Content has always been an important part of many marketing plans, but somewhere along the line, something changed old-school marketing into the data-driven digital beast we are all clamoring to master.
That thing is called the internet, and it has transformed marketing communications into a completely new animal.
Your customers don’t care about you, your products, your services…they care about themselves, their wants and their needs. Today’s content marketing is about creating interesting information your customers are passionate about so they actually pay attention to you.
If you prefer a more formal definition, let’s use Content Marketing Institute’s version that defines it as the marketing and business process for creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience–with the objective of driving profitable customer action.
60 percent of business decision makers say that company content helps them make better product decisions.(Source: Roper Public Affairs)
Content drives the Internet. As marketers, we know that consumers are looking for information that helps them solve their problem. In that respect, content marketing isn’t new.
80 percent of business decision makers prefer to get company information in a series of articles versus an advertisement. (Source: Roper Public Affairs)
Whatever the label, the goal has always been the same: to share useful information that helps customers solve their business problems in the hope they do something, like return to your site, subscribe to your newsletter or download your latest white paper.
70 percent of business decision makers say content marketing makes them feel closer to the sponsoring company. (Source: Roper Public Affairs)
Offer useful, informative, practical content. Create content that makes your readers’ lives easier. Share content that makes them laugh and entertains them. Show them you understand what’s keeping them awake at night and offer solutions. This is the path to building brand recognition, trust, authority, credibility, loyalty and authenticity.
Good content marketing should:
- Be relevant to your reader
- Close the gap (inform)
- Be non-promotional/non-selling
- Be relevant to your company
- Provide proof
Organizations that are having the most success use an approach to content marketing that involves a high ratio of valuable content with no sales messaging, mixed with intermittent promotional messages. The types of content keep growing, but here is a brief list:
- Blog posts
- Case Studies
- Free trials
- Information guides
- Online tutorials, courses
- Reference guides
- White papers
Getting started with content marketing can be as simple as implementing one type of content at a time, such as a blog. Then you can begin to layer new content types into the rest of your marketing plan.
AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
1336 East 15th Street Tulsa, OK 74120
Photo credit: Catherine Snodgrass via flickr