“Content Marketing”, you must have heard buzz word and felt that you know everything about this and suddenly find yourself in the spot, unsure if you’d want to reconfirm if you’ve understood it right. Great, now is your chance to learn about this great marketing technique.
What is Content Marketing?
Addressing the elephant here, What is content marketing? It is a form of marketing where the marketers work on creating relevant, consistent, and valuable content to target a specific audience and build a loyal customer base.
Content marketing stands on the ledge of marketing, where if you remove the word valuable from the above paragraph, it falls in the pit of conventional marketing techniques. The only thing that sets it apart from other traditional marketing techniques is that it does not directly promote the brand or boasts about it. Instead, it shares relevant information for the benefit of the audience.
It is really about sharing a great story that passed on from one person to another. Honestly, content marketing isn’t dependent on the Internet. It has been here for over a century now.
The Beginning, The Comeback & The Present of Content Marketing Strategy
During the late 1800s, the consumer-focused content started taking shape. With brands focusing on sharing helpful information for their target audience, they started publishing content that could be consumed by the audience that helped them in their everyday lives.
The experts realized that they could not only make it as an advertisement but also build a strong relationship with their customers by helping them search for beneficial information. This strategy proved to be a successful formula, though it needed a lot of effort & time to build the right content marketing strategy.
The well-known tractor brand “John Deere” is one of the pioneers to implement content marketing during the starting years of this technique. The brand started a magazine called The Furrow in 1885. The purpose of this magazine was to help/guide the farmers on how they could make their business profitable.
The magazine did not directly promote any John Deere products but shared some valuable information and stories of farmers on how they succeeded using the information shared. It not only increased the magazine readers but increased the sales of John deere products. The brand now has 1.5 million readers in 40 countries and published in 12 languages.
In the 1940s, this technique was soon replaced by advertisements as the companies focused more on sales than relationships. It was the golden era of Television where commercials took over the gamut of media.
In the 1990s, came the computers and took the whole world by storm, this was the comeback time for content marketing. The Internet gave a significant push to content that could spread to many and quickly.
This history answers the question, why is content marketing important? In the present day, it has taken the front seat. It has been the most preferred strategy for marketers. From blogs to social media posts, many digital tools have become an integral part of the content marketing strategy. So, What is Content Marketing, it is truly the future of marketing.
How does content marketing strategy work?
There are umpteen content marketing strategies that exist in today’s world. Earlier, there were very few tools for marketing your content, but there were many strategies, but there are now too many tools, even a more significant number of procedures.
Your strategy should define the business goals and customer needs and how your content will answer them.
Businesses focus on getting the following from their content marketing strategy.
- Incremental sales
- Save cost
- Increased customer loyalty
To achieve the above, every business needs to develop a content marketing strategy at these phases of the customer’s buying cycle:
- Need – Brands need to focus on creating awareness since the customers only have the need but aren’t aware of the solution at first.
- Identification – Once customers are aware, they begin researching the information and features of the product. Brands need to share vital information on what the customer needs to see in the product as the best solution.
- Comparison – With all the features decided on what features he/she needs, the customer begins the process of comparing various brands. Here, the content has to be all about the experience of using the product rather than pushing on price points or discounts.
- Purchase – The final step in the buying process is buying the product, and brands now need to create a sense of community, a family, where the customer feels the inclusiveness and instills loyalty.
All of the above steps use various tools or a combination of content marketing strategy tools.
What does content marketing include?
It is very different from conventional marketing. It includes things that share valuable information like articles, blogs, books, ebooks, videos, physical events & webinars, hands-on product demo.
Now you know the basics of what is content marketing. Go on and try to develop some exciting content for your customers.