What is Content Marketing and Why is it Important?

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Marketing is a very broad term. There are so many different types of marketing, from digital marketing, print marketing, inbound marketing, and more. Basically, you name it and it is probably a type of marketing. It’s no surprise either, with the way things are changing so quickly these days. Traditional marketing looks quite different than it did years ago with the onslaught of the digital age. Today, we will focus on content marketing and precisely what that means. 

What is content marketing?

As defined by the Content Marketing Institute, content marketing is “a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.” Great, so what does that mean exactly and how is it any different than other forms of marketing? The key here is the term valuable. We are bombarded with information from companies all day long, but it is not always valuable and relevant to us. Thus, it often ends up in a junk pile or spam folder, rendering the marketing efforts useless. Content marketing is based on “permission.’ Meaning people are coming to you purposefully for information. Traditional marketing is based on “interruption,” meaning it is being pushed to someone whether they are seeking it out or not.

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Why is content marketing important?

Content marketing is a proven tactic that provides a competitive advantage when implemented into your overall marketing strategy properly. Ideal content conveys expertise and makes it clear that a company values its customers. 

According to a study by Profitwell, businesses with blogs generate 67% more leads than those without a blog. By providing valuable content, in whatever format that works for you, you are building trust with your audience by giving them this information. Companies that utilize content marketing see 5%-10% better retention. If that’s not a good enough reason to implement content marketing, then I don’t know what is.

It’s important that your content reaches your audience naturally. Shoving unhelpful information in front of their faces throughout the day is not going to work. Crafting a story with your content will feel more authentic and encourage your audience to engage with you. Thoughtful content marketing can help you educate your leads and prospects about your products and services in a helpful way. You can go beyond just listing what you offer, and provide comprehensive guides on how it can improve their life or solve problems they may be experiencing. The key is making your content relatable. If someone cannot relate, they will most likely move on. 

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Popular content marketing examples

Content marketing comes in many forms, and while you do not need to use every type, it is typically a good idea to combine a few into your strategy. Here are a few of the most popular types.

Social media content marketing

Social media is one of the most common forms of content marketing. With over 3.6 billion global users on social media platforms, it’s not surprising. There is no shortage of platforms to choose from, but your target audience will help you narrow down which ones to focus on. If you are targeting millennials, Facebook and Instagram may be the way to go, whereas if you are targeting mainly Gen-Z, you might be better off on platforms such as TikTok or Snapchat. You certainly do not need to be on every single social media platform, but the main ones such as Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok are not a bad idea to consider. What’s great about social media content marketing is that you can recycle content and adapt it for each platform. You will likely have users that follow you on all platforms, but you are also going to interact with different people on different platforms, so cross-promoting is key here to maximize your exposure.

Blog content marketing

Blogs are a very powerful tool and allow you to expand on ideas in a way that you can’t always do on social media. Platforms such as Twitter and Instagram often come with character limits and are tailored for short-form content. This is a great way to draw someone in, but a blog allows you to elaborate in much more detail. With a blog, you can easily promote other internal, and external, content with links, social share buttons, and other product information. 

Video content marketing

According to research by Wyzowl, 69% of consumers prefer to learn about a brand and what they have to offer through a video. A video allows you to explain and demonstrate products in a way that a blog or short social media caption cannot. Videos can be shared across many platforms, from your own website to YouTube and most other social media websites. Video marketing is known to boost conversions, improve ROI, and genuinely help foster relationships with your audience.

One of the greatest things about content marketing is that you can adapt and recycle content across streams. You just wrote a great blog post? Awesome, throw that into a newsletter, shorten a blurb for social media and make a little video for TikTok. One piece of content can take you a long way.

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