Make Me Different?
This helps to build your brand as an authority in your field. A request made by so many businesses is to be the go-to company and the number one resource for people in their field. The thing most people don’t understand is that you don’t just become the authority on something online over night, you have to build and earn that kind of reputation, and without content marketing it just isn’t possible.
What Else Could it Possibly Do?
OK, so here’s the golden crown that makes content marketing king-SEO. It’s all about the SEO these days, people don’t just search anymore, they “Google”, googling is now an adjective folks, if you have a question someone will tell you to “Google it”. As search engines become more intelligent, you can no longer just post poor quality web pages loaded with keywords, Google knows your tricks. Great rich content that is relevant will be sought out by consumers, read, but also picked up by search engines for preferred ranking.
Now Let Me Ask You
So do you buy it? You should, content marketing is taking over, and is the new pillar of marketing, without it everything else falls. Regardless of your tactics, content should be part of your process and including in all forms of marketing, from social media to PR. What are you waiting for? – Make something great and share it with the world!