What is Content Marketing?
Getting leads and sales are vital to every business and there are many avenues that one could take in regards to acquiring them. Content marketing is one of the most effective ways to market a website online and will continue to be so for a very long time. If you haven’t heard of this before or are looking for a clearly defined example you may be wondering “What is Content Marketing?”.
“Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing content of value and relevance with consistency to attract and retain a clearly defined audience and, ultimately, promote profitable consumer actions.”
What is The Goal of Content Marketing?
In summary, the goal of the matter is to create relevant content that attracts the ideal consumer and ultimately leads to them becoming a customer.
You putting content out there increases your exposure and brings people back to your website. While the ultimate goal is to get those people to buy your products, you also want people to share your content so it can spread even further. This is why you need to prioritize your content marketing and put a lot of effort into everything you do.
What Does Content Marketing Consist of?
When it comes to content marketing, it’s all about providing a lot of value to the reader for free. People love getting things for free, and information and entertainment are no different.
When it comes to the different types of content marketing, you have to be very clear which ones can give you positive results and which ones will not. Don’t be discouraged, but keep in mind that most likely you will not see profitable results at least during the first few months. It is a long-term investment that can pay out big time further down the track. This is why it’s so crucial to define your content marketing strategy before you start producing content.
It goes far beyond just writing blog posts. Your content should not be focused on selling directly, but on adding value. Nothing generates more rejection than sales speeches at the wrong time. Focus on giving support to the consumer and on sounding natural, not on speaking in slogans.
Content Marketing Examples
Content marketing is always evolving and being revolutionized time and time again. Just when you thought you’d seen a company do something amazing, another one takes it to the next level. These examples below were done by huge brands, but there’s no reason why you can’t take the concept and tweak it for your business or get ideas from them.
User Generated Content
You may have heard of the watch company Daniel Wellington that has exploded in popularity in recent times. They combined three core elements to effectively market their content and gain a lot of exposure as a result.
User Generated Content
How Did They Do It?
Daniel Wellington was one of the first brands to really adopt influencer marketing and capitalize on it.
In fact, this is where they focus their business promotions, and they neglect traditional forms of paid advertising that a new eCommerce company would normally do.
The company would identify influencers on Instagram and send them a free watch with one condition; the influencer had to post one photo of the watch on their Instagram feed.
They would also provide the influencer with a personalized discount code, so they could track the sales directly attributed to that individual and measure the ROI of their campaigns.
This technique went viral, and soon, Daniel Wellington watches were flooding Instagram and driving sales to the company.
But it didn’t stop there.
They have their own branded hashtag on Instagram
People can post photos of their DW watch on Instagram using this hashtag and tagging @danielwellington
By doing this, they can also win photo contests that the Daniel Wellington brand may be running at the time.
They are known to use #DWPickoftheDay for this.
The Daniel Wellington Instagram account then chooses the best photos they like and posts it on their Instagram feed and tagging the user who originally posted it.
Yep, free, user-generated content for the Daniel Wellington brand.
They never have to take promotional photos for their marketing efforts as people just do it for them.
Coke – Share A Coke
Beverage giant Coca-Cola started their Share A Coke campaign in Australia before it expanded into more than 70 countries around the world.
How Did They Do it?
The concept was simple; find the top 150 most popular first names in Australia and print one name onto a Coke label.
It worked, and this campaign resonated with consumers on a personal level so well that people were taking pictures of their Cokes and sharing them on social media.
They were trawling through the supermarket shelves trying to find a Coke with their name on it.
If they couldn’t find one, they looked for one with the same of someone they knew and bought it for them.
The effect was amazing, and consumers emotionally bought into this content marketing campaign and drove its global success.
Content Marketing Tips
Now that you know what content marketing is and saw a couple of examples, you should know what you’re in for when you decide to try it out. There are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to content marketing and it’s not as fast, easy, and clear-cut as many people think. Let’s start with the number one fact you should know before you begin:
Content Marketing Requires Effort
Many brands are launching to create content, but that does not mean all of them are doing well. Content marketing has become a very popular strategy, but it is only easy in appearance. A large-scale content strategy is a complex and constantly moving machine, with different people involved and many pieces that need to fit together.
