What is content marketing?
Content Marketing is the use of content to attract and engage your audience. More discreet than advertising, content marketing, usually in the form of blogs and vlogs, should provide useful content to the reader on a topic of their interest.
If a brand uses direct sales techniques and content marketing in parallel, they increase the chances of reaching their end customer. As an example, a company selling cashmere products may run ads to raise awareness of the products and generate sales. In parallel, they should also create a series of blogs that would be useful to their customer such as, “How to care for your cashmere”, “10 ways to keep cashmere looking newer for longer.”; and so on. The blogs should be keyword rich (but not keyword stuffed), and they should provide value to the reader.
Think of advertising as a short, snappy sales tool designed to raise brand awareness and drive sales. In contrast, content marketing should serve to build a relationship between the brand and its customers or potential customers. It does so by providing useful, relevant content on topics that the customer cares about. In other words, instead of pitching your products or services, you are providing relevant information and useful content to your customers to help them solve their issues.
How to build content marketing into your overall strategy
Marketing, public relations, communications, and sales are often thrown together under one project area. They are in fact all different and should be allocated their own resource. Though each approach is different, they should work together in harmony under one overarching strategy and content marketing is no exception. If you are already running ads, consider how some informational blogs could assist your customers to better understand your products and services.
Examples of content marketing
Social Media Marketing
Gone are the days of direct, pushy sales on social media and promotional content should only ever be 1:4 of your overall content. Consider social media as the casual coffee house where you can “hang out” with your customer, digitally speaking, and build your relationship with useful, interesting content.
Search engine optimisation is how your website ranks on search tools like Google. If you have created a series of blogs with relevant keywords, Google “knows” that it should show you to people searching for those terms. The key to getting more traffic is to integrate quality content using keywords aligned with your content strategy. Search engines reward businesses that publish quality content consistently, so keep “showing up” with regular, relevant content.
Successful PR campaigns create the environment for sales by increasing brand awareness, share of conversation, and media presence. The media (typically) will not be interested in hearing a sales pitch or product launch. Instead, you (or your PR agency) will need to develop a content angle to attract and entice media to publish your news. It’s important to work with well-developed and quality content to attain results.
Why is content marketing important?
Writing high-quality blogs takes time, effort, and expertise. The research, writing, and publishing process usually takes between 6-12 hours per blog and brands should produce 2-8 blogs per month. So, content marketing may feel like a lot of work with an unclear ROI. Consider that content marketing reduces the need to obtain lists of leads from external sources just to keep your sales funnel full. Instead, you create the content and generate more leads yourself. Although the investment in time and budget can be extensive, your content pieces should serve you for years – building your online presence and deepening your relationships with your customers.
Benefits of content marketing
- It’s an efficient way to reach your target audience by offering relevant and quality content
- An effective content marketing strategy will lead to higher ranking on Google
- It enables you to communicate your brand’s mission, vision, and values
- It helps you attract and retain potential clients
- It can effectively build brand awareness and boost customer engagement
According to the HubSpot Annual State of Marketing Report 2022.
- 47% of buyers view three to five pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep
- 82% of marketers report actively using content marketing in 2021, up 70% from last year
- Videos are the most used form of content marketing overtaking blogs and infographics
These statistics clearly show an increasing trend supporting the need for quality content and content marketing. Content marketing attracts new customers by creating and sharing valuable free content. It helps companies create sustainable brand loyalty, provides valuable information to consumers, and creates a willingness to purchase products from the company in the future.
This blog was created by White Orchid Insights WOI. White Orchid Insights is a marketing, branding, communications, and PR agency headquartered in Hong Kong serving clients around the world.