Content Marketing seems a “hot” topic recently and is considered as an innovation in marketing communication. Did Content Marketing just appear in past decade? My answer is no. My philosophy is “there is no new thing under the sun, because the “new” thing is just the old thing wear a new costume”. At first, we need to understand what Content Marketing is.
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.(Content Marketing Institute)
For those who have no ideas about the Content Marketing, the above definition is excellent and clear in introducing and clarifying Content Marketing value and the way to deliver content in marketing. However, my favorite definition about Content Marketing is:
Traditional marketing and advertising is telling the world you’re a rock star. Content Marketing is showing the world that you are one. (Robert Rose)
In customer perception, there is always a huge gap between marketing and actual products. Most of customers have negative behaviors and thoughts to traditional marketing. Not only does Content Marketing allow you to capturing your prospect’s attention, but it also helps you to make the gap smaller, and build deeper relationship with your customers. In a nutshell, when you deliver relevant, and consistent content which have value to your customer, you win benefits of Content Marketing.
Do you know that in 4200 B.C, Content Marketing had been used already? In 4200 B.C, one of the first signs of custom publishing found in cave pantings.
In 1982, Hasbro and Marvel partnered to create the first toy-based comics. Kids playing with the toys would buy the comics, while kids reading the comics would buy the toys.
In 1895, John Deere published The Furrow – a guide to successful farming that also promoted the brand’s agricultural machinery. Today, The Furrow has a readership of 1.5 million in 40 countries!
That is the reason why I said that Content Marketing is not a new thing. The nature of Content Marketing does not change. The only difference is the way we deliver it. Previously, we do Content Marketing on books, newspaper, or even on cave, rock and etc. Nowadays, Content Marketing can take on many forms from blogs, white papers, podcasts, infographic, social media, case study and so on. Due to the advantages of technology, it helps you to reach worldwide customers. According to Nectafy blog, “59 Benefits Of Content Marketing From 50 Expert Marketers” blog shows 59 advantages from using Content Marketing. Generating sales more efficiently, pulling in unexpected customers, building valuable relationships with your audience, enhancing brand image and boosting customer engagement are the most important goals that every business wants to achieve when they invest in Content Marketing. Nevertheless, many businesses get in troubles with creating effective content. Why? There are a lot of reasons, but I just address three following reasons that I think it is crucial, and most of marketers encounter.
- If you think Content Marketing is an contrivance to deceive your customer, you are in the wrong way. To me, Content Marketing should be an attitude rather than a tool. You have to make your customer feel your “heart” to them. You will act as an expert to solve their problem and a good friend to share stories. You should have truthful, friendly, passionate, and informative attitudes in your Content Marketing. ( This blog will show your more ideas about Content Marketing contrivance: http://www.adpulp.com/content-scores-points-brands-doesnt-need-much-defense/)
- Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something. (Plato). I strongly agree with the statement of Plato. According to the recommendation of HubSpot Academy, you should public your blog content more than twice weekly and your ebook monthly. I do not think it is reasonable when you try to follow content count. The rule should be “Don’t publish for the sake of it. Don’t write without a reason to write. Don’t set up a Twitter feed you have no idea what to do with “because we have to be on Twitter”.(Alan Boyce). Therefore, before creating content, be sure you know what you’re going to create and why you’re creating it. That is determined by your personas, buyer’s journey, and business goals.
Are you publishing content about your products and services? If you are, please STOP! Your customers do not care about your products. They care about the answers for their problems, so you have to make sure that your content is relevant to them. How? My recommendation is using the Keyword Grader of HubSpot. It helps you to scan the Internet and return an analysis of the keyword relevant to the company’s business that were driving online search results. You will have more insights about the words people are actually using to find their products and services. From that, you can create great relevant content.
Overall, content is crucial part which decides your inbound strategy’s success. Content Marketing brings tremendous benefits to your business, especially building qualified leads from loyal audiences. Every loyal audience to your website is your potential customer and can become your customer. The better content that you create and distribute, the closer to the goals that you will get.