What is content marketing?

One of the services we offer here at Time Saving Heroes is content marketing, and it’s something we bang on about quite a lot.  Lu loves writing, so if there’s a blog to be created, or a Press Release to be, well, released, she’s on it.

However, “content marketing” is one of those terms us guys use all the time, despite the fact you guys possibly have no idea what we’re talking about. Sometimes it’s hard to know what is and isn’t jargon.

For the benefit of those that aren’t too sure what content marketing covers, here’s a handy little reference.

According to the Content Marketing Institute, content marketing is:

…a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience – and ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.

Strategic

The first thing we can pick out of this then is that content marketing is a strategic marketing approach. What that means is you’re not going to just haphazardly post random things to social media as and when you feel like it. Or, more likely, when you remember to.

A strategy gives you a clear idea of what it is you want to accomplish, and every piece of content you use is designed to help you accomplish it.

Audience

Your content needs to be valuable, relevant and consistent to attract the right audience, which means you need to know who your audience is.

Who do you want to read your posts?  What do they want or need?  What interests them, or concerns them?  Do they have questions they’re looking to you to answer? How does your product or service fit in to their lives? How can you help them find out what they need to know?

These are all things you need to think about for every piece of content you put out there – what purpose does it serve?  How will it help you build a relationship with your audience, or encourage new followers and prospects?

Customer action

The final point in the definition is that content needs to drive profitable customer action. Whilst it can of course relate to someone clicking on a link, ending up on your website, and converting to a sale, it’s important not to just see content marketing in these terms.

It is not about selling (though it can be a wonderful side effect, if done correctly).

A customer wants to know that you, the brand, understand them. That you get why they might want or need your product/service in their life.  Equally, they want to see that people just like them have used your brand before, and have had a positive experience.

They are looking for credibility, and good content marketing can do this for you.

When someone reads your content and shares it, they are giving it credibility. They are saying “this is good, this is worth paying attention to”. Every time that happens you are given another opportunity to demonstrate how you, as a business, can make a positive difference in the lives of your prospects.

 

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