If you have been working on the web for awhile, then I am sure you are familiar with the phrase “Content is King!”. Matt Cutts over at Google continually preaches this message because in a perfect world, all webmaster will produce the best most relevant content for its users. Today we are going to go over what content marketing is and how it is done successfully!
It may surprise you to know it, but content marketing isn’t a new thing. People used to call it custom publishing, but it’s a proven marketing technique that’s been in use for more than a hundred years. So don’t look at it as if it’s some new fad that will go away. Content marketing always has been and always will be here to stay.
What Is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is the creation of inherently valuable content that will attract the attention of people who are currently interested in buying your product or service, or may become so in the future. The goal is not to sell your service directly with this content, but to build awareness and trust for your business by providing valuable content. The value of the content can be in its entertainment, its information, or its unique perspective.
Content marketing will ultimately increase your business by informing people who are ignorant of your products and services, converting people who are considering you and your competitors, and establishing a positive feeling in people who have already purchased from you, so they will either buy from you again or recommend you to others.
Content Marketing Is Like Fishing
Content marketing is like fishing because you can catch customers using a net, a hook, or a spear.
Content marketing nets are broadly-cast pieces that are designed to have general appeal so they get picked up and shared around, but in the process create awareness of your business. Imagine a dentist who shares an old-time image of a person with bad teeth that has a humorous caption on it, but also has attached to it the name of the business, along with a little information on tooth replacement options. As this image is passed around, it might be seen by someone who didn’t even know there was such a thing as dental implants but is now considering them.
Content marketing hooks target people who know about your service but don’t feel they have enough information or aren’t ready to make a decision. A hook is some piece of important information about the service you’re offering, attached to a whole line of other information that also represents your business’ attitude and culture. As a person reels along the content you’ve provided, they gradually come to understand what you’re offering and decide that you’re the one they trust to provide them what they’re looking for.
Content marketing spears are designed to give people that one last piece of information they need to make a decision. They are targeted at very informed customers who have very specific questions, which they search for using long-tailed searches in Google or Bing. If you provide the information that no one else is offering, you will be found and you will win people over.
Successful Content Marketing Is Diverse
“Content” is a very generic term, and it encompasses not just text, but also images, audio, video, and apps. If you want to capture the largest possible segment of customers, you need to present a diverse array of content.