Guide to content: What is content marketing?
Content marketing is a phrase often mentioned when discussing digital marketing. It’s often used in so many different contexts; it can be tough to understand what it really means.
Let’s clear that up right now.
Content marketing is the use of any type of media as a tool for garnering exposure and sales for your company or organization.
The media is anything that has been created like blog posts, articles, videos, images, or books. What you’re reading right now is a form of content or media. It can be in long-form or very short. The overall purpose of content is to make a statement in a way that is compelling and attractive to your preferred audience. When you’re using content for marketing purposes, you want to include some kind of call to action that encourages people to do something. You can be asking them to click a link, make a call, sign a petition, or simply share the information.
The most important thing to remember when you are using content marketing is to focus on providing value. You’re not creating a commercial. While commercials are a form of content, they’re one-sided. Their purpose is solely to sell. When you use the content as a marketing tool, your purpose is to educate, inform, and engage people with the goal of turning them into customers.
It’s not about direct sales to increase your bottom line; it’s about using the information to show customers and potential customers that your company can provide the value they need to enhance their lives in some way. It’s an indirect sales method that can turn customers into consistent clients.
By sharing content, you are encouraging a form of two-way communication. Not only do you want people to become customers, but you also want them to become an active community of clients that use your company consistently.
The reason you’ve been hearing about content marketing so much is that businesses are starting to recognize that communicating with customers is much more beneficial than communicating with customers.
Advertising involves communicating with customers. You put together messages and images you think people will like and you send them their way.
There is no room for dialogue or any type of engagement with your audience. That kind of communication is no longer as effective as it once was. People tend to tune out advertisements so you have to do more of it to make an impact.
People don’t tune out information. In fact, in this age of information, people are consuming it in large amounts.
The 24-hour news cycle is a prime example of that. You have news networks that are on the air 24 hours a day sharing information. These networks wouldn’t be thriving if people didn’t want to know information at any given moment of the day. If you are able to contribute to their desire for knowledge and information, you won’t be tuned out.
This is why content marketing should be used by all businesses, especially ones that live in the digital space. You have the opportunity to connect with your audience in a way that is meaningful. You have the opportunity to help quench their thirst for knowledge while providing a product or service to back it up.
This book will help you do that. It will introduce you to the different types of content and show how to use it to get leads and sales. The great thing with content marketing is that anyone can do it. Once you lock in on the type of content you feel most comfortable creating you can do it.
Let’s dive into content marketing!