This post is going to upset some people.
That’s because content marketing is the buzz word of the day, used in every pitch, blog, and social post marketing companies put out. With every online marketer and advertising agency screaming at the top of their lungs “Content is King… Content is King!!” it may come as a shock to hear that many marketers misunderstand and/or poorly implement this strategy. This leads to ineffective campaigns, wasted marketing dollars, and confused business owners. Let’s be clear, content marketing should be an important part of a company’s online marketing strategy but it doesn’t work the same way for every company.
What is it?
Content marketing has been around for a long time, but only in the last few years have companies begun to give it the attention it deserves. According to Content Marketing Institute, content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience. Notice that nowhere in that explanation did we mention overly frequent blog posts or syndicated social media posts. Why? Because the entire strategy is based around providing VALUABLE & UNIQUE content to readers. Content marketing encapsulates everything from the content on your website, to engaging infographics and video, to the sharing of valuable information through blogs and social media outlets. Effectively this acts as a long term branding exercise and raises the perceived value of a brand in the eyes of a potential or current customers.
Simply put, there is a difference between providing a website visitor with clear and valuable information and syndicating industry related “junk posts” on your company Facebook page. Sadly, many companies are being dissuaded from reliable, proven online marketing methods in favor of this “content dump” approach. Content marketing should be approached strategically and methodically as today’s digital platforms are becoming more concise, trim, and straight to the point. Customers are less likely to spend their time reading long articles or casually web surfing through your blog on the intricacies of the corporate insurance world. Real content marketing is identifying the target audience, then developing content that reaches them efficiently and effectively, and delivering that content through the appropriate channels.
Who Needs it?
Avoiding the trite statement that “everybody needs it, but in different ways” we have developed a few examples on another page. Click here to see these examples.
Content marketing is beneficial for any company when developed with the target audience in mind, properly developed, and delivered by leveraging the proper platforms to reach the audience.
How Does It Work?
Content marketing operates behind the idea of pull marketing. Instead of constantly beating your potential customers over the head with your company’s weekly specials, lists of services, or “outstanding performance” messages, content marketing attempts to attract and retain an audience by giving them something they value and actually want to read! This can be tricky and requires some creativity. There is less time than ever to reach readers in this tech-crazed world we live in, so this needs to be strategic. The more vital content strategy is to the success of the overall marketing strategy the more resources should be allocated to it.
Content marketing should not be a dump of information. Content marketing is developing compelling information for your target audience on a platform that targets the desired audience and provides them with valuable relevant information. If you find yourself writing a blog simply because it is Tuesday and “Tuesday is when we post our blogs”, you have missed the point. If implemented correctly, your content should turn readers or viewers into sales leads and customers. Businesses that are able to effectively and efficiently utilize content marketing sell effectively and sell effectively. What is you company’s target audience? How and where can well developed content reach, engage, and turn them into customers?
Advice For Business Owners
- Content marketing doesn’t work if all you do is talk about your own services. If this blog was written about NEO4J Graph database development you probably wouldn’t have read it
- Make content marketing part of your strategy, not your strategy!
- Be wary of companies who only specialize in content marketing, of course they will tell you that it is everything you need!
- Read the content that is going out. If it bores you, don’t waste your time.
- Leverage social networks to promote your blogs, people don’t subscribe like they did in the 90’s