Content Marketing: What Is It and Why Do It?

The marketing industry is chock-full of buzzwords. Rising in the ranks lately is content marketing. In a world where we’ve long been told “content is king,” it sounds like the answer to every company’s troubles.

But what exactly is content marketing? And how can your business make the most of it to build a reliable audience and generate new leads?

Let’s take a look.

Core definition: Content marketing is educational, not salesy

At its simplest, content marketing is creating content — blogs, social media posts, how-to guides, and more — to educate your audience rather than directly selling to them.

Content marketing doesn’t explicitly promote a brand. Instead, it promotes that brand’s general industry and services, helping consumers answer questions like:

  • Why is this industry important?
  • How would this product or service benefit my life?
  • What is it like to own this product? What is it like to receive this service?
  • How will this product or service fit into my daily routine?
  • And more

A strong content marketing strategy provides real value to a business’s audience. It’s not about just sharing what your company thinks is important — it’s about listening to what potential customers are interested in and allowing your audience to be your guide.

Common examples of content marketing

Almost anything can be content marketing. It’s about the information expressed more than the medium used!

Here are a few common examples:

  • Social media posts. Many social media posts stimulate interest and attention in a product category as a whole, as opposed to making a direct sales pitch.
  • Newsletters. A popular way to build a devoted audience is providing valuable information in an email newsletter. The topics are related to what the company does or sells — but someone can enjoy the content without purchasing any products.
  • Educational articles. A bit like the one you’re reading this very moment.
  • Videos. YouTube is awash with prime content marketing case studies.
  • Entertainment. When brands create engaging bits — catchy songs, online games, and more — “just for fun,” it’s a form of content marketing.

Why bother with content marketing?

Content marketing can seem like a lot of work, especially since it doesn’t directly turn your audience into paying customers. Here’s why it’s still worth it:

  • Break through the noise. Many internet users have long learned how to “blind” themselves to advertisements and direct sales pitches. When you provide valuable information they can take advantage of without having to already use your product or service, you earn a spot back on their feeds (and hopefully in their hearts).
  • Build trust. When your audience sees that you actually care about who they are and what they need — as opposed to just turning out purchase plea after purchase plea — they’re more likely to take you at your word.
  • Take advantage of reciprocity. When it comes to human psychology, reciprocity is more powerful than reward. What does that mean in plain English? It’s simple: When a user gets to access supplemental content before making a purchase, they’re more likely to engage with your brand than if you make them sign up or buy first.
  • Boost your SEO. 93 percent of all internet interactions start with a search engine. It’s more important than ever to be on Google’s good side — and content marketing can help you get there.
  • Get inspired. A robust content marketing strategy won’t only speak to your audience — it will also help them speak to you. By paying close attention to which pieces of content do well and taking the time to engage with your online users, you’ll glean valuable information about your current products... and might just find out where to go next.

How to get started with content marketing

Have we convinced you to give content marketing a go? Great! Next, take a look at these quick tips to develop the right strategy for your unique business. And if you’re still not sure where to start, our experts have your back. Read for yourself what it’s like to work with us, and drop us a line to get started!

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