Content Marketing is “the practice of developing awareness, recall, purchases and loyalty through the use of content published online or offline.”
It goes by many names: Thought Leadership, Social Media, Email Marketing, Whitepapers, Press Releases, etc.
Through the mass adoption of smart phones, tablets, data plans and ubiqutous high-speed internet plan, the market has made it clear that it wants content. Not spam, but value-adding, quality content.
So that’s the good thing about content, that the market wants it. The tough side of content is that it’s hard to produce. It takes time, precious time. It takes skill. Practice. It takes many disciplines as content can be more than just writing; it can be graphic design (inforgraphics), video, illustration, etc.
Content Marketing at its core is sharing valuable information with your market. It’s not about spamming. It’s not about stuffing social media channels with useless information. Content marketing is about adding value to your audience and doing it in such a manner that is consistent and of high quality.
Believe me, it is harder than it looks. That’s why you see few companies doing it very well. But there is a whole cottage industry springing up around content marketing. Why? Because the demand is there. The market wants it and it doesn’t look like it’s letting up. It’s extremely time intensive to consistently create good content. And so companies are outsourcing this relatively guerilla marketing tactic.
Such channels for content marketing may or may not be obvious. Your web site for one can house your blog, whitepapers, news releases, articles, etc. You can further leverage your websites content by integrating the content with your social media accounts. Sharing relevant blog posts with your followers via LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Google+ are great options. (There are so many disqualifiers that need to be said here, I’m going to ask for your understanding that I’m not simply pushing social media as a marketing channel–we’re promoting, good relevant and valued content to those followers that want it!).
Content marketing strategy adoption is growing: Just 12 months ago, 55% of companies outsourced their content marketing. Today, that’s grown to 62%. Why do companies do this?
The top reasons are:
- Brand Awareness
- Customer Acquisition
- Lead Generation
- Customer Retention and Loyalty
In many cases, Content Marketing can contribute to all four of these goals. Well, I’ve used too many words to make my point. The awesome infographic by Blueglass Interactive and posted on Mashable tells the story. Create your Content Marketing strategy. And of course if you need help, get in touch with Merge.