When talking about content marketing, there is need to differentiate it with other forms of marketing campaigns. Traditional marketing strategies, of course, put the product at the forefront of the campaign, soliciting for patronage by advertising the product or brand. But this is not so in content marketing. In content marketing, what you do is make your audience your focus. Your audience should be those who you would like patronage from at the end of the day, but you do not relate with them as if you are selling; you build a relationship with them by educating them and offering them answers to their questions.
Content marketing as a way of building a network of loyal customers
From the name “content marketing”, what you market is content. This content could be in the form of newsletters, blog articles, webinar or videos, and this content must be such that discusses topics peculiar to your intended audience or educate them on issues that typically affects them. For example, you are a lawyer in New Jersey. Your intended audience are people in New Jersey who may need your professional expertise in NJ state laws. When you go into content marketing, what you have to do is find out what legal questions about NJ laws are these people asking? What legal issues do they likely face? Then you have to come up with articles or whatever content as you deem fit that provide answers or throw light upon these issues. By so doing, you are building a relationship with them such that they become loyal to your brand.
The ultimate goal of content marketing is to increase sales
Content marketing can be seen as a subtle way of bringing in new customers and creating loyalty in the hearts of the existing ones. By educating them on issues pertaining to what you sell, you become a credible, reliable and competent resource on issues that matter to your intended audience. This is why your topics must be relevant to your audience. That way, you get easily discovered when they search on such topics. By keeping your audience engaged in topics that matter to them, you become their primary go-to. Your name becomes clearly spelled out on their lips such that when they need a product or services such that you sell, they have full confidence that you are competent and reliable to offer the best. You are thus building your brand — you are thus generating improved revenue inflow.
Content marketing takes time and effort
It is worthy at this point to note that content marketing is not a one day, one week, or one year fling. No, it requires more time and effort. This is because content marketing requires you answering up to date information on pressing topics relevant to your intended consumers. For example, New Jersey laws often get updated yearly and for this reason, your content must be updated along with it if you distribute content regarding NJ laws. Also, to be able to build a loyal fan base, you must have proven yourself to be a reliable and all-knowing source of information. You must have touched virtually all topics affecting your audience, topics which also must relate to what you sell.
Examples of content marketing
As have been earlier said, content marketing is simply a way of educating your intended audience. So when you know your intended audience, you know what to provide them. A plumber who posts blog articles on how to identify and fix quality plumbing fixtures in the home is doing content marketing. An attorney in New Jersey who publishes content on NJ legal matters is simply doing content marketing. What WikiHow and Investopedia do by publishing articles is content marketing. Sainsbury magazine, a cooking magazine in the UK, carries out content marketing and it is reported that about 80% of its readers makes a purchase after reading their content.
Customizing your content for your audience
People find answers to their questions through the use of search engines such as Google. Through content marketing, your page will show up when users make searches on topics pertaining to your content.
In your content marketing campaign, it becomes, therefore, your desire for your business page to appear at the top of the search engine results page when such queries are made so that you can get noticed quickly. It is also important to know that a user will quickly jump out of your page if it is not well customized for them. That is why you have to have an in depth understanding of your audience, know what tone best suits them, and what they are looking for, before creating content.
Engage your audience
It is not enough to create content without engaging your audience. Your content is only as valuable as its ability to keep the audience interested and engaged on a long-term basis. This you can do by creating an avenue for them to subscribe to your page. By so doing, you would be building an addressable fan base, your content reaches them faster, and these become your customers and brand advocates in the long run.