When we say ‘content marketing’ what comes to mind?
You might think of the article you read in a business magazine this morning. The blog post that popped up on your LinkedIn feed last week that’s still floating around your head, or the meme you saw on Facebook that made you laugh.
And you would be right.
There’s no doubt that content marketing is taking over the world. Any business that hasn’t got some form of content in their marketing strategy is already a step behind, and generating content has never been a more popular business. But why is content marketing important? And what does ‘content marketing’ mean anyway?
What Is Content Marketing?
In essence, content marketing is any form of marketing that involves creating or spreading content. If you’d like a dictionary definition of it, the Content Marketing Institute sums it up as:
‘A strategic marketing approach focussed on creating and distributing valuable relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience – and ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.’
Instead of directly promoting your products or services, content marketing focuses on providing useful, relevant and valuable content to your target audience to build a trusting relationship that results in a purchase. A purchase that happened because the customer knew that your company understood their problem and could provide the solution they need – because you’d shown it with content. It really is a neat little cycle!
Then we get to the age-old question ‘well what is content?’. This is understandable, as you want to know what to create to get those results! Content is a pretty broad term, but a few of the best examples we can give are:
- Social Media Campaigns
- White Papers
- How To Guides
- Case Studies
Why It’s Important For Your Business
Content marketing is one of those things that never used to be important. Back in the ‘mad men’ days, content marketing was just a blip on the advertising scene, and there were plenty of other ways businesses were promoting their work. But that was then. In today’s digital world, with such a focus on learning, social proof and understanding before buying, content is one of the single most important things in your arsenal.
For one, the traditional marketing methods of old just aren’t effective anymore. Consumers don’t like the idea of being manipulated and sold to as if they were the commodity, so those more assertive advertising methods, while good for brand awareness, just aren’t going to cut it in your marketing. In fact, many consumers actively avoid being ‘sold to’, with 40% of internet users having an ad-blocker installed on their devices and 84% of millennials (the largest group of consumers in the world right now) stating they don’t like or trust traditional marketing. They want a conversation and a showcase of a brand’s values in a practical way before they part with their money. So, if you want your business to be successful, you need to change something.
A few other big benefits of content marketing for your business include:
- Higher SEO rankings, thanks to the increase in content on your website
- Lower bounce rates on your website, as visitors have more reasons to stay for longer
- Your domain authority with Google will increase, which helps you appear higher in search results
- Improved reputation for your business as an expert, with information you are willing to share
- More money in your budget – since content marketing is one of the most cost-effective ways to market your business.
Pull Or Push?
Here’s where we get a bit more technical as we start to talk about push and pull marketing. All marketing efforts can be put into one of two categories – push or pull. Both can be effective when done correctly and even blended together, requiring content to fuel them. But it’s important to know the difference when designing your strategy.
Push marketing is all about pushing messages out to your audience directly.
Pull marketing is about building up your resources and attracting customers to you.
Push marketing can be incredibly useful if you’re looking for a short-term way to boost sales, for example, if you’re running an offer, launch campaign or another targeted event. Direct mail, PPC adverts and other strategies that usually come under the ‘advertising’ banner can be very effective here. But it can often be an expensive way to go, and isn’t as sustainable for long-term growth.
Pull marketing on the other hand is all about building up a buzz and creating demand in the market. If you know your target market well, then crafting the perfect content to draw them in will be fairly straightforward.
You can also blend push and pull marketing together. After all, customers need a little push to create the demand, and then a pull to realise you can satisfy the demand. A push can help new customers become aware of your business, and a pull can convince them to buy.
All of this, and the resulting sales you make, is powered by content marketing.
So like it or not, content marketing has become popular for a reason. When done correctly, content marketing has the potential to increase your organic search engine rankings, increase brand awareness and send sales skyrocketing. But to do that you need to be prepared for the time investment, not to mention a bit of skill, to pull it off. At Lion Spirit Media we have years of experience designing and executing content marketing strategies that help you develop your ROAR, and make sure it’s heard throughout the jungle. For more information about how we can help you create and implement a ROARsome content marketing campaign, get in touch today.