What is content marketing?
According to the Content Marketing Institute,
Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience with the objective of driving profitable customer action.
Let’s break that down. By content we simply means words and images, words that may be written or spoken, images that may be still or moving. Content marketing may seem like something new, but it has of course been around for many, many years.
The term content marketing
Refers to the packaging up of those words and images into a useful format that can be used to attract new business. It will attract new business if it’s relevant to a potential customer who is seeking information about your product or service. A potential customer looking to buy will be doing their own research. They will be asking friend and family for referrals. They will be asking colleagues and peers for recommendations. They will over 60% of the way through their decision-making process before contacting your business.
Content is important
Your prospects will find and consume your content before they speak to you directly. And the reason why it’s strategic? Well, it can only be successful if it is fully aligned with your marketing strategy. The creation and distribution of the content is tactical, but the reason to produce a piece of content must be strategic. It must have clear focus on business objectives, and every piece of content you produce must have a clear thread running through it. That thread is your brand essence, and it ensures consistency in the mind of your audience.
The CMI summarizes the concept like this: Basically, content marketing is the art of communicating with your customers and prospects without selling. It is non-interruption marketing. Instead of pitching your products or services, you are delivering information that makes your buyer more intelligent. If we, as businesses, deliver consistent, ongoing, valuable information to buyers, they ultimately reward us with their business and loyalty.
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