Content Marketing does not get nearly as much attention and acknowledgment as it deserves from non marketing professionals (and some old school marketing wolves). The lack of recognition may lay in the misunderstanding of what the term really means.
So what does it really mean?
Very simple, content marketing is a targeted marketing strategy that involves creating insightful , engaging and interesting written content with the aim of creating customer loyalty and increasing opportunities for future business. In other words, content marketing is simply how your company talks to its customers. The content does not have to be written. It can be anything from a blog post to an educational or funny video. Anything that engages into a conversation with the customer; making them come back and tell their friends about your awesome brand.
“CONTENT MARKETING IS HOW YOUR COMPANY TALKS TO ITS CUSTOMERS”
Although many claim they do understand the importance and essence of content marketing, I see a lot of companies passing dull sales pitch for content marketing. This lack of understanding is what distinguishes a successful company with lots of loyal customers from yet another no name brand.
Here are a couple of suggestions for having a great content marketing strategy:
Blog is like a diary, it lets the reader understand your brand’s personality and then decide if s/he can relate to your brand. This is the best way to build a loyal customer base. Another great thing about blogging is that it is the easiest and the most effective method of driving traffic to your site and increasing your SEO ranking (once a new post is out, the search engines immediately scan your site which leads to a boost in your search rankings).
Tip: create a schedule and post every week on the same day and time. This way your followers will know when to visit your new posts. Ideally you should post two times a week through your blog with original content and the other day post via other channels other useful information such as news, articles, etc. Best sales are achieved through loyal customers, best loyalty is achieved through brand recognition, and that is achieved through brand consistency. One good way to have higher brand recognition is to promote your blog posts via social media channels.
Promote Through social media
Although social media is not a novelty in the social interaction of our century, it is still considered a novelty in the business world. Most large companies incorporated social media into their marketing strategy; smaller businesses however are still neglecting the importance of social interaction with their clients. Shopify conducted a study to see which social media channel brought in the best e-commerce return. The winner was Facebook.
This chart details the study and the findings: Shopify Stats from Social Media Influence on Business research
Drop the Sales Pitch
The whole purpose of content marketing is to eliminate the need of a sales pitch. The key thing to remember is that once you started sounding like a telemarketer you lost your potential client. The reason you have a visitor is because they are visiting to learn something new and insightful.
Make sure the readers know that you are going to have more useful information coming out so that they come back to you. If your content will keep the visitor interested, with time this visitor will convert to a loyal customer or even a promoter for your brand. This is achieved through building a trustworthy reputation.
A picture is worth a 1000 words. This saying is very true in this case. With introducing videos into your content marketing strategy you can speed up the process of loyal customer development. The usual hesitation to introduce this type of material comes from an assumption that these videos will have to be of a very high quality which will cost a lot of money and consume a lot of time for the followers to like it. One thing to note is that it is much easier than it seems. With free applications such as Vine and Instagram you can now create mini-looping videos that can be shared on all of your social media profiles quickly and easily. Another tool to keep in mind is Adobe Voice. This tool lets you make a professional looking animated video free of charge.
Another thing to note is that YouTube videos will position your company as a creative and innovative and will add to your marketing exposure. Google analytics for example will first list the video content search results and having a video on the landing page of your site will definitely help you rank higher (even without investing in expensive SEO or Google AdWords Campaigns).
To conclude, content marketing is a low-cost and highly effective strategy for the company to differentiate itself in a highly competitive environment.