In recent years, content marketing has risen to prominence as a cost-effective alternative to traditional marketing strategies.
Content marketing delivers 3x more leads than paid search does, so it’s no surprise that 86% of B2C marketers and 91% of B2B marketers are now using some form of content marketing as a part of their overall marketing strategy.
If you are not one of them yet (or, if you are just dipping your toes into the world of content marketing!) this article is for you. It will give you a thorough understanding of what content marketing actually is, why it’s so effective, and how you can start using it in your own business.
What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing refers to a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and sharing valuable, relevant content to attract, educate and retain your audience, ultimately turning them into paying customers (and even repeat buyers).
The main idea behind content marketing is building trust with your audience members, both old and new, by showing them that you can help answer their questions and solve their problems.
When you think about it, this approach makes sense: when someone goes looking for answers online, they are not looking for a sales pitch.
Instead, they want solutions – and producing high-quality content is a great way to meet that demand.
What is content, anyway?
Content can be broadly defined as anything and everything created for user consumption, including:
- Blog posts
- SlideShares, etc.
Chances are, if you own or work for a company with any online presence at all, you have already dealt with content creation in some shape or form.
However, keep in mind that there is a difference between “content” and useful, relevant content.
The former is likely to increase your marketing costs without providing any benefits; the latter has the potential to skyrocket your revenues and actually decrease the amount of money you spend on marketing.
The difference between content marketing and traditional marketing
We have created this handy little table to give you a better idea of how content marketing differs from traditional marketing:
|Traditional Marketing||Content Marketing|
|Marketing Approach||- Promoting and advertising your product||- Producing relevant and useful content|
|The Aim||- Introduce your product to potential customers|
- Make them want to buy your product
|- Help your target audience solve their issues|
- Build trust with target prospects and customers
- Turn prospects into customers, and customers into repeat buyers
Why should you care about content marketing?
In 2018, 32% of B2B marketing budgets were allocated for content marketing. That number is only expected to grow over the next 12 months, and for good reason.
Some of the world’s leading brands have had incredible success with content marketing. For example, P&G’s content-based site beinggirl.com turned out to be 4x more effective than traditional advertising, while Toshiba’s “Smart Community” campaign helped generate 160,000 new LinkedIn followers.
And you know what every single one of those new followers represents? A potential customer.
Content marketing is not only for big brands, though.
Small businesses and one-person shops around the globe use it to generate extra revenue on the daily – and you can too.
Effective marketing is impossible without great content
There’s no reason to treat content marketing as an entirely separate concept, though. Creating and sharing quality content is a part of most, if not all, marketing strategies:
- Social Media Marketing: What are you going to post on your social media today? That’s content.
- Paid search: What does someone see when they first click your ad? Also content.
- Inbound marketing: How are you going to get more inbound traffic and leads to your website? (You guessed it – the answer is content.)
- SEO: Want to rank higher on Google? Search engines reward businesses that consistently publish high-quality content on their websites.
- PR: Instead of talking about the business itself, the best PR strategies address the questions and issues their audience members care about – just like content marketing does.
Your Next Steps
What if your customers actually looked forward to your emails in their inbox? What if they devoured your new blog posts, and shared them with their friends?
When it comes to content marketing, the possibilities are endless.
If you want to see how content marketing can work for YOUR business, feel free to contact us to chat about anything we can help you with.