No matter how far you’ve come in your content creation & marketing skills, and how much you continue to progress there are always a few things you wish you were better at, understood more deeply, or had known about earlier.
Like most things in life, you can’t reach your full potential for success with content marketing until you understand exactly what it is (and what it isn’t) – including how it’s defined, what business goals it can help you achieve, and what roles it should play in relation to your other marketing disciplines and techniques.
“Content marketing is the strategic marketing approach of creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action”.
In short, instead of pitching your products or services, content marketing works by capturing the attention of your target audience members and helping them address their informational needs. The belief is that your audience over time will come to trust and rely on your guidance, recognize your company’s unique value proposition, and ultimately reward you with business and loyalty to your brand.
Let’s break down the definition further to focus on its three most essential components:
- It is relevant to a target audience: It builds and harnesses loyal relationships between your brand and customers. Your content needs to appeal to their interests.
- It provides them with tangible value: It gives them the essential and most crucial information answering questions they have and instructing them on steps to about becoming conversant with the brand.
- It is consistent: The success gained from effective content creation lasts over a long time to sustain your brand.
You can accomplish a lot with a consistent, relevant, and valuable content marketing program. But you’ll hardly ever be able to attain the results you want if you haven’t first identified your goals which vary from; Brand awareness, Audience engagement, driving loyalty and most importantly driving sales and profitability.
Content marketing can’t be totally effective in an empty system nor is it meant to be a replacement for other promotional techniques. Content works best when it operates in a cooperative capacity – when it is used to complement your other marketing efforts in alignment with your top business goals. For example, content marketing works well with Traditional marketing, branded content, Search Engine Optimization, Public relations, Influencer marketing, etc.
Now that you can clearly characterize content marketing’s value proposition, you’ll be better able to communicate its benefits in terms that others – including your internal and external teams and other key stakeholders will understand and appreciate.