With enough time and the right equipment, your content marketing strategy will be increasingly clear. In the end, creating content of value continuously and making it reach the audience you are looking for is a long distance race. If you’re looking for shortcuts to achieve goals quickly, it may not be the right strategy for you.
Before you start trying your hand at content marketing, remember; it will not be easy and the results will not come fast. But, the results can come, and they can be incredibly lucrative.
Know Where to Start
We know that you want to generate as much business as possible, but wanting to do everything from the beginning is a mistake. It is preferable to adopt content marketing little by little, starting by creating articles and publications on social networks with a stable schedule.
You can then experiment with other forms of content marketing while maintaining a blogging schedule to compliment it. It can be very counter-productive to be trying many different methods at the same time if you haven’t yet worked out how to make any of them effective.
Once is Not Enough
Consistency is essential when creating and publishing content. Creating fantastic content that is shared thousands of times is great, but if you stay there, it will not be enough. Your audience, like most of today’s internet users, has limited attention. The most likely thing is that next Tuesday they do not remember you (and if your competition publishes high-quality content several times a week, less still).
Content marketing should be a long-term strategy that you consider to be an investment. You will not achieve the established objectives if you think in the short term. Therefore, it is not worth publishing one or two posts a week, and then neglecting the blog, or forgetting to disseminate it through other channels such as social media.
If you apply consistency, such as one or two posts per week, every week, then you are releasing 50 – 100 posts per year. This is more like it, providing they are high-quality and engaging for the reader.
That being said, this does not necessarily mean that you have to constantly produce excellent content, or that you can not reuse what you have already created, but you will need to offer content of value consistently over time.
You Need to Diversify
Just as social networks cannot be your only form of promotion, you also shouldn’t settle for only having a blog or a single form of promotion. You only have the attention of your audience for a limited time and you can not expect them to be aware of what you publish or be receptive to it.
You need to have a comprehensive plan and be active in the places where your audience is. Guest posting, public relations, and native advertising will give you more opportunities to reach them and complement your content strategy.
Remember, there are many different types of content marketing you can partake in. Not all of them will work for you. In fact, probably only a small amount will. Different niches will have different promotional methods that work for them. So while Facebook may be a great medium to promote a health website, Twitter may not fare so well. This is why you need to try, test, and scale what works.
You Can’t Just Be Social
For many marketers, content marketing is still synonymous with “publishing articles on my blog and sharing them on social networks”. But if that’s your only distribution strategy, you’re falling short.
More and more brands realize that knowing how to promote content is as important as creating it. The effort devoted to content marketing is wasted if it does not reach all the possible audience.
A single YouTube video, a photo on Facebook, or a tweet with a hashtag do not alone make a marketing strategy. It is very typical to see that the creation of a plan to add content to social networks is left out, without defining channels, objectives and times.
Social networks are a great tool to build relationships with brand ambassadors, influential figures, the general public, or bloggers. They are also very useful for customer service and showing that interaction in social networks is an excellent way to publicize the reliability of the company.
Therefore, we encourage you to test ways to promote your website so you can get maximum exposure. Social networks are only one option among dozens.
Content Marketing is Not Advertising
This concept is one of the most difficult for brands to understand. You are investing in marketing, the CEO wants to see the results as soon as possible, and the marketing team focuses on generating leads and sales over creating valuable content. But confusing content marketing with advertising and being overly promotional is a mistake.
Your content is not the place to make a blatant promotion of your company, your products or your services. Content marketing is a long-term strategy to build your brand, add value to your audience and earn your trust. You should create content that provides a lot of value for free, with a subtle inclusion of what you want to promote. This gives the consumer an option to buy your products or services if they want to but still stay on your website without feeling forced into doing so.