Chances are, you’ve heard the term “content marketing” thrown around a lot lately. But what is it, really? Simply put, content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
Of course, that’s just a high-level overview. So let’s take a more in-depth look at what content marketing entails, shall we?
What is Content Marketing?
As we just mentioned, content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action. Now let’s break that definition down a bit further so we can better understand each component.
Strategic: First and foremost, content marketing is strategic. This means that it should align with your overall business goals. In other words, your content should support your sales funnel by awareness building in the early stages and continuing to nurture leads until they’re ready to buy.
Marketing Approach: second, content marketing is a marketing approach. What this means is that it should be employed as part of your broader marketing efforts. Yourcontent should supplement your other marketing channels (e.g., paid advertising) to provide potential customers with additional touchpoints through which they can engage with your brand.
Content: And then there’s the “content” part of “content marketing.” Here’s where things can get a bit tricky because the definition of “content” can vary dramatically from one marketer to the next. For our purposes, though, let’s define content as anything that educates, informs, or entertains — regardless of format or medium. That could be anything from blog posts and infographics to videos and white papers.
The key here is that the content must be valuable, relevant, and consistent in order to achieve the desired results.
Value: Your content must offer value to your target audience if you want them to stick around (i.e., become loyal readers or subscribers). That value could come in the form of information (e.g., helpful tips or advice), entertainment (e.g., an engaging story or video), or both!
Relevance: In addition to offering value, your content must also be relevant to your target audience if you want them to keep coming back for more. This means creating content on topics that are timely and coincide with their interests — not just whatever happens to be popular at the moment within your industry.
Consistency: Finally, you must be consistent with your content if you want people to keep coming back for more. This means publishing new blog posts or articles on a regular basis (ideally at least once per week). It also means being consistent with the format of your content so that people know what to expect each time they visit your site (e.g., long-form blog posts vs short summaries). Consistency builds trust — something that’s essential if you want people to do business with you!
Now that we’ve answered the question “what is content marketing,” it’s time to put what you’ve learned into practice! If you’re not already using this powerful strategy as part of your broader marketing efforts, now is the time to start! Trust us —your business will thank you for it in the long run!