Content Marketing: The Thing You Should Be Doing
You’ve probably heard the term “content marketing” before. Before you shrug your shoulders, know this: content marketing isn’t just another industry buzzword.
It is the future of marketing.
According to Marketing Mag, content marketing will be a $300 billion industry by 2019.
In ClickZ’s digital trends report for 2016, 24.6% of global readers said that content marketing was the most significant marketing trend for their company in 2016.
What IS content marketing? As we know from Wikipedia (which, as we all know, is irrefutably accurate), content marketing is:
“Any marketing format that involves the creation and sharing of media and publishing content in order to acquire customers. This information can be presented in a variety of formats, including news, video, white papers, e-books, infographics, case studies, how-to guides, question and answer articles, photos, etc.”
What does that mean?
Content marketing provides valuable, shareable information for your audience – rather than pitching them on your product or business, you provide useful information that educates your audience, so that they then trust and like you enough to give you their business.
Useful is the operative word here.
What is “useful” information? It is information that your audience wants to know, that they actively seek out. They probably don’t want to know that YOUR BRAND makes a mean candy bar. But they might want to know how to make a creamy chocolate coating at home, or how to prepare the perfect peanut granola.
“So, I’m just supposed to give away a bunch of free info, and hope people buy stuff from me?”
Content marketing aims to change consumer behaviour: rather than avoid marketing, they seek it out.
Traditional sales and advertising techniques aim to tell the consumer that they need your product or service. Content marketing techniques establish a relationship with the consumer from the beginning, so that when they want to buy, they already trust you.
Plus, they have likely come across your business organically, so the whole thing feels like their idea.
The information you “give away” creates new leads, fosters trust, and establishes authority. It should act as sales funnel.
What form does content marketing take?
Whatever form your content marketing takes, it should be focused on your niche; Producing a video about yoga stretches won’t help you if you sell vacuums. But as for the actual form, the sky is the limit!
- Blogs (yes, this is part of the reason that your website needs a blog)
Modern consumers have a myriad of ways to avoid traditional marketing and advertising – DVRs, ad blockers, mental filters, junk folders, etc. Content marketing is the best way to get your business out there without pissing off your audience.