The term Content Marketing has been around for quite a while now, but if you still don’t quite know what it means and feel like it’s too late to ask, this blog post is for you.
What is the aim of Content Marketing and how is this achieved?
Content Marketing strives to share relevant, compelling information in order to attract a specific target group of customers and increase the probability of a sale. This includes acquiring new customers as well as enhancing customer retention rates, achieved by regularly posting content on social media, publishing articles, posting videos on YouTube etc.
However, Content Marketing is a lot more subtle than traditional marketing as it focusses on sharing information in an entertaining and informative way instead of purely advertising a particular product.
Why should YOU use Content Marketing?
Content Marketing can help your business grow in a variety of ways. For instance, it enables you to reach out to people in a more effective manner. By using channels like social media, blogs or videos, you can quickly capture customers’ attention, but also keep them interested in the long run while regularly posting new content and keeping clients updated.
Additionally, some forms of Content Marketing offer you the possibility to connect with your audience in a very personal way and also encourage them to get involved by engaging with your content. This instant feedback can be of great value for your company as it gives you an insight into what your customers want, so that you can adapt your products or services to their individual needs.
Content Marketing has the big advantage that it both educates and entertains your audience. Whereas most people would never consciously decide to watch a television commercial in their free time, a lot of them would probably be quite keen on seeing a video provided by your business about a topic they are interested in or an issue they need some advice on. By producing content that is related to your product, but not outright promoting it, you can combine advertising with informative, engaging content, rather than alienate your audience with salesy commercials. Think about when you last opened a magazine – did you skip past the full page adverts to the interesting content?
If you frequently put out content across your platforms, your clients will come across your Tweets when scrolling through their timeline, spot your blog posts when doing research or see your videos when checking their YouTube subscription box for updates, ensuring that they keep your company in mind. Hence, your brand recognition increases dramatically. It’s all about top of mind awareness.
Furthermore, employing Content Marketing and being constantly present as an authority can establish you as a thought leader within your community, so that you become the go-to person for issues regarding your niche.
What are the different forms of Content Marketing and what can they be used for?
Content Marketing covers a wide range of methods, and there are countless different strategies, but it all starts with content strategy. This essentially refers to planning, managing and developing your content in a structured way. In doing so, it is crucial to get a clear understanding about what your target audience is passionate about and how to reach them most effectively in order to be able to come up with a personalised strategy that fits their needs. The key to creating a successful content strategy is to keep the content coming continuously and make sure to fill in all the gaps, which is why using a content calendar to plan the distribution of it can be a good way to maintain regular contact with customers.
Many salespeople underestimate the importance of social media when it is in fact essential for helping your business to grow. However, being present on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn alone won’t do the job – social media content has to be planned out effectively, which is where a social media strategy comes in. As already emphasised in the paragraph about content strategy, it is indispensable to schedule your posts so that they come out frequently in order to prevent customers from losing interest or even completely forgetting about your company. Communicating with an audience through social networks is a very quick and easy way to spread awareness about your business. Even organisations who think social isn’t for them can benefit from investigating social selling. When planning out where to post in social media, think about the buyers you are targeting. Are they likely to use Instagram or is LinkedIn a better option?
Whitepapers, which are formally written authoritative reports discussing a specific issue and offering solutions to it. It gives you the chance to present your extensive knowledge to readers while educating them at the same time, enabling you to demonstrate yourself as professional, knowledgeable and credible.
Case studies are a slightly different and more product-related approach to promoting your business. They are very similar to a testimonial and report on how someone has made use of a product and how they have benefitted from it, which could for instance be done in the form of an interview. Thus, case studies help prospective customers to get an understanding of how other customers have overcome a similar challenge.
Understandably, people are more likely to trust the opinion of an individual who is unrelated to the company selling the advertised product than an advertisement from the said company itself which is what makes case studies so fruitful.
A more conversational way of connecting with your audience is by running a blog, which can be used to give regular updates, share opinions, introduce new ideas etc. Blogging helps you to reach a wide audience, including journalists, as well as interact with customers and receive feedback. Blog posts can also be useful to promote other things such as a previously published whitepaper or case study that can be linked to in the post. Additionally, blogs help you reach customers earlier in the sales cycle, before they have made a decision.
Video Content Marketing
Another very popular form of content marketing is video content marketing, a strategy that is still relatively new to the B2B marketing world but is already making a huge impact. Millennials, who nowadays form a majority of consumers, often prefer watching educational content instead of having to read up on a topic, which is why reporting on new ideas or explaining concepts in a video is attracting more and more focus. If you present your content in a simple and visual way by employing whiteboard animations, charts or graphics, it is also more likely to be understood and remembered by your viewers.
Vlogging is a specific type of video content marketing that has recently gained a lot of popularity due to its chatty and relaxed character. For example, these non-scripted videos could be used to provide subscribers with daily updates on an ongoing project and are therefore a great way to keep customers involved and up to speed at all times.
When it comes to launching a new product or service, sending a press release to journalists is the traditional go-to method to get the word out. They make it possible to reach a very big audience and attract new customers that might never have heard of your business before and are therefore essential for every content marketing strategy. You can also connect with journalists on social media – try searching for #journorequests to get updates about what journalists are looking for input on.
These are only a handful of types of Content Marketing. Content Marketing is constantly developing and adapting to changes and new trends in the business world, which is exactly what makes it so fascinating and open to taking part in. Get your voice heard, make your point, and become an authority.