What is content marketing?
In brief, content marketing is a style of marketing that is more focused on creating, publishing and then distributing content for a specific group of audience online. This form of marketing is basically used to attract prospects and then transform them into customers with the valuable and educational content that you are going to share about your business. These contents will raise the interest of the audience in your brand and they will eventually become your consumers.
Instead of a commercial approach to marketing, where you are basically offering a sales pitch to your customers telling them what they need to buy, content marketing helps the customer by telling them about the solution of the problem they are having, and helping them better their lives; simultaneously gaining the trust and loyalty of the customer, and creating a good rapport with them. The main idea is that through content marketing, the brand must share something valuable for something valuable in return.
Content marketing has been in use for a long time now. Whether we are talking about the publication by Johnson & Johnson in 1888, called “Modern Methods of Antiseptic Wound Treatment”, which was targeted towards doctors that used bandages, or in 1904, when Jell-O salesmen distributed cookbooks at every house that described the dessert as versatile, resulting in the sales rising to 1 million in two years, content marketing has been in use for many years. But recently it has been gaining new track due to the popularization of internet and blogs, and articles. Today we all consume a huge amount of content every day, so it is only smart to use this large consumption of content to market your brand.
How does it work?
When we are talking about content marketing, the word content takes the center stage. What is the content? Well, content can be anything. It can be a blog article, it can be a podcast, or a video, infographic, or an e-book or pdf. Anything that accomplishes the job of content marketing, which is to draw and engage the audience, can be called content. The use of this content depends on what kind of product you are trying to market. Surely you can’t create a podcast to market your brand of breakfast cereal. Which is why you need to take a closer look at who your target audience is going to be and what kind of content they indulge themselves in the most.
After learning briefly about content marketing, you might ask why to bother with so much, when you can easily just make a sales pitch and a good advertisement and reel in the consumers. The question is justified. In order to understand the answer to this, you need to understand how people these days make their decisions about all the products and services they choose to buy. Today we don’t just see an advert on tv or on the yellow pages and decide on buying. When it comes t the buying cycle, the first step we go through is recognizing the need. if we are tired of taking public transport, we would soon recognize that we are in need of a car. From there, we come to the second step, which is research. Once we realize that we need a car, we are going to go online and research about cars, which would be perfect for you. Once you have found out all about the different kinds of cars and their pros and cons, you are going to compare them to see which one fits you the best. And then finally, you are going to buy a car that is going to best suit your situation.
It is during the second and third stage of the buying cycle you would utilize the various car related content on the internet the most. This is where content marketing comes in. The various car companies and car dealers, by creating and publishing different car related content are going to reach you, the possible buyer. Once you go through their content, you would not only come to know more about cars but somehow start having a little trust in them and their service. And by building this trust, one of these car companies or dealerships are going to transform you into their customer.
So yes, at the end of the day, content marketing may sound very complicated, but it is very simple. By creating educational and valuable content, you attract and engage a target audience, who become the prospective customers for the product you are trying to sell.
The future of content marketing:
So, now that you have a basic knowledge of what content marketing is, it is time to understand what the future of content marketing is going to be.
Today content marketing is a strategy applied by every product that you see in your daily life. Whether a food brand or clothing, art supplies or medicine, every brand is using this strategy to bring in more and more customers to their brand. As a result, every day there are millions of blog posts being uploaded all around the globe. This number is only going up every day, and it will keep doing so.
The first generation of content marketers had it easy. But after plenty of years being in use, all the element of surprise and creativity has already been drained form content marketing. Today when you are writing an article for your new product, there is a fat enough possibility that someone somewhere has already written and published similar if not the same content. With the number of content being uploaded every day, it is almost impossible to come up with a unique and new approach to any topic. But sadly enough, that is exactly what you need to do if you want to keep using the strategy of content marketing effectively.
So how do you create new and refreshing content to make sure that your brand is something that everyone comes to? Make sure that the content that you are producing is more audience-centric, and not only that, but they feel connected to the content. If you are writing an article, then add some of your own experience into it. If you are making video content, then make sure that what the audience sees, they connect with. Using different techniques such as influencer marketing, where you get someone popular on social media to endorse your brand or interactive marketing through polls and quizzes where your audience gets to share their personal opinion with you are going to be few of the ways you can come out on the top as a content marketer in the future.