This is the first post in a series about content marketing. The purpose of this post is to provide an introduction to content marketing – what it is and how it will help your website. The second post in this series will offer some high level tips for content marketing to get you going and help you consistently generate content that provides value to your audience.
Content marketing requires effort, consistency and commitment. It’s more of a marathon than a sprint. That’s the ‘hard’ side. The up side is that content marketing raises your profile online, boosts your SEO and attracts new customers and helps you to keep existing ones.
So …what is content marketing?
The Content Marketing Institute says:
Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
Chris Brogan says
Content marketing is information that is created with the intention of promoting a product or service.
Why does it work?
- People have been ‘marketed’ to death. Yet they are constantly looking for solutions and usually online. Content marketing is your opportunity to ‘market’ –Through your content, you demonstrate that you have the solutions that they are looking for.
Brian Rotzstein says it best; “The underlying assumption of content marketing is that the content is the ad without being an ad.”
- Through content marketing, you can create relationships and engagement with your customers or clients – it’s kind of a getting to know you exercise. And getting to know your customers or clients is a way to better help them down the road.
- Content marketing – or blogging – allows your personality to shine in a way that your static website content cannot. It adds a human side to your website so your potential customers get to know you and build trust and relationship before they buy.
- From a search perspective, you improve your opportunities in search by using new keywords that relate to your industry but are not necessarily keywords that you have used in your static content.
Examples of content marketing
You basically see content marketing everywhere on the web. It can take many forms – and this list is not exhaustive:
- Blog Posts
- Social Media posts (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn; as examples)
- Case Studies
In fact, any content that you generate to lead to a sale is content marketing. It’s much more user-friendly because you are not ‘marketing’ but actually helping people to have a better life. What’s not to like about content marketing?
What kind of content should you provide?
The internet has opened the door to a more relaxed, personal approach to marketing. This means that you can show some personality while you demonstrate that you have some important information that people want.
Your content can be a combination of helpful, informative, entertaining or educational posts. It’s up to you to decide the mix you want to offer to your audience. Your content mix should be based on the needs and wants of your audience. If your audience enjoys being entertained, then, by all means, give that to them.