When you consistently create high-quality content, you get results.
But it isn’t enough to just develop and create great content. Content needs a strategy behind it to be found by the right people, and in turn, give your business value.
This is where content marketing comes in.
Content marketing is the process of giving value to your audience with content. This process builds trust, shows you care and makes people want to do business with you. Think of it as guiding your customer to take action without pushing the sale. The aim is to incite profitable action, but not in an obvious way.
The concept of content marketing is quite simple: you forego the sales pitch, special offers, and other crap in favour of giving genuinely useful content to your audience.
In doing so, you make your customer trust you enough to do business with you.
A working example
Content marketing can be explained well with a working example:
Bob is a 49-year old carpenter. He has a self-invested pension invested in funds. Each month, Bob looks forward to receiving a newsletter with insight into market activity, and the funds doing particularly well. The content has nothing to do with the funds Bob is directly invested in. It doesn’t try to sell anything to him. It is simply solid information – content Bob finds valuable.
That’s content marketing.
The ins and outs
Content marketing involves the planning, creation, and distribution of high-quality content to a clearly defined audience, and ongoing analysis of that content.
Its success rests on many variables, but none more so than the quality of the content, and the content itself reaching the right audience.
What’s the trick?
The three key variables of successful content marketing are:
The trick is to create content that gives your audience real value and make sure they get it.
This shows you understand them and care about them.
In turn, this builds a relationship based on trust – and trust is the most valuable commodity a brand can have. It’s what keeps people coming back.
What’s the point?
Ah yes, the point.
Content marketing attracts prospects and customers to your brand with valuable content.
If the content is really good, it incites action.
That action could be a trial sign up, a phone call, an email, a sale, an instant message, or something as honest as a LinkedIn request.
Whatever the action, it was created because the content you published gave someone value.
At the end of the funnel, content marketing is about creating profitable customer action, but it takes time – and often – lots of content to get there.
Good content can make people aware of your brand, interested in your brand, consider purchasing from your brand, and go through with that purchase.
But one piece of content can’t do all these things, which is why you need a content marketing strategy and lots of high-quality content to get the job done.
Hopefully, our simple explanation of content marketing has hit the sweet spot.
The next step for you is to plan your content strategy.
If you haven’t already got one, start by creating a tone of voice document. This is necessary to help assure quality across your content creation.
Once you’ve done that, read Hubspot’s in-depth guide to developing a content strategy. It picks up from this post and is a really useful guide for getting started.