What is content marketing?
Content marketing is a term which is thrown around when describing a number of marketing tactics for a defined purpose. Marketing teams are repeatedly asserting that interesting and engaging content is central to their strategies. But, what is content marketing and how can it help your business? Let us explain all.
The Content Marketing Institute describe it as:
A marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience with the objective of driving profitable customer action. “Traditional” marketing techniques include static billboards, leaflets and broadcasted adverts on TV or radio. These techniques are now merging with digital technology as their static nature no longer have the impact needed in an increasingly digital world. We are constantly bombarded with adverts. Researchhas found that the average London commuter sees 130 adverts in one 45-minute journey. This becomes white noise with the same research also showing that 99% of those adverts having little or no impact.
So, what can marketers do to stop this from happening?
Instead of using marketing simply as an opportunity to sell, sell, sell, content marketing is about giving something back. This could be a blog, an instructional video or simply something shareable on social media. It provides your target audience with something meaningful and interesting. It builds a deeper relationship with your potential customers which is more likely to lead to online interaction, brand loyalty and, hopefully, conversions.Research has shown that almost 90% of companies are using content marketing or were planning to do so in the future. So, if you’re not already producing content marketing, it is definitely something you could consider. To help inspire you, here are some of our favourite examples of what is content marketing at its best.
The smoothie company is heralded as paving the way for just what is content marketing. They dish up the funny and the silly with a heavy dose of their signature brand identity. This spans their entire digital portfolio but they really come into their own on Twitter. Fruit juice may have originally seemed like a pretty boring product to market. They have totally avoided the potential mundanity of selling fruit juice and they are cashing in on the marvellous. OK, so it may not be necessarily valuable or directly relevant. But, they are definitely consistent and, ultimately, it drives traffic to their channels, which is the end game.
Digital media is largely a visual platform and the components of what is content marketing is no different. This is where camera company GoPro has hit the nail on the head. Their YouTube channel has 5.5 million subscribers and their short and sweet videos get thousands of views in a matter of days. This is a very effective form of content marketing as it demonstrates the product well whilst retaining a somewhat aspirational tone of a certain lifestyle, which is in line with its brand identity
Beauty blogging is big business and the internet is awash with men and women trialling different products in ‘how-to’ style videos. Makeup companies have had to think outside the box on how to be part of this online activity, as a blog simply is not enough anymore. L’Oreal found a clever way to get in on the action. With 30% of its media spend going on digital channels in 2016, it launched its Beauty Squad campaign which got its social influencers talking about the latest trends and their products. This shows an awareness of who their audiences are and, instead of competing with them for online traffic and video views, they are joining them instead. That is really at the heart of what is content marketing – being part of the conversation.
It’s not just consumer brands which can benefit from considering what is content marketing for their audiences. As a specialist consultancy, Deloitte positions itself as an industry expert, thought leader and curator of business insight. The people likely to use its services may be traditionally time poor so they may wish to consume information in different ways. Deloitte Insights nails this by offering specialist information in a wide variety of formats from blog posts to podcasts, videos and news articles. This shows that they know their target market is diverse and how to cater for their individual tastes.
So, the answer to what is content marketing is simple.
It’s giving your audiences something fun, interesting or inspiring to prompt a positive connection with your company. This will support brand and loyalty as well as hopefully lead to conversions and sales in the long term. Ease yourself in gently with these tips on how to get started:
- Set a purpose or goal
- Be consistent – establish your tone and style and stick with it.
- Draw up a realistic schedule – it’s absolutely fine if you can only post once a week, just make that decision and stick to it going forward.
- Give your audiences what they will want, not what you think they will need.
- Structure your content following some basic rules
- Plan what you want to say, how you want to say it and what success will look like.
- Follow the basic rules for digital marketing, such as incorporating those all-important keywords
Despite what we have said above, do make sure you are regularly reviewing what you are doing. If it’s not working, don’t hesitate to try something new. Test away until you tick the right boxes with your audience. There is not a one size fits all in any shape form or size! Finally, don’t forget that content is only still king if it has loyal subjects. The next job is to attract an audience in the first place. This TFG blogwill explain how you can also make that happen for your brand.
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