Content marketing is the development of relatable content in an effort to engage a reader or consumer on a deeper level than traditional marketing tactics. Today, most consumers are so inundated with advertising that it becomes a white noise to them. Successful content marketing relies on the basic principle that consumers will pay more attention to content that directly applies to them and that they have personally sought out. Developing a comprehensive content marketing campaign is challenging, but the results of these types of campaign tend to be more persistent and thus more valuable than other forms of advertising.
Why is Content Marketing Essential?
The average consumer sees 287 advertisements every day. Commercials on television, advertisements on websites, paid links on search engines and billboards on streets are all examples of advertising tactics that fail today because they are no longer acknowledged by the average viewer. Content marketing seeks to resolve these issues by creating valuable and unique content that speaks to the viewer on another level and keeps them interested throughout.
By providing this type of experience to the consumer, the consumer retains more overall. The landscape of online marketing has radically changed in the past few years and has shifted the very foundation of web marketing strategies. Those that do not adjust their marketing tactics will likely fall behind.
How Does Content Marketing Actually Work?
Content marketing is actually an extremely cost-effective means of advertising. Content marketing is based on the creation of valuable content that is distributed freely, often through the Internet. Once the content has been distributed, readers that find the content valuable will begin sharing it to other people they know. From there, the content is able to propagate itself exponentially through those interested in the company’s content and, by extension, the company itself.
This is very valuable because it allows readers to seek the company out rather than the other way around. Once consumers have learned enough, they are usually prompted to contact the company, look at the company’s wares, get a free sample or do something else that will increase their overall engagement with the company. Even consumers that do not decide to contact the company directly will still have increased knowledge about the company, thereby increasing the company’s overall advertising footprint.
What Are the Tools of Content Marketing?
Social media has become one of the primary means by which content marketing today is spread. Social media is fast and effective. Often items can be moved through large volumes of people within a 24 hour span of time. There are a variety of different platforms that have specific demographics and can thus be targeted appropriately by advertisers. The challenge with social media advertising is that it’s not always possible to predict what will become popular through social media.
Due to this, many advertisers take a shotgun approach to their advertising. They produce extremely large volumes of content in hopes that something will become popular or even go viral. Beyond social media, blogs are still an extremely popular method of content marketing. A well-updated blog is one of the easiest ways to develop a large volume of content in a short amount of time.
What Are Some Companies that Rely on Content Marketing?
Many companies that primarily find an audience through the Internet have found success through content marketing. Subscription-based services such as Birchbox were able to use content marketing to successfully launch a subscription-based beauty sample company. The company was able to succeed through a large variety of content posted on social media sites, blogs and video sites. Any company that needs to make the majority of its sales through the Internet will find that content marketing is a valuable investment, especially those that have a very small advertising budget.
Content marketing works best for those with smaller budgets because it requires very little by way of upfront cost. Most of the actual cost of content marketing comes in the effort of those managing the marketing campaign rather than in advertising space or production. For this reason, content marketing is actually one of the leading advertising tactics for small businesses and startups.
How Do You Bring Customers In?
The most important question to focus on in the area of content marketing is about how to actually monetize it. Once the content has been distributed, sharing of the content needs to directly lead to consumers of the company’s product. The standard call to action is the most valuable technique in content marketing. A call to action is a short section that is usually at the very bottom of the article and urges the consumer to take a specific action to engage the company. The call to action directly addresses the consumer, tells them what action to take and tells them why they should do it.
A proper call to action might urge the consumer to call the company now to get a free sample. This type of advertising works because the consumer is already engaged and interested in the content they have received and because the call to action is fairly transparent: it’s an obvious and honest request rather than a sly advertising technique. Conversion statistics should always be closely monitored by a company to ensure that they are still effective and to identify any potential areas for improvement.
How Can You Increase Conversion?
Even with a call to action, you may find yourself struggling with content marketing conversion. One of the best and most cost-effective ways to increase content marketing conversion is to increase user engagement. Social media sites are an excellent way to engage consumers and keep them thinking about and discussing your product.
Having social media specialists respond on your company’s social media accounts and listen to your consumers is the first step in developing a long-term relationship with your consumers. You should also track demographics very carefully, as different social media sites are applicable to different areas. Pinterest is more popular for style, architecture and design information while Twitter is better for urban and metropolitan information.
It’s very important to recognize that content marketing is not a one-way street. You need to be able to take in the commentary that is brought back to you and adapt accordingly if you are to survive. You should also pay attention to everything that your competitors are doing and what is and isn’t working for them.
What Are Some Content Marketing Mistakes?
Though content marketing may seem straightforward, there are still a few things that trip up even the professionals. Content marketing still does demand a comprehensive strategy. When creating a content marketing campaign, you need to commit yourself to large volumes of consistent content. the content will need to be on key with your targeted demographic, and the wrong tone could easily alienate your consumers rather than attract them.
Lulls in content development can push you all the way back to the very beginning of your campaign because content marketing requires momentum. Further, content marketing can also fail due to being overly aggressive. The entire point of content marketing is to put the advertiser in the background, not the forefront. The reader should never feel as though they’re reading a pitch. Companies may also need to experiment with a wide variety of contents before they find a niche that works for them and that resonates with their consumer base.
Content marketing has been pushed to the forefront of of advertising consciousness in recent years as advertisers attempt to find alternative ways to reach out to their audience. The realm of online marketing has repeatedly found itself moving towards the creation of unique, valuable and entertaining content over traditional advertising techniques. As consumers become more skeptical and more savvy of advertising methods, it becomes necessary for advertisers to become more transparent and creative in their advertising strategies. Content marketing offers advertisers the ability to connect with consumers on a different level and offer them a compelling and memorable experience.