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What-is-content-marketing

I bet when someone asks you ‘what is content marketing’, you think straight away of blogs, social media and emails…

Am I right?

If you said yes, you’re not wrong. However, it might surprise you to learn that content marketing has actually been around for a long time. In fact, it even predates the internet!

While content marketing may seem like a modern strategy, the truth is, it’s a tried and tested method that has stood the test of time.

How do I know this?

Because content marketing isn’t about selling to people; it’s about telling a story. And, humans have been storytellers for as long as we’ve been able to speak. Naturally, our attention goes to those who can tell a story the best.

Check out this video by the Content Marketing Institute that showcases the evolution of content marketing:

Of course, a lot has changed since 1895, and a lot of what has worked in the past won’t necessarily work today. However, that’s not to say that we’re doomed. Quite the contrary actually. With new marketing channels (throwing a spotlight on social media in particular here) popping up constantly, opportunity has never been more ripe!

Without further ado, let’s dive in and take a look at what content marketing means today:

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WHAT IS CONTENT MARKETING?

Content marketing is the process of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content in order to attract and retain a defined audience.

However, note that content marketing isn’t just the publishing of a single piece and hoping that it sticks and people will find it. It’s about purposefully tailoring your web pages, emails, videos, blogs and social media posts (to name a few) to your target audience, so that they can find you the inbound way rather than the outbound way.

[Unsure of what inbound marketing is and how it can help to grow your business? Download our FREE eBook ‘How to Grow Your Business Using Cost-Effective Inbound Marketing’]

Consumers these days are savvy, which is why outbound strategies (those which interrupt audience members, eg. paid ads) aren’t as effective as they once used to be. Which is why, nowadays, your content needs to reach your audience in a way that feels natural (ie, inbound). A great way to do this is by creating a story for your content. In doing so, your content will feel more authentic, engaging and tailored to your audience.


HOW DOES CONTENT MARKETING WORK?

For businesses who might not have the same resources and budget as the bigger players, content marketing is vital. Content marketing has proven to deliver a higher overall ROI for every dollar spent. Although, be warned, committing to growth using a robust content marketing strategy isn’t a quick fix solution; it’s a long-term strategy that can pay you dividends for years to come once it’s been put into effect.

You see, a content marketing strategy is a long-term strategy that puts the target audience first by giving them high-quality content that is relevant to them and delivered consistently. It also involves the creation of content to suit the different stages of your buyer’s journey. For example, if you’ve got a warm lead who is seeking more information, a good content offering would be an eBook or buyers guide.

By creating strategic content to suit all phases of your customer journey, when a buyer makes the decision to purchase, their loyalty already lies with you; they’ve purchased your offering over your competitors’ options.

When compared with one-off messaging and advertising, content marketing shows that you really care about your customers and solving their problems before they’re even aware of it themselves!

And this alone is huge nowadays! People want to feel like they matter. We live in a world where the average consumer is exposed to more than 5000 advertising messages per day. We’re overwhelmed with images and sales pitches, and desire real emotional connections with the brands that we support. This is why, as businesses, we should look at marketing not just as a platform to sell, but as the conduit for building meaningful relationships


OVER TO YOU

I hope this article was helpful to you. Truth be told, I could talk about content marketing all day long. But! I want you to check out some of our other content. We have a whole library of blog articles all about content marketing, waiting for you to divulge them!

If you do need help in getting started with building the right content marketing strategy for your business, drop us a message – building brands from the grassroots up with minimal spend is our absolute jam! Or, to stay on top of the latest industry news as well as tips and tricks relevant to your business, subscribe to our weekly newsletter, ‘Take Five Friday’. Simply fill out the form below.

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