What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is a marketing method that focuses on creating and distributing valuable content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience. It’s about getting the right information to the right audience. Good content marketing provides relevant and useful content that people would want to seek out and consume.
Different Forms of Content Marketing:
- Blog Posts / Online Articles
- Books / eBooks
As you can see there are many different forms of content marketing and the content you produce will depend on what your brand is trying to achieve. These days, a company would need to produce many different forms of content as a part of their content marketing strategy.
Why Use Content Marketing?
Content marketing increases brand awareness. Branding is important for companies that want to prosper in the long run. Branding is a long term strategy and it is valuable to implement it by providing a consistent message over time.
A good content marketing strategy can lead to: increased sales, cost savings, and good customer relationships.
Valuable content can be useful and relevant for years to come. That means you will be able to use that same content to consistently grow your audience over time without added costs. Then by continuing to produce useful and relevant content on a consistent basis, you can retain this growing audience, and build a long and prosperous relationship.
How to Use Content Marketing
Alright so now let’s talk strategy. How can your brand use content marketing in an effective way?
First you need to come up with the objective. What is your brand trying to achieve? As a refresher, note that branding is the image that you want to portray to your audience. What do you want your customers to think when they see or hear your brand? If you already have a brand image or have already begun to build it, then create your content around that brand image.
For example, if your brand is focused on being informative, then you should produce content that is considered infotainment. Infotainment is content that both entertains and informs. If the information is too cut and dry, then no one will want to consume it because it will be boring. If it is too focused on entertainment then the information will be lost and the message will not be clear. There needs to be a good balance between the information and entertainment.
Nike is a company that does very effective content marketing. Over the years they have pushed their well known slogan into the minds of their consumers: “Just Do It”. The image that Nike has effectively created is a brand that is associated with athleticism and taking action. When people think of Nike they think of professional athletes that perform at high levels. Nike has also managed to stay relevant with current trends and have consistently produced the image of being cool in the minds of youngsters.
Here is an example of a viral Nike commercial:
Great content marketing also focuses on stirring strong emotions from the audience. That is what Nike does very well through the video content they produce. Once you have a clear objective of what you want your content marketing to achieve, then you will pick which type of content to produce. Although you will need to create different types of content, there will typically be a main form that will be the bread and butter of your content marketing.
After you produce your content, you will need to distribute it.
Some methods of distribution are:
- Your own site. Put a blog or podcast on your main site.
- Social media platforms such as: YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Medium, etc…
- Other people’s audiences. Leverage someone else’s audience by writing guest posts or be a guest in their show, podcast, etc…
Content marketing can be very effective for your company if done right. Once your audience is familiar with your brand and likes your content, they will be more receptive to the products or services you provide.