What Is Content Marketing?
If you’ve just heard the term “content marketing” in conversation and supposed you probably should know what it means, but you’re too bashful to ask, this article is for you.
“Valuable” is the important word here. It’s what distinguishes this definition from ones that could apply to virtually any form of promotion. You’re sure to know something is suitable for a content marketing campaign is when people search for it. Determining whether something is an ad or content marketing depends on how each person responds. The question is whether or not the recipient found it helpful. Delivering as much value as you possibly can to your target audience is the initial goal. However, you may still feel somewhat confused about content marketing, so let me give you a few examples.
Five Examples of Content Marketing
There are several different kinds of content marketing out there. My goal is to offer you an overview to get you into the mindset of a professional content marketer, so you can start spotting the possibilities everywhere you look.
- Infographics. Statistics, charts, graphs, and other data are depicted in these visuals. Infographics are helpful because, when they are good, they will be shared on social media and other websites for years to come. You can have a professionally produced infographic explicitly done for your niche’. A great infographic will typically set you back at least $1,000. Of course, getting the infographic out there where it’s getting some traction is essential. So you might consider creating a Pinterest account and compiling a series of infographics on a topic relevant to your business. This type of content marketing only costs you time.
- Webpages. What are the differences between a standard website and a content marketing website? Moz’s Beginner’s Guide to SEO, a collection of SEO tools and information. It’s a great example of a free resource that has been viewed and shared millions of times, bringing many customers to them who would not have found their website or been aware of their services otherwise. And THAT, my friends, is the difference between merely adding content to your website and doing content marketing.
- Podcasts. Best-selling author Michael Hyatt of “Get Noticed in a Noisy World” is living proof that content marketing works. Every month, 250,000 people listen to his podcast “This Is Your Life.” A podcast allows you to become visible and grow in a completely different world. The podcast then leads to brand awareness, additional book sales, registrations for courses and events, and speaking engagements.
- Videos. Gary Vaynerchuk’s YouTube channel is another fantastic example. He began by making movies to advertise his family’s wine shop, which he later developed into a $45 million empire with his videos and other marketing strategies. Because many believe videos and podcasts are expensive and complex, they are still a relatively new form of content marketing. Since the cost of professional-grade equipment has significantly dropped, it’s made making high-quality video easier. Many successful businesses have benefited from amateur video content marketing. What video could you make for your brand that would completely transform its earnings? It might be simpler than you think.
- Books. Some might think of books as selling themselves, similar to movies, but effective marketers don’t sell books for the sake of selling them, but rather they sell books as a marketing tool. Although book sales are good, the book is, more importantly, a way to direct customers to his coaching and speaking services. Even though self-publishing has become easy and affordable, many people still feel it’s difficult and that only recognized professionals can do it. Go ahead and get your book published, and then even if it doesn’t sell many copies, you can still benefit from having it published because you’ll be known as an author.
What Is The Purpose of Content Marketing?
Wrapping your mind around why content marketing is essential to your business is perhaps more important than understanding what content marketing is. Let’s take a look at the four stages of the purchasing process:
- Awareness. A customer may have a need, but they aren’t yet aware that you have a way to fill that need.
- Research. Once a potential customer realizes that there is a solution, and you have it, they’ll probably do some research. For example, when someone wants to purchase a vehicle, they’ll embark on a journey to see what different models of cars are available and which ones have the features that best fit their needs and budget.
- Consideration is the stage where they begin comparing products to make sure that they would be getting a good deal if they purchased from you.
- Buy. Finally, the customer makes their decision and completes the transaction.
You’re generating awareness of your product and services when you shine a light on a particular issue and then offer your product as being the best remedy. You’re attempting to educate potential customers about a product or service that they may not have considered before, YOURS. Once you’ve done that, you’ve already got them through the first stage of the purchase process.
In recent years content marketing has helped me grow my company by 1,000 percent. Potential customers discover what we offer at Pushleads, value it, and are already sure they want to collaborate with us by the time they reach out. We don’t have any need for high-pressure sales tactics. By the time the potential client contacts Pushleads, we just have to discuss the specifics and get started on a campaign. The trust needed for a business to partner with us, that is usually built over days or weeks, we’ve already began cultivating before we’ve even spoken directly to the client.
How to Get Started With Content Marketing
There are a plethora of companies that provide content marketing services, and they usually have packages that also offer SEO. If you don’t think you have the time to do it yourself or you simply aren’t ready to manage it in-house, hiring a company like Pushleads may be the best alternative. However, the simplest and cheapest way to get started with content marketing is to add a blog to your website and start posting. It will be somewhat challenging at first, but the more you practice, the better you’ll get. You’ll rapidly discover how to produce quality content for your blog that will interest readers and convert them into clients. While good writing and headlines can help, they aren’t the key to developing amazing content, which is the most effective type of content marketing.
You know poorly done content marketing when you’ve felt exhausted after having trudged your way through it. When I talk to clients about content marketing, I always remind them that content is good if they WANT to read it. And if they’re prepared to pay to read it, the content is amazing. Look at what you’ve paid to read, watch, or listen to recently if you want to see exceptional examples of content. If you saw The Lego Movie, you saw one of the best examples of content marketing that has ever been seen. Oh, you thought they made that movie to get people to buy tickets to see it? Reconsider your position.
That was a 100-minute toy commercial, and instead of skipping it with a DVR, you spent money to watch it. Is it any surprise that Lego recently overtook Mattel, the company behind Barbie, to become the world’s largest toy manufacturer? You may not have the funds to produce a complete film to market your business, but you may still provide essential information to potential clients.
The #1 Content Marketing Secret
Make a difference. That is the key. It’s not really a secret. In fact, we’ve already discussed it several times in this article. But when you look at some of the marketing tactics used by most advertising agencies, you have to ask if they’re purposely ignoring the obvious. Advertising that is of little or no value to the viewer is avoided. Find a skateboarder and ask to watch him browse through a skateboard magazine if you want to learn about advertising that doesn’t get overlooked. You’ll notice that he spends just as much time looking at the advertisements as he does at the articles and photographs. Go to The Berrics website and see for yourself.
Many of the videos are advertising, but skaters don’t skip them; instead, they watch them like any other video because they’re getting the value they’re looking for—good skating. It’s easy to assume that skateboard companies invented content marketing years ago, but I think that they’re just doing what came naturally to them, and selling more stuff was a good consequence of the fun they had making films and magazines. Hiring a skateboarder as part of your marketing team might not be a bad idea if you want someone who naturally understands content marketing.
If you’re not sure how to give value through content marketing, ask your current customers what kind of content you can create that would be useful to them right now, they’ll let you know.
What can I do to learn more?
Epic Content Marketing by Joe Pulizzi is a fantastic book to read. You’ll be an expert in content marketing in no time.
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Btw, if you enjoyed this article, you might also like: What is a Brand Audit, and Why Should You Conduct One?
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