What it Means
Content marketing is the at the heart of your marketing function, fueling everything from social media and search engine optimization (SEO) to customer retention and thought leadership initiatives. It is about connecting with your audience and educating them, building trust and affinity towards your brand. Quality content adds value to your prospective customers before they transact. Content is king, but distribution is queen. Consider the 80/20 rule - 80 percent distribution and 20 percent content creation. It's about delivering the right content, to the right audience, at the right time.
At its core, content marketing is about creating and sharing valuable, relevant, and consistent content that attracts and engages a clearly defined audience. It can be direct (i.e. provide information on your product) or indirect (i.e. providing helpful information on a topic adjacent to your product). The ultimate goal? To drive profitable customer action. This means going beyond direct sales pitches and focusing instead on providing content that enriches the lives of your audience, whether through solving a problem, offering insights, or entertaining them.
Content marketing can take on a myriad of forms: websites, blog posts, videos, podcasts, infographics, social media posts, newsletters, whitepapers, webinars, e-books, and more. Want to run paid ads? You need content for that. Want to set up a booth for a tradeshow? You need content for that too.
Why it Matters
Done well, content marketing breaks through the noise and hooks the attention of your prospect. Here are a few reasons why it's important:
Builds Trust and Loyalty: By consistently delivering valuable content, you can build a rapport with your audience, establishing your brand as a trustworthy source of information and a thought leader in your industry. Content can also build trust through providing Social Proof in the form of testimonials, white papers, and case studies that help build your credibility.
Drives Organic Traffic: High-quality content, optimized for SEO, attracts organic traffic to your website. Increased visibility can lead to higher engagement and conversions.
Nurtures Leads and Converts Customers: Through strategic content marketing, you can guide prospects along the buyer's journey, from awareness to consideration, and ultimately to decision-making. Is your target audience aware that they have a problem or that a solution exists?
Supports Other Digital Marketing Channels: Your content serves as fuel for your social media, email marketing, and SEO efforts, providing a solid foundation for a cohesive digital marketing strategy.
Suppose you're a SaaS company offering a project management tool.
You start by creating a detailed blog post on "Effective Project Management Techniques in the Digital Age." This post serves as an informative piece that draws in potential customers searching for project management solutions.
You then promote this post through social media, sparking conversation and engagement around the topic. You also send it out via your newsletter, driving your email subscribers to your website.
As part of the same content campaign, you decide to host a free webinar on the same subject, inviting interested readers to learn more. During the webinar, you subtly highlight how your project management tool can help implement the techniques discussed.
Following the webinar, you send out a comprehensive e-book on the topic to all attendees, along with a special offer for your tool. Here, the e-book serves as a lead magnet, helping you capture leads and move them further along the sales funnel.
This multi-faceted approach to content marketing not only offers value at every touchpoint but also guides potential customers seamlessly from awareness to conversion.