Content marketing is any marketing that involves the creation and sharing of media and publishing content in order to acquire and retain customers. Content marketing is also defined 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. The type of content businesses share is closely related to what they sell. However, the content’s main focus is on the needs of the prospect. This information is consistently delivered and can be presented in a variety of formats, including news, video, white papers, e-books, infographics, email newsletters, case studies, podcasts, how-to guides, question and answer articles, photos, blogs and such as.
Content marketing’s purpose is to attract and retain customers by consistently creating and curating relevant and valuable content with the intention of changing or enhancing consumer behavior. It is an ongoing process that is best integrated into your overall marketing strategy, and it focuses on owning media, not renting it.
Basically, content marketing is the art of communicating with your customers and prospects without selling. It is non-interruption marketing. Instead of pitching your products or services, you are delivering information that makes your buyer more intelligent. The essence of this content strategy is the belief that if we, as businesses, deliver consistently, ongoing valuable information to buyers, they ultimately reward us with their business and loyalty.
Content marketing is being used by some of the greatest marketing organizations in the world, including P&G, Microsoft, Cisco Systems, and John Deere. It’s also developed and executed by small businesses and one-person shops around the globe. Why? Because it works.
Why content marketing is the best strategy for long-term marketing?
- Content helps SEO by providing more web “real estate” and increasing your domain authority.
- It provides source material for a social media marketing campaign.
- It can encourage more email sign-ups and be used as the basis for an email marketing campaign.
- It can enhance the value of your landing page and other web pages.
- It can help you build relationships with other online brands and industries.
- It attracts new traffic. If you’re guest posting or just producing content on your own blog, people will be more likely to find you and click through to your site. You can also encourage further site interactions by interlinking your blog posts with other pieces of on-site content.
- It builds your reputation. The more people see your content, the more they’ll remember your brand and the higher your reputation with those individuals will be.
- It encourages trust and faith in your brand. When a visitor stumbles on your site for any reason, your content can secure their confidence in your brand, so long as that content is authoritative, helpful, and well-written overall.
- It can influence conversions. Again, assuming that your content is well-written, a well-placed call to action embedded in your content can encourage direct conversions, resulting in more average revenue for every visitor on your site.
- It can make you a separate stream of revenue. If your content is strong enough, you can feature it as a separate service from your company, such as an extended white paper or eBook.
Successful content marketing is communicating the right message at the right time to your customers. The strategy starts with defining buyer personas and identifying questions they ask during their buying process.