What is content marketing, anyway?
Ahh “Content Marketing”.
I remember a few years ago I would mention this to people who would look at me back with a blank expressions on their face.
Well, a few years on, and today more people than ever, are starting to embrace the power and potential that creating educational content for your business can have.
And by now I’m sure you will have heard the buzz surrounding content marketing. You may have a vague idea about its value and impact to business success; but what exactly is it?
This article will help clarify what content marketing is and some of the ways you can do it.
Defining Content Marketing for your business
A simple Google search describes content marketing as:
“a type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online material (such as videos, blogs, and social media posts) that does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in its products or services”
The key is that content marketing doesn’t explicitly promote a brand, but is intended to stimulate interest.
It is a form of marketing that indirectly promotes your brand or product. By sharing content, brands can build the framework in which they want to be seen. It’s context to who you are and what you value. What makes content marketing different to other marketing? It’s content that people want to read. It’s appreciated by the reader, it’s relevant and consistent. It’s helpful. It’s valuable.
The types of Content you can create for your business
This content can take a seemingly endless list of forms. It can be blogs, images, videos, podcasts, lists, infographics, opinion posts, how-to’s, reviews, podcasts, interviews, case studies… You get the idea.
Basically: anything that people can consume (read, listen, watch, etc) and get value from can be content you can create for your business.
This post will zoom in on a few of these examples of content, and share what it is about them that makes them so valuable.
Arguably the most popular form of content marketing, blogging is an immensely valuable tool. Rather than making an aggressive sales pitch, blogs begin a more open conversation. By posting regularly, brands can build their online personality. More importantly, it’s a personality people can relate to.
For example, if you’re wondering what type of personality Skyline Social has, looking at our blogs will show you that it’s all about helping businesses grow by using social media and content marketing.
Video content is easy to consume, simple to share, and created to be enjoyed. Video is perhaps the most engaging form of content available. It can ignite emotions and explain key concepts or ideas in a simple and digestible way. Build confidence in your brand, product or service, by producing or sharing entertaining content that adds to your story.
Case studies are immensely valuable for sharing the success of your business. They begin with an easily imaginable and relatable problem, and show the steps taken to develop and make that problem disappear.
They give an insight into the way that you work, deal with challenges, and ultimately improve a situation from its original state. Case studies present your brand as one that can take control, a figure with the answers, attributing a sense of pragmatism to your personality.
Best of all? They’re honest. A verifiable proof of what you and your business, brand or product can do to really benefit the situation of another.
The content marketing institute found that whatever your industry, content with images receive 94% more engagement than those without. This makes it a strong contender for the most important social media tactic available! Utilise your Instagram, and put some eye-catching imagery on your articles to make your content shine.
Infographics are visual representations of information or data. With so many facts, stats, and tidbits of information circulating the world-wide web, infographics are great for sending messages to your customers in an accessible way. Presented with bold colours and unusual fonts, infographics act in much the same way as images. They grab the attention of your audience in a way they can enjoy and appreciate.
Either by writing your own, or sharing the work of others, reviews are a great way of expressing opinion. They can highlight your values and give real life examples of what can be achieved. Evaluate something from your field; be it a recent TEDtalk, business articles, or networking events, and both praise what you like and critique what you don’t. When a consumer reads your content, and agrees with what you’re sharing, a relationship built on trust and agreement is instantly formed. Remember though, when consumers can see what you value in the work of others, they will expect the same standard in your own!
Why should you care about content marketing?
It builds trust.
Trust is one of the most important parts of growing your business and it applies to every business.
“People do business with people they know, like and trust.” — Timeless business saying
Content marketing is essential to the success of your business because it build trust with your potential customers and existing customers.
Potential leads are nurtured through content marketing, through reaffirmation of who you are and what you stand for and eventually, once you’ve built enough trust, those leads are turned into sales.
So to reiterate, content marketing is not about plugging your service or products. It is about helping people, providing value to them and building trust.
With good content marketing that is both regular and relevant, your customers will be primed with a positive opinion of you and your brand, often ready to buy before they even approach you.