What is Content Marketing?
Content Marketing is the process of increasing sales by delivering high quality content to your customers. Content marketing works to inform, educate and entertain your target audience. Successful content marketing creates a dialogue and a relationship between your brand and your customers.
Why should you care? Content marketing costs less than traditional advertising, generates better leads and improves your brand’s public image.
5 Key Characteristics of Successful Content Marketing:
1