What's Content Marketing?
Content marketing is a way to create added value for your product or service by providing useful and unique information. These days, it's also a vital part of every company’s marketing mix — if you want to stay ahead in the game and be found online.
Content Marketing comes in many shapes in sizes but the simplest forms are:
- written copy
The information you’re sharing will usually be informational, educational, entertaining — or everything all at once.
Compared to advertising, content marketing often doesn't explicitly promote a product or service. Instead, it's all about creating interest. This might subconsciously lead your audience to a purchase in the long run and strengthen their loyalty to the brand.
How can content marketing positively impact your business?
Content marketing can positively impact your business in two ways:
1. Drive your sales through the roof
Great content persuades someone who's simply heard of your brand a couple times to finally click "Buy" at the end. Why? Because you've:
- given them more value than a competitor
- shown your product or service in action
- convinced them that you are the expert in your niche
Sells your Unique Selling Points
A customer always asks themselves — “How is this brand different to the next?” If you don’t do a good job of telling them why you're better than the company next to you, you might just lose the race. Content marketing is a smart, cost-effective way of getting this done.
If you don’t just sell a product (like, say, a smoothie maker) but also provide free blog posts (with, say, smoothie recipes), or tutorial videos (of, say, baking with a smoothie maker) — you’re creating added value and another reason for them to pick up your brand the next time they see it at the store. Great content creates great connections.
2. Build an incredibly strong brand
Building trust is incredibly important especially when it comes to high involvement products. This means that customers might be more likely to hesitate before hitting "Buy" because they're busy wondering about risks and costs. High quality content builds trust by making your company and its processes more transparent and easy to understand.
Shows brand personality
Branding is all about developing and showing a certain personality to the world. One of the strongest methods of showing your personality is by creating content — whether that’s through your tone of voice that comes through in your copywriting or your social media manager that stands in front of the camera and represents your company. Content is vital for shaping your brand’s personality.
Being consistent in your communication builds trust with your audience. You can get started with this by setting up a content marketing strategy, creating a content calendar and pipelines, as well as publishing content regularly on your company’s channels.
Can give rise to a USP you never had
What if your product just isn't that innovative? What if you’ve got plenty of competition lined up next to you? And you don’t really have a unique selling point?
Well — you’ve got to create one. And unique content creation can be a method of doing just that.
Content Marketing vs Advertising
When it comes to buying and consumer behaviour; there are four basic stages:
Advertising is responsible for all of these stages whereas content marketing focuses on strengthening the first two: Awareness and Research.
Content marketing is a way less aggressive form of selling — it often doesn't explicitly promote a product or service. It does, however, inspire interest. So when the same person sees a Facebook ad of your product, this means that they next time, they'll likely know more about your company and are more likely to click through to "Buy."
What Content Marketing channels types exist?
So now that you’ve got an understanding of what content marketing is, you might be asking yourself “How do I go about it?” Turns out, there are countless ways to engage with your market — and it’s all about getting creative.
We’ve listed some of the most popular ones below, but don’t let that limit your imagination. Which content marketing channels and types you choose will depend on your brand, product, audience and much more.
You can, however, start with the following:
- Email funnels
- Case studies
- PR articles
- Blog posts
- Blog posts
- Social media content
How Content Marketing helps SEO
SEO does not exist without content marketing. Creating different types of content will significantly contribute to whether your customers find you on Google, although it shouldn’t be produced strictly for SEO purposes.
The articles, blog posts, and videos you provide should truly add value.
Content marketing is one of the best ways to consistently keep adding keywords to your site while building a useful knowledge base for your customers.
Backlinks will also help you to rank higher on search engines. When your website is linked to from other sites, Google tags it as more important and raises it higher in the overall search results. The more quality, valuable content you produce, the more likely it is for people to link back to your page.
Content Marketing with Real Life Examples
Sometimes it is easiest to understand a concept by connecting it to a clear case showing the concept being used in real life. Here are a few of the best examples of content marketing:
1. GI Joe comics
Back in the early 1980s Hasbro and Marvel came together and created a GI Joe comic book. Sounds simple and harmless, doesn’t it?
Just two months later, about 20% of their target audience, young boys between the ages of 5 and 12, already owned one or more GI Joes. Seven years later that content marketing campaign resulted in nearly 70% of the target demographic owning at least one of the toys.
2. Share a Coke - a personal touch
Have you ever been to a store and looked through all the bottles of Coke searching for your name instead of just picking the one closest to you, even though you do realize the fizzy drink inside is exactly the same in all of them?
That’s Coca Cola’s brilliant use of content to engage their customers with the products through the use of a personal touch, in this case a name or a descriptive phrase.
3. British Airways Destinations - more than just the tickets
British Airways created guides for most destinations they offer with descriptions of the havens awaiting the customers who purchase the tickets. On each guide they feature not only stock photos, but also Instagram pictures from the places they fly to, making the audience’s dreams of the destinations seem even more of reality.
Content Marketing in 2020
As any other industry, content marketing is constantly developing. In 2019, you might find yourself asking the question — “Am I too late to the party? There are millions of other blogs and content out there.”
Neil Patel, one of the top online marketers I look up to tells us why content marketing is still a hot topic in 2019 and it’s here to stay: