What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is a form of online marketing in which the focus is not on advertising but on sustained engagement with your potential customers. Its primary objective is to help customers and prospects quickly find answers to their questions some of which may actually revolve around a problem they may be trying to solve. We are using the term “sustained” in a specific context in that any successful content marketing strategy typically involves a long term effort in which the content being provided to your audience is constantly refreshed and updated. Good content involves a dedicated commitment to originality and accuracy. For content marketing to work like a charm it needs to be conceived and orchestrated like a charm. It needs to be interesting, authentic, engaging and compelling. It needs to answer the questions your customers may have about your products, services and your industry. Content assets, which constitute the primary component of content marketing, are often designed to address specific situations such as operating an electronic device, selecting a vacation destination, or showing you how to cook your favorite dish.
Does Content Marketing Work?
In a research study involving more than 2,000 students of marketing in four European countries, which was published in June 2013 by the MediaSchool Group, 81% asserted that content marketing would eventually become an essential part of their careers and job functions by 2023. There are many other studies which second this conclusion. However, instead of citing chapter and verse, let us look at some of the ingredients of a winning content marketing strategy.
The Edifice of Content Marketing
In the same way in which good charity begins at home, good content marketing, or what the industry likes to call content marketing best practices, starts from your website. Surprising as it may sound, your website is no longer merely your corporate identity. It is a platform for engagement with your customer communities and is meant to be leveraged to generate both short-term and long-term ROI. In addition to being able to provide the finest user experience possible, your website should feature a respectable amount of well-written and relevant content in the form of FAQs, product descriptions, articles that address specific issues, trends and developments, how-to content and videos that both inform and engage your audience. The presence of relevant, original and meaningful content is also critical to your Google rankings. The major search engines, including Google, expect websites to behave responsibly as they strive to meet and exceed searcher expectations and this can be achieved only through content that is of outstanding quality.
Content marketing transcends the boundaries of your website. Each time a reviewer reviews your website, product or service, each time a blogger discusses your company in a blog post and links to you, and each time an article appears in an online publication featuring your company, content marketing assets are being generated to which your prospects and existing customers have easy access through the search engines. Supplementing your content marketing plan with press releases, forum posts and a few insightful articles posted on article marketing directories like this one, and your content marketing strategy is complete and all set to earn rich dividends.