Content Marketing is defined as “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.”
It’s a strategic marketing approach more focused on educational, entertaining, informative, and valuable content over just splashing the brand name around.
Content marketing is a way to define and consistently show your brand and company without having to advertise at people constantly.
You may have heard the phrase “content is king.” Heck, my own website has that right at the top of the homepage!
Well, these days, content marketing is central to most digital marketing campaigns. More than advertising, it actually informs people. Look at most blogs here on Medium. You are reading useful, valuable content and learning something — not just having a product thrown in your face.
And because you’re gaining something useful from the content, you’re more likely to come back for more and read that writer’s work again. You’ll likely remember them if you ever need a service they provide. You’ll remember their brand because you have respect for what they put out there.
Content marketing is not just blogging
A brand’s videos or YouTube channel is content marketing. Their social media is content marketing. Look at how big brands are attracting people using social media by taking a look at ones like Wendy’s pithy Twitter account, which has garnered over 3.7 million followers. The Museum of English Rural Life’s Twitter, which Zulie Rane featured on her blog last summer, has over 151,000 followers and uses memes and jokes to attract and connect with people — even those who have never heard of them.
Companies and organizations that can take advantage of social media and pop culture without being cringey or trying too hard are gathering hundreds of thousands to millions of followers — and not just for the jokes. They come for the jokes and stay for the information and entertainment.
That is what content marketing is designed to do: Attract people to your brand.
Don’t just take my word for it
Dave Schools is a great writer who wrote “Content Used to Be King. Here’s What’s Next,” where he talks about how content has now become commonplace and that “more content” is no longer the answer — now it’s all about connection and community engagement.
Nicolas Cole talked about how content writers can still make money during this pandemic and how freelancing is already remote so now is the perfect time to take on more freelance writing opportunities and build a paid newsletter or search out experts to talk about what is going on in the world.
Shane Barker is a professional digital marketer who wrote a great guide for “How to Use These 7 Types of Content in Your Marketing Strategy.” He references a report from CMI that said “the most successful B2B marketers dedicate 40% of their advertising budgets to content marketing.” That’s a huge chunk of budget solely for content marketing — showing just how important content marketing has become for businesses.
Eva Gutierrez is a marketing writer who wrote a piece about content marketing being the #1 marketing strategy for startups with no funding. She explains how you don’t need large budgets or an archive of articles to do content marketing and that you can use your biggest fans: your customers.
Amanda Clark recently wrote an interesting piece on “Why Content Marketing is Going to Be Hot in a Post-COVID World,” where she posits that “Traditional advertising is going to become all but gone,” and explains why before diving into why content marketing will thrive.
Content marketing is a major part of a marketing strategy in today’s world.
At this point, in 2020, you can no longer ignore the magnitude of digital and content marketing (far beyond paid ads on Facebook and Instagram).
Content marketing is here to stay. Using it to your advantage is your responsibility.
I pay $0 in marketing every year. I market myself via cold messaging, often get referrals, and use content as my marketing. I have this blog, a basically-defunct YouTube channel, and active social media accounts. I write books to put out even more content — but not to advertise! My books are informational and give tons of real, useful content to readers.
How are you taking advantage of your expertise with content marketing?
Check out my book Concept to Conclusion: How to Write a Book and learn everything you need to know to conceive of, outline, write, publish, and market a book!
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