“Content marketing” is one of those industry phrases that can sound a bit meaningless at first glance: doesn’t all marketing use content in some way to make a point?
Of course, that’s true: we’re surrounded by content all the time, from billboard posters to online ads, that are seeking to market some product or service. But content marketing as a is a little different – and a little more specific.
Put simply, content marketing puts together material – or content – of particular interest to a target group. By attracting that demographic to a given channel, the content provider is then able to convert the engagement of the audience into sales.
This method can help expand a clientbase, improve existing relationships, enhance a brand and build communities around a product or service. In short, content marketing creates connections.
YouTube channels are a good example of this: many provide fantastic and useful content to their target audiences whilst also directing them towards points of sale. Some businesses have built their whole marketing model around this approach.
Critical to successful content marketing, though, is creativity. This method only works if what a business offers to its audience is worth reading, watching or listening to. So how do businesses create compelling content? There are three key considerations:
1. It needs to be relevant.
If a business has chosen its audience and topic well, then the target customer will have a critical need for the information being provided. That urgency can manifest as impatience if the content isn’t immediately relevant to them. So content marketing needs to provide valuable information from the get-go.
2. It needs to be new.
Recycling other people’s content – whether copying or pasting it directly or reworking it slightly – doesn’t cut it. The audience probably know something already about the topic in hand – or else they wouldn’t be interested at all. That means they’ll want to learn something new. Content marketing gives that to them.
This provides an opportunity to the brand, too: the chance to offer its own spin on the hot topics in its sector. The businesses that take that opportunity get the most out of the method: it affords a space in which to stake a claim to a position, and to do so profitably. Content marketing shouldn’t be shy.
2. It needs to be authoritative.
By offering something new, a business has already put some thought into a topic. That gives a brand the chance to demonstrate its authority, too: providing fresh content for an audience also helps evidence a business’s right to be taken seriously by that audience.
It helps, then, if a business can include expert opinion in its content – but also if that content is itself written by an expert communicator. In other words, content marketing is at its best when it is based both on quality research and produced by a talented copywriter. Authority is about substance and style. Content can be both educational and entertaining.
To summarise, then, content marketing is about giving the audience what it needs and wants: fresh information that is useful to them. It is also about using the connection great content creates to convert that audience into new, or freshly engaged, customers. To do that, businesses must create enticing, fresh and compelling content.
The good news? Businesses are usually already experts in their areas. All that’s necessary is to get that knowledge to an audience in exciting and effective ways.
That’s where a good marketing agency comes in. So drop us a line; let’s get marketing some content.