Content comes in many forms to us, and as humans, it has been the essence of our progress and development. It exists in everything we know, learn, study, or interact within our daily lives. It can be defined as the expression of thought through various mediums. The stories we were told as children, the books we read, the videos we watch, the pictures we look at, anything that conveys thought or expression, is content.
We begin consuming content from a very young age, and in this developing world, we are almost constantly exposed to it in some form or another. Similarly, content creation is not new to us. Our crayon scribbles, the complex string of words we start to put together in our diaries at a young age, are both our forms of content creation.
As we grow older, both consumption and creation take shape and we strive to find or offer value through both. Both of these processes are part and parcel of the growth of any individual and any enterprise. So, you must ask yourself how these crucial functions influence the business world? Content marketing is the answer to that question.
What is Content Marketing?
Marketing is the most versatile and crucial tenet of the business world, so as it must, it found a home in the world of content creation and consumption. Building brilliant campaigns, distributing knowledge, initiating change and profit, and studying and acquiring skills are all propagated by content in marketing.
Content Marketing can be defined as the brands creating and distributing relevant content on a long-term strategic basis, to establish and propagate a relationship with their target group.
This form of digital marketing stands to benefit brands and consumers alike. Providing brands and individuals, potentially with the help of marketing and advertising agencies with the chance to put their products and services across in an informative and efficient way, and allowing consumers with the chance to learn and educate themselves while consuming.
Types of Content Marketing
One of the reasons this form of marketing is highly efficient, is because of the range it provides. There are many types of content marketing, and most can be divided into 4 umbrella categories.
1. Written Content:
Email marketing has been used commonly since the advent of email. eBooks, Blogs, and Articles are long-form highly informative content forms.
2. Visual Content:
Videos for websites, Youtube, other video channels, Infographics for websites, social media posts, as well as educational Webinars.
3. Social Media:
Social Media apps, such as Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Discussion Forums, such as Quora and Reddit.
4. Audio Content:
Podcasts are an up and coming form of audio communication.
Choosing a type for your brand:
Let’s take an example: Suppose you run a pharmaceutical, and you recently received approval for and launched a soap with a series of benefits unique to this particular product. As a brand, the most effective form of marketing for you would be through interesting infographics, social media posts, and videos. If a pharmaceutical brand were to write a blog, while it may attract intellectuals, researchers, competitors, and medical professionals, it will most probably not bring you leads.
Evaluating what would be most effective for you is crucial. This can be done by analyzing the content your target audience most consumes or relates to, studying competitors’ marketing strategies, or simply studying the market and deducting the best strategy for you.
Why does it work?
As any curious person would wonder, you must also want to know why content marketing has such a major impact, and why it works so widely. As most forms of digital marketing, this form comes with a set of unique reasons for its success. Four of the majorly understood and appreciated reasons are listed below.
1. Ease of Access:
With technology slowly but surely reaching every corner of the world, and content marketing being an extremely digital concept, it is the most accessible form of information out there. Regardless of gender, age, culture, country, a majority of consumers have access to this form of marketing, making it highly efficient.
2. The Generation of Information:
With the increase of information available, there is also an increase in eagerness to learn. A generation of jacks of all trades is rising, and content marketing embraces that idea perfectly. In today’s world, having a basic understanding of a variety of subjects is applauded and appreciated, hence, making this the generation of information.
3. Easily Monitored and Adapted:
As a brand, being able to access your released content, and alter it in accordance with the times helps create relevant and useful impact. It is important to adapt to the constantly changing times, and the digital marketing world allows for it. Equally important is the ability to see what form of your content is creating impact, and study your target audience, helping you further adapt your strategies.
4. Range and Variety:
As stated in the previous section, content marketing provides brands with a wide variety of formats and platforms to choose from. This allows access to varying target groups simultaneously. While Facebook may offer them access to older groups, podcasts will provide access to younger people who work and learn simultaneously. The opportunities are endless.
What to focus on?
