The concept of content marketing is hardly new. It has actually been used for hundreds for years! However, the term “content marketing” is a lot newer. According to Google Trends, the term “content marketing” has been on the upswing since about 2010. This article will tell you all about content marketing works. If you are new to the term, curious about how you can utilize content marketing for your own business, or simply need help explaining what it is to someone else, we can help you out!
What is Content Marketing?
So, what is content marketing? Content marketing is a marketing strategy that is focused on providing your target audience with original pieces of content that educates them. Rather than openly promoting your brand, like an advertisement, content marketing is educational.
Examples of Content Marketing
Perhaps you’re taking a course on content marketing in college and considering it as a career, but your family and friends don’t really get it. It is likely, however, that they are consuming content marketing on a regular basis but don’t even realize it. That’s the whole idea behind content marketing! Perhaps they are receiving an email newsletter they enjoy. It doesn’t actually sell a product, but it teaches the reader about the industry. That is one great example of content marketing. Here are some more examples:
TD Ameritrade has a quarterly print magazine, thinkMoney, that it produces for active traders. After a few years of production, they found that subscribers of the magazine traded much more (as much as five times more, in fact) than those who didn’t subscribe to the magazine.
One example of content marketing that many families can easily grasp is American Girl. American Girl uses a plethora of content and experiences to sell its main products: dolls. However, American Girl uses several other ways to connect to its audience. One of those ways is through books. While each doll has an associated book series about their story, American Girl also sells books that are engaging and helpful to its audience, yet don’t have anything at all to do with their dolls. This is classic content marketing. American Girl also has shops with restaurants where girls can take their dolls to tea and get their hair done.
BabyCenter is another excellent example of content marketing. Many pregnant women and first-time parents utilize BabyCenter’s website as a resource. However, the site is actually owned by Johnson & Johnson – which sells baby products. Johnson & Johnson uses this website to educate parents-to-be and subtly promote their products.
How Does Content Marketing Work?
Hopefully, those examples illustrate to you that content marketing is all about your target audience. It’s not about your products and promoting them obviously. In order to create your content marketing strategy, you need to consider what your audience cares about. Ideally, you want to take your brand from being just a name or product and turn it into something people care about.
Content marketing can take many forms, from newsletters, articles, books, videos, entertainment, webinars, and more. Ideally, whatever kind of content you choose to create, it should help your potential customers and provide them with something valuable they won’t find anywhere else. This is what sets content marketing aside from other traditional forms of marketing.
One way that you can utilize content marketing is by becoming a reliable resource for your audience. Content marketing can even help you become a thought leader in your industry. This helps you develop a loyal and engaged audience, and eventually, customers. Other options are to use video marketing, case studies, social media, and other marketing tactics.
Why You Should Utilize Content Marketing
While content marketing is a successful strategy, it is not the right strategy for every company. Traditional marketing tactics require less effort. Content marketing, however, requires lots of work. You won’t see success overnight and it will take time to create a content marketing plan and create relevant content. Before you get started with content marketing, you need to decide if it’s right for you. However, if you want to give your target audience with valuable content while also building brand awareness – and your bottom line – content marketing might be the answer.
So, why choose content marketing? Here are a few reasons:
Reach Your Ideal Audience
These days, when anyone wants to know anything, where do they go? To a search engine, of course. That’s why successful companies need to be at the top of the search engine results page. But how do you get there? One way to accomplish this is by answering commonly asked questions on search engines in the form of articles, blog posts, and other forms of content on your website. This is the first step in reaching and engaging with your target audience, and building a relationship with them.
For example, Marcus Sheridan, the owner of swimming pool company River Pools and Spas, was on the brink of bankruptcy. He decided to start answering his customer base’s questions on his website through text and video content. Instead of filing for bankruptcy, his company’s website became the go-to resource for information about fiberglass pools. That helped save his company.
Build a Loyal Customer Base
Creating content is just the first step in utilizing content marketing. Next, you want to not just reach your target audience, but to convert them into loyal customers. To do this, you need to engage with them on another level.
Take Sony’s Alpha Universe, for example. It is an online platform that is designed to “educate, inspire, and serve as a window into the World of Sony Alpha.” The website features content created with Sony products by content creators. Now, it even includes a podcast and a training program.
To Find New Customers
The end goal of any content marketing strategy is to generate revenue. Content marketing helps you build a relationship with your audience that trusts you and in turn, will want to buy what you’re selling. For example, if you are a fan of a particular podcast that you love and listen to on a daily basis, you are more likely to buy their merchandise and buy tickets to their live shows.
To Build on Relationships with Current Customers
Content marketing is not just an effective strategy for finding new customers, but it also helps build your relationships with your current customers. Sometimes, your brand can even monetize the content it produces as a form of content marketing.
For example, did you know that comic books are a form of content marketing? It’s true! They were designed to help tell the stories behind and ultimately help sell action figures. However, the action figure companies were able to monetize the comic book themselves. That’s what we call a win-win.
Another example: Jyske Bank, a Danish bank, created Jyske Bank TV, its own web TV station, as part of their content marketing strategy. Jyske Bank TV produces financial programming and other content relevant to its viewers. Now, Jyske works with other businesses who want to utilize their media expertise, not just their financial expertise.
How to Build Your Own Content Marketing Strategy
For help developing a unique content marketing strategy for your business, contact SEO Design Chicago today! From content creation, landing pages, and other kinds of marketing efforts, we can help you create the best content marketing campaign for you.