Content Marketing is a strategic approach to marketing a business or brand by creating and publishing and communicating valuable and relevant content to attract and retain a defined target segment. Content marketing is an ongoing process integrated into the long term marketing strategy which includes educational articles, e-books, videos, newsletters, entertainment, webinars, podcasts etc. The content is not about the products o the services the company sells but the high quality and relevant information and experience the customers get.
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Content marketing has become a necessity to stay relevant in the market. As such, it has a lot of importance to the business.
1. Lead generation- Lead generation is a principal way for businesses to improve sales through website traffic. Content marketing leads people to discover the website through content and convert them to potential customers. About 3 times more leads are generated through content marketing in e-marketing than traditional marketing techniques.
2. Appeals customers at different stages of buying- While traditional marketing approaches are intended for later stages of buying a funnel, content marketing & advertising influences customer at all the buying stages starting from awareness to consideration and then conversion. This technique can satisfy the user needs and help them convert those to want and then desire to buy the products along with eliminating different information barriers which could prevent buying of the products.
3. Target niche segments of buyers- Content marketing usually focuses on a specific market segment & target audience to satisfy the particular set of needs they have. This technique helps business to know about the buyer segments who might be actually interested to buy the products and develop better buyer personas.
By becoming a source of information that is relevant to the customers, the business gets the attraction of the customers and earn their trust and loyalty and customer relationship becomes stronger in the long run. While purchasing a product, they will prefer this brand over others. Content marketing these days is an integral part of integrated marketing communications (IMC).
The various methods in which marketing companies can drive content marketing are as follows:
1. Social Media Posts
2. Video Content
5. Case Studies
7. Education Articles
8. White paper & Newsletters
10. Memes & Gifs
Some benefits of content marketing are as follows:
1. Builds brand awareness and loyalty- Traditional methods of marketing and advertising are not as much effective as content marketing to build brand awareness and trust. Content Marketing is much efficient and cost-effective. Relevant and consistent content makes the business trustworthy.
2. Increase website traffic- Relevant and valuable content attracts more customers to the website which can be persuaded to purchase the goods and services.
3. Increased sales- By providing the information, the marketers give an insight into their offerings and the business' expertise helps build the readers' trust who can be later converted to buyers.
4. Improved Brand Image- With great content, businesses are in control of their brand image & reputation can earn the respect and trust of customers.
5. Enhanced Brand Visibility- Millions of businesses are on the internet. A way to stand out in the crowd is through interacting and communicating with customers in an innovative way. Content marketing serves this purpose in brand management.
6. Increased Audience Engagement- Customers should be treated as active stakeholders and market campaigns can be hugely successful by engaging with the customers. consistent content marketing is an ideal way of engagement with customers.
Some drawbacks of using content marketing are:
1. Time taking- Content marketing can be a long process. Multiple trial and error processes lead to the perfect content which again needs support activities like promotional activities, relationship building etc. Also, it takes a lot of time to build a reputation and following for the content.
2. Hidden costs- This type of marketing requires heavy investment. Employing freelancers or agencies to work along with online marketers, social media/ community managers and copywriting, placement and monitoring need extra investment.
3. Increased effort- Implementing the content strategy is more difficult and complex than traditional marketing techniques. Formulating promotion concept, creating content, monitoring performance along with the long time taken to implement the strategy and the extra investment requires more effort and might feel cumbersome.
4. Difficulty in evaluation- Though it's easy to measure the effect of content marketing on web traffic and through use of metrics like a number of likes or reports, citations, comments etc., but it is not easy to evaluate its effect on sales, awareness, loyalty and brand reputation.
5. Rapid change- New trends and technologies are constantly evolving and to stay competitive in this field, the business should stay updated on new trends and ready to redesign itself at any moment.
Some real-life examples of content marketing are:
1. Buffer and its blogs - Buffer is a software application which helps to manage social media accounts and tracks users' growth via social media. It has 4 blogs where they share business ups and downs along with educational contents for customers where they educate how they do things and how their customers could do the same.
2. Hubspot's blogs, eBooks, and webinars- Hubspot is a developer and marketer of software products and provides aid for social media marketing, web analytics, content management, and search engine optimization. This company writes blogs about different issues along with upgrades like eBooks. Inbound.org has been created by this company which provides opportunities for certification and partnership programs. Along with it, they also provide marketing kits, user guides, webinars, and video courses and post videos on social media.
3. Rolex's website- This iconic brand identifies the persona of the buyer and caters to the adventurous spirit of the modern consumer. Its website showcases this spirit of adventure capturing the unexplored depth of oceans to the peak of mountain ranges.
4. LinkedIn and its eBooks and guides- LinkedIn has its own eBook and marketing guide with tips and statistics for users educating the marketing solutions and how to use LinkedIn effectively.
5. Microsoft builds customer relationship through its blog "Stories" where the employees communicate with the world through their stories, experiences, and news. Similarly, Coke's "Share a Coke" campaign was a huge success where customers were given the opportunity to personalize their coke and 150 most popular names in Australia were taken and added to the bottle.
Hence, this concludes the definition of Content Marketing along with its overview.
This article has been researched & authored by the Business Concepts Team. It has been reviewed & published by the MBA Skool Team. The content on MBA Skool has been created for educational & academic purpose only.
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