There are many different definitions of content marketing. The CMI (Content Marketing Institute) describe it as a ‘strategic marketing approach’ and emphasise the importance of being consistent.
‘Content’ means any material you create (blogs, vlogs, webinars, infographics) and share online. The content isn’t designed to be a sales pitch, but tells people about you and your business so that they understand what you do.
Content marketing answers their questions and give them information that they didn’t even know they needed, but benefits them once they have it. It’s about being helpful, and giving audiences something of value without having an ulterior motive.
Content marketing gives potential customers valuable information about what you do and how you can help them.
You’ll hear the phrase “know, like and trust” a lot in connection with content marketing, because your content lets your potential customers get an understanding of you as an individual and what your values are, and this encourages them to decide to do business with you (and not a competitor).
What are the Benefits of Content Marketing?
Content marketing is a way to showcase your knowledge and expertise. People will view you as a reliable source and come to you for advice, making you a thought leader. It helps you stand out or differentiate yourself from your competitors.
Also, I think, content marketing is a response to changes in how people want to do business, find suppliers or purchase products, and this applies in their personal lives too.
Interruption marketing (i.e. old-style advertising) is increasingly unpopular. In fact, recent studies have shown that many people who use computers regularly now actively avoid looking at the right side of their screen, where adverts are usually shown. Google’s recent update would seem to reflect this, as sponsored results now only appear at the top of searches, rather than at the top and the right-hand side.
Buyer decisions are now much more two-way, allowing consumers to ask questions of business owners before making a purchase or deciding to use services. They also feel more invested and valued as a customer, and content marketing plays a big part in that.