Content marketing has become a bit of a buzz word lately. It makes sense. It’s definitely becoming more important for businesses to utilize a content stream as a key component of their marketing strategy. Especially in combination with social media.
But despite the term being thrown around, many people don’t seem to know exactly what it means. And others simply don’t know how to get started with content marketing for their business.
Hopefully, this article will clear some things up.
So, what exactly is content marketing?
It’s a style of marketing that involves producing and distributing content for the aim of generating consumer interest. Ideally, this interest will lead to attracting new customers and retaining current ones.
The content can come in a variety of formats from video to written, typically whichever is best for the consumers you’re trying to reach. However, the main factor when it comes to content marketing is that what you produce is valuable and relevant to the target marketing.
Why is it Valuable?
Well, the answer is a bunch of reasons.
- Builds brand awareness: The ability to communicate through content helps you build and promote a specific brand image.
- Helps develop consumer relationships: Content marketing provides an opportunity to communicate directly with the target market. The relationship and communication that results are invaluable.
- Increases traffic and conversions: As we’ve already mentioned, producing content generates interest. And that interest leads directly to an increase in website traffic and conversions.
- Assists with search engine optimization: Producing content that connects to your website via links and keywords is amazing for SEO. It can assist with search engine rankings and increase your traffic.
Types of Content
Now, let’s quickly mention the types of content that can be produced.
The common forms of content marketing are:
- Blog articles
- Social media posts
- Online courses
All of them have their own pros, cons and best practices. But for all of them, the importance lies in creating value for the consumer.
Key Principles of Content Marketing
Generally speaking, a content marketer is only limited by their imagination. But there are some key principles that you should follow to ensure your content marketing is effective.
Firstly, create value. I know I’m repeating myself here, but this is really important. It doesn’t matter how much content you produce if there is no value for consumers. Value is what leads to comments, shares and consumer engagement.
Second is to always incorporate a call to action. After a consumer has been captivated by the value you’ve offered them, it’s time to reel them in.
A call to action is basically just a request to get them to do something. It could be to visit their website, share the content with a friend or leave a comment. Call to actions can be powerful. Don’t forget to include them.
Third, content marketing should be communicated by a person, not a company. Just as it’s an opportunity to engage with consumers, it’s also an opportunity to show them that your business is run by people and isn’t a mindless, oil-filled machine. Use this opportunity wisely.
And there’s our 101 on content marketing. Hopefully, it taught you a thing or two that you can use to market your own business. Good luck!