Content marketing is about connecting, engaging and listening to your audience and forming a relationship. It is just as important as traditional advertisements. Let's look at what content marketing is, its strategies and how you can maximize on its benefits.
Simply put content marketing is an advertising strategy which existed longer than we can remember. Way back in 1732 Benjamin Franklin issued the Poor Richard’s Almanack to promote his printing business. The year 1888 Johnson & Johnson issued publication to impart tips to the medical community. They targeted doctors on the use of bandages with Modern Methods of Antiseptic Wound Treatment. When soap opera was born on television Procter and Gamble promoted their Oxydol soap powder to the adult female population.
And there were bill boards, or you may have seen them in movies. They show an arrow pointing you in the direction of a restaurant or gas station, parks or other points of interest. In movie theaters a trailer is shown before the actual show, advising you what’s coming soon, entice you to return to the movies. You don’t see them now, but there was a time when door-to-door salesmen clinging your doorbell to offer you a free sample of their product, expecting you to call later and make a purchase to drive up sales.
But content marketing is not sales-driven like in the old days. It has evolved into a form of sharing and exchanging stories. You share, you gain trust and credibility with your audience. As you establish your credibility, relationships are formed, and with these relationships you create an online community.
And this has changed the way advertisement was done in the past, since the late 20thcentury with the advent of the internet. The internet has enabled you to reach and to spread your story to a global audience. As you engage and listen to their thoughts, concerns and challenges, you learn what you can do to provide the services or goods that your audience needs, but your competitor is unable to provide.
There are many, many platforms where you can display your content, too many to list, but here are some examples to stir your mind.
Businesses and individuals build websites to show their type of business. The landing page is where your content is written that tells all about your product or service. A well-written landing page, with valuable content can draw a community and convert into good business leads.
Blogs are another platform where content marketing is done, to make known to a wide section of the community what is going on in the business. It can also be the site where information you seek is found. For instance, if you are puzzled about any subject, just do a search on the internet and you will find blogs like this one, for instance, white paper, e-books, e-mails and more, to find the information you seek.
Social Media Content Marketing
Other examples of content marketing is Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, Snapchat and Pinterest. These are very popular. Some businesses use it instead of websites to reach their customers or audience. Here they can engage, post and share live or prerecorded videos, stories and photos. Research revealed that it has more than 3.6 billion users worldwide. Just remember, if you create content on those platforms without having a website, you lose on the SEO you created.
Videos and Podcast
Online videos and Podcast are places that can help jump start your businesses. They have grown to become the powerhouse of social networking. Videos are shared and enjoyed more than reading text or looking at images. Videos about any subject have populated the internet, YouTube is well known for content marketing.
Not to forget the impact influencers have on a product or service. They are experts in their own domain, with proof they can attest to. What’s more they can reach the global community on the many social media platforms available. More than two-thirds of North American retailers use some form of influencer marketing, and at least 10% is spent by US and UK on influencer marketing.
The challenges of renewing, updating, re-creating new content, engaging and communicating with your audience need constant attention. That way you satisfy and retain loyal audiences. But this is minimal to the progress a businesses derives from quality content. Not to ignore the advantages of content and SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Content done right can put your business at the top of search engines. But that is another topic to discuss.
So, yes, content marketing is a powerful method to grow your business. It is the preferred practice in this 21st century with technological advances. Everyone is connected. Valuable, reliable and quality content is the leading link to forming long-term relationships, learning how to satisfy your audience and converting your business into your ideal aspirations.