Content marketing is a strategy of creating and publishing content that attracts and ultimately converts your ideal prospects into customers. The distinguishing element of content marketing is that it gives away value in the form of information that people want to consume.
Marketers that predate the Internet sometimes find the concept of giving away value difficult to understand. However, they do understand that traditional marketing requires money for placing advertisements in various media channels. Giving away valuable content should be seen as part of the cost of content marketing. Whether you take the time to create the content yourself or hire writers, it still means spending money for your marketing (since your own time equates to money).
The real difference between content marketing and placing advertisements is that your target audience wants to consume the content that you produce rather than avoid it as they would many of the paid advertisement campaigns of other marketers.
Why Content Marketing Works
Beyond drawing in your ideal prospects, content marketing ultimately increases your conversions because it builds trust. The value that you provide to your audience causes them to value you in turn. When your content makes them think, laugh, or improves their lives in some way, your information becomes a valued asset.
This makes you, the creator of this asset valued as well. Your audience will begin to trust that your productive output, both the free content and the products and services that you sell, will be valuable. You won’t have to tell them repeatedly via paid advertisements how great your products and services are, because they will already know it implicitly.
Two Content Marketing Tips:
Set up a Blog and Post Frequently
Online content in the form of text and images remains a primary medium by which people consume information. Blogging is a highly effective means of doing this. Consistently publishing relevant and valuable content on your blog will bring new traffic from the search engines and will keep your regular following returning for more.
Allow commenting on your blog and respond to comments, especially the questions. This not only strengthens the relationship between you and the commenter, but also your relationship with those who read the comments and your answers to them. People base their judgments not only on how you treat them, but also on how you treat others. The comments on your blog posts also reveal what is on the minds of your audience. This feedback provides valuable insight into how to improve your content and may provide ideas for new or improved products and services.
Vary Your Content with Podcasts, and Videos
While there are blogs that specialize on podcasting, many use it to add some variety to their content. The best podcasts consist of either two co-hosts or one host and a guest. Co-hosted podcasts tend to be commentaries while the host/guest combination are often interviews.
Video is used for a variety of purposes. It can be strictly informational, humorous, or used to demonstrate your products. A product demonstration isn’t the same thing as the 60 second product advertisements you see on television. You aren’t telling your viewers that your products are the greatest and neither are you telling your viewers to purchase them. Instead, you are demonstrating what your products are, what they do, their various features, and are giving advice on the best ways of using them. A product demonstration is in a sense, an informational video about the product itself. This is how you avoid coming across as salesy.
You can also use videos as a visual form of a podcast where you get together with a co-host or interview a guest. Videos are also great sources of traffic when hosted on popular video sites such as YouTube. Don’t forget to embed these videos on your blog.
While the above serves as a good primer for starting your own content marketing, keep in mind that there are many forms of content, any of which can serve as a medium for your marketing. However, the main takeaway is the importance of providing value to your target market so that they in turn will value your content, what you have to say as a person, and your products and services. If you have any marketing questions that you would like to have answered, feel free to contact us.