Content marketing as a word is often thrown around by a lot of people in the business and marketing world but more often than not they have some sort of warped view of content marketing. Their views are mainly informed by Buzzfeed and Mashable and the one article they have read on “15 epically awesome content marketing strategies” but they don’t seem to grasp the basics.
In this blog I’m going to be looking at what is content marketing from the basics and the fundamentals rather than jumping straight into the deep end.
First let’s have a look at a definition for content marketing, the Content Marketing Institute define content marketing as
“Content marketing is the marketing and business process for creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”
This essentially means that content marketing is creating some form of content whether it be a video, an image, a blog post or anything around your brand which will be of interest to potential customers.
This sounds like advertising, wrong it is better than advertising. The first way it beats advertising is that it is a voluntary choice to interact with it. How you ask? Let me explain. When you watch an advert on the TV you aren’t choosing to watch it you are forced to, this means you’re less engaged with it and you’re less likely to retain the information. But with content marketing you are choosing to view, read, watch, comment, like or share it so you’re more engaged with it. Meaning a higher information retention rate and also you’re more likely to interact with it.
The idea behind it is that you make your content not on an exact product or service but around the topic or field. So if you are a hairdresser you don’t want to make everything around your service because that isn’t going to be of interest to a wide audience. Maybe you do it around famous haircuts, famously bad haircuts; hair cut trends, hair tips etc. The list is almost endless; the idea is to create something interesting for anyone and everyone whether they are looking for a haircut today or not.
Then the next step is to get it out there, contact websites, blogs, people on Twitter, Facebook etc and get them to share it. This is where it gets interesting; the idea is to get your content trending and get a buzz around it and have people sharing it, and re-posting it on their own website. The best content marketing campaign won’t do it all itself , it will need some manual work to get it kick started.
Did you really think it would be that simple? Some campaigns will take that little; others will require a lot more. It’s very hard to judge what will do well until you’ve done it, simply because your success is purely dependant on the general public. If they don’t take to its then it will be very hard to make it big.
It might not always work, and it might take a lot of time to get it right but once you’ve got it the rewards are worth it. When they go well you will get 100, 1000 or millions of social shares , countless backlinks , huge traffic increase, customer gain and important PR around your business which simply isn’t gained from advertising because advertising is bought, content marketing is earned.
There are lots of ways to approach it but the best way is with an open mind, things won’t always work the first time, it will take a lot of time and you will get frustrated, there are big learning curves but when it all come together and you have a great piece of content that everyone is sharing then it will be worth it. Just be prepared to learn and adjust your strategy along the way.
This just brushes the surface of it and there is a lot more on choosing your type of content, the focus point, the audience, design and method of distribution, which I will cover in the near future.