Walking into this field blindly will not only stop you from achieving your goals, but will cause a major waste of resources. Knowing how to get a start on planning and conceptualizing your content when you create it is the first step towards a successful content marketing strategy.
1. Adding Value:
All prospective clients are looking to attain something from their interaction with your brand. Give them something to look at, read through, maybe even bookmark and return to. Like the crowd knowing the lyrics of a band’s song, your customers should know your blogs, and what they offer. Adding value to your customers’ lives in more than way brings in loyal and learned leads.
Creating valuable content also helps you establish your knowledge and authority in your field. This further provides confidence in and support for the impression you wish to and do put across in the world.
2. Target Audience:
Studying and analyzing your target audience can change the trajectory of your brand entirely. Choosing the right form of marketing, the right platform, the right content, is crucial. When focusing on content marketing, do not forget to focus on the quality of the content itself. While you may create the perfect strategy, if your content does not provide relevance and quality, it will lose weightage.
Therefore, it is important to study and analyze your audience, eventually molding your content to fit their needs and wants. Find what they would most identify with, and then move forward accordingly.
3. Brand Identity:
Remember to always emphasize the identity of your brand in the content you create. While ensuring your target audience remains appeased is important, it is equally important to keep sight of who you are as a brand, and what message you’re trying to put across. Losing focus of this can lead to content without a clear message, or identity, and leave your audience finding it hard to collate or relate with.
Your identity can make or break your brand, and how you show it in the content you put across plays an equally important role. Brand tone, language, and style come together to make your identity, always wear it with pride.
When you start creating content, what is it you are trying to achieve, and why have you taken the step into content marketing are the first questions you should ask yourself. If you’re attempting to gain leads, create your content and build your strategy in accordance with that. If you’re attempting to create impact, or pioneer something new with your innovation or ideas, make sure you present that clearly in the content you present.
Keeping your purpose front and center is the only way to build a brilliant and effective content marketing strategy. Similar to every other field of marketing, what you aim to achieve is what decides what you will do.
What are the benefits?
As has been explained in the content above, this form of marketing offers adversity, variety, and range like nothing else. With these endless functional benefits, it also offers three major technical benefits to your brand. If one were to approach this from a thoroughly business based viewpoint, the following three benefits can be attained through content marketing.
1. Increased Leads and Sales:
Creating varied content, leads to varied availability, and as discussed earlier, with ease of accessibility, the reach is a lot higher. This provides multiple options for Calls-to-Action (CTAs), and multiple platforms from which to generate leads.
It also allows for higher engagement with your potential customers, and if created well, your content can leave a lasting effect, and a note of goodwill with your leads. Increased leads bring in increased conversions, eventually increasing sales. A good strategy with a wide range can bring a major positive change to your brand growth.
2. Lower Investment:
The varying options within content marketing require varying amounts of investment. For the most part, creating and circulating content is not expensive. While writing blogs for your brand, and using services such as Search Engine Optimization may cost the investment of hiring an agency, it is relatively less costly than major investments such as running print advertisements.
On the other hand, running an efficient and well-strategized social media campaign can come at a minimal cost or even no cost at all. Even the more expensive options within content marketing come at a lower cost than traditional marketing for the most part, and bring in higher revenue.
3. Loyal Customer Base:
With value-adding and interesting content, your brand can build a lasting impression, and supportive following. For instance, if you publish blogs on a weekly basis, and your content is relevant, you can create a following that returns to your blog every week, and in turn shares the content you create.
Creating shareable content and interacting, can majorly increase leads, by creating the impression of a brand that cares for its customers. A loyal customer base can have immediate and long-term benefits for your brand.
The benefits of content marketing are endless, and highly valuable. Building a strategy is required to efficiently reap the benefits of this form of marketing, making it a top priority. Having gained an idea of the concept of content marketing, as well as how it can benefit your brand, it is important that you conduct further research, and make a switch soon.
It is often said in the world of marketing that Content is King, and it could not be more true, or more relevant at this point in time. We suggest you use Content Marketing to ensure that this time may be of service to you.