It is becoming increasingly difficult for companies to engage successfully with consumers by using traditional marketing methods. Many of us rarely watch TV programmes at the time they are broadcast so skip the adverts, or even use download services, which helpfully remove the ads for us. The way we consume media today, means that we are rarely focussed on one thing at once – how many of us watch TV, with one eye on our phones or tablets, listening for the ping to tell us we have an email, text or other notification which needs our attention. This means that advertisers have to work much harder to grab our attention, which is where Content Marketing stems from.
The Content Marketing Institute defines Content Marketing as:
A strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
Its purpose is to attract and retain customers by consistently creating and curating relevant and valuable content with the intention of changing or enhancing consumer behaviour. In essence, our advertising today has to be so valuable and interesting that it isn’t perceived as advertising. The aim is to inform consumers to enable them to take control of their buying decisions; by delivering valuable information we will be ultimately rewarded with their business and loyalty.
Content marketing exists in a number of guises; it can be a company’s own website, where interesting and useful content can be hosted and accessed by consumers; it might be a magazine, either distributed to customers or positioned in an appropriate location or regular enewsletter with company updates and interesting content.
Six common content marketing myths
1. Content Marketing is cheap
Although content marketing requires little direct spend, the investment required in terms of time can be significant and this needs to be factored into any budget discussions.
2. Content Marketing and SEO are the same thing
SEO is an essential part of content marketing when creating online content, but it must not be to the detriment of interesting and engaging content. Quality of content, relevance to your audience and the value it provides are just as vital to success as SEO.
3. Content Marketing and social media are the same thing
Social media can be confused with content marketing as these are the channels most commonly used to execute a content marketing strategy. Social media enables us to create a dialogue with our target markets to better understand their motivations and therefore enable us to refine our offering and become more successful. However, most social media interactions take place away from businesses and as the name suggests, it is a more social and leisure based activity, so businesses need to find other ways to successfully deliver their content.
4. Content Marketing is only blogs
An interesting and regularly updated blog can form the backbone of a successful content marketing strategy but is certainly not the only way to share content with your audience. The blog content also needs to be promoted to drive traffic to your content, so cannot stand alone.
5. Content Marketing is a quick win
This is certainly not the case, it can take months to see results from a content marketing strategy, a well written and relevant post can continue to generate traffic for months or even years.
6. Content Marketing is only about creating content
As the CMI definition explains, content marketing is also about distributing the content to attract a defined audience and create a reaction from that audience.
If you only remember one thing about content marketing it should be this.
Good content marketing makes a person stop…read… think… behave… differently.