Content marketing is the action of creating and sharing relevant, interesting & valuable content frequently on your online platforms to attract the attention of a pre-determined audience. It is a marketing technique because the objective of content marketing is to drive a profitable customer action.
In short, content marketing is the process of communication with your customers or prospects without selling to them. Instead of the traditional sales pitch, you are presenting information that is making the customer or prospect wiser. The aim of this marketing strategy is to reap the reward of customer loyalty by consistently delivering valuable information to the buyer.
Think about it… what if you can get to a point where your customers are looking forward to receive your marketing? It is possible if you have a carefully planned content marketing strategy.
Marketing is tougher without good content
Irrespective of the marketing tactics that you are using, you have to make content marketing part of the process and not something separate. Great content makes up a key part of all forms of marketing:
- Marketing on social media: Without good content, you will not win on social media. Planning your content is a key to social media marketing success.
- Website SEO: Search engines (like Google) reward websites that publish quality and unique content often.
- Public Relations: If your PR strategy is focused on addressing issues that readers care about, you will have PR success.
- Google Adwords: Good content contributes to better Adwords success.
- Driving traffic: Quality content is the key to increased web traffic and converting traffic into leads.
Social Media success starts with a good content marketing strategy
Having social platforms that are outdated is worse that having no social platforms at all. Just by creating a profile for your company on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, does not mean that you will have any marketing success. It is important to make frequent updates on your social platforms. But what information must I share? That is the question. That is where a content plan can come in handy.
Do you understand what your customers care about? If you think you know, make these topics part of your content plan. If your content plan is ready, get a blog. Your blog will be the platform where your content is going to be published. Your blog post link will be shared on your social media platforms.
TIP: If you are new to content marketing and social media, start small. Consider only the top platforms: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn and monitor which platform gives you the best audience growth.
Below is a table of how marketers in North America (across various industries) use social media to spread their marketing content. South Africa is very much the same.
Content marketing for SEO
Have you ever heard of OC/DC? It stands for “Optimizing Content for Discovery and Conversion”. Google has changed their approach to search in recent years and have become better at delivering high quality content. Users have also become more savvy in what they search for. Through keyword research you can find out what people are searching for that is related to your product or service. By generating content that is relevant to these searches and adding the content weekly or monthly to your website or blog, you can have a visitor traffic trend that is similar to the one below (month to month traffic increase over time):
From this trend it is clear what a content marketing approach can do to your website traffic. Now if your website is done properly and your goals (profitable actions) are clearly defined, you should see web traffic turn into money.
What do I mean with ‘content’? What content can be used?
This “valuable information” that we are talking about can be presented in the following formats (so be creative):
- News articles
- White Papers
- FAQ’s – Questions and Answers
- ‘How-to’ guides
- Case studies
…or any other informative material that can create an interest in your product or service.
Developing a content marketing strategy
The Content Marketing Institute is a great online resource to get you going.