Content marketing begins with a strategy and has a main focus on offering content that is valuable, consistent, and relevant. The final goal is to get customers to take an action - call your company, buy your product, etc. By offering content that is useful to existing and potential customers, you are keeping in constant contact with your audience without directly selling them things.
This strategy is a longer-term focus and should be one part of your overall marketing plan. The content you offer, which keeps customers coming back, educates them on your product or service and helps them to choose your company once they are ready to purchase.
Content marketing is not the same as traditional advertising. In conventional advertising strategies, the purpose is to get the name and message of a company out into the world. It can be targeted toward certain groups or age ranges, and it can also be completely random.
In some circles, traditional advertising is known as "interruption marketing" where you're putting an ad or email in front of your audience in hopes that they'll come learn more about your business.
On the other hand, content marketing falls into the "inbound marketing" category where your audience comes to you because you provide useful information, and once they're on your site reading your content, they'll naturally start exploring the services you offer.
Content Marketing can be integrated as a marketing strategy
- One big benefit is generating more traffic for your site. If the content is useful to your audience, they will share it. As long as the information provided continues to be handy or interesting, the content - and your site - will be shared. Those whom content is shared with will probably re-share it as well, and the effect can be truly exponential.
- On top of being shared more often, blog articles and other forms of content are great for SEO. Each blog article is opportunity to rank for more keywords. Thus, bringing even more traffic to your site.
- Whether you are using your site with a blog, Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin or other social media, offering solid content catches attention and hooks your audience and in turn increases your audience engagement.
- Over time, content marketing can generate more leads and sales particularly if you have a long sales cycle. Using new and helpful content as an excuse to connect with your prospects is a great way to nurture leads as they work their way through your sales funnel
- Kick-start and establish your brand by portraying yourself as a knowledgeable leader in your industry. The more people that turn to the advice you present in your content, the more likely people will be to trust you as a business partner.
The type of content that you can market is limited by your imagination.
If you have a business creating something, for example, you can post image updates on projects via Instagram, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, and other sites. For longer content, you might put it on a blog and then use your social media accounts to let readers know that you have new content. Audio, video, interactive and more are all popular methods of content distribution depending on your message.
Content Marketing vs. Copywriting?
Content marketing is the creation and sharing of free content which has value to potential customers - converting them into customers and even repeat buyers. Using some of the sales techniques of copywriting in your content can increase sales.
Copywriting is a little different from content marketing, but if done skillfully the two can assist each other in getting your brand and your message across to new customers. Copywriting is the sort of content which asks the reader to take an action, such as subscribe to email lists, sign up for your blog, buy your product, or call you for more information.
Predictions in Content Marketing as we start 2016:
- More and more companies will integrate with larger companies when it comes to content marketing. This is ideal for those who do not have the time to develop new platforms for their content.
- There will be growth in communication platforms such as WeChat, LINE, and others. These all-in-one platforms offer businesses options for things such as content, payments, commerce, and transport.
- Content will become more interactive and encourage immersion, including virtual reality.
- Brands will increasingly realize the value of content and make it more of a key part of customer interaction.
- Marketers will define the limits of their platforms and work within them by sticking to specific plans and goals.
- Ad blocking will become more innovative and adapt to customer preferences and behaviors rather than against these metrics.
- Marketing talent will be a more competitive gig for those who are career content marketers. Top talents will be greatly sought after and will have to work harder to find and keep such employees.
- Content marketing will go beyond engagement and begin to reach goal-based outcomes such as signing up for the newsletters, entering a sweepstakes, etc.
If you'd like to get started with content marketing, here are some tools, which may help you create new and interesting content ideas for your company.
- Answer The Public - Provides a visual graph of ideas based on keywords.
- FAQ Fox - Tells you which questions the readers in your industry most want answers to.
- KW Finder - This site offers lists of 'long tail' keywords, which are less used in SEO which can help you target your audience more specifically.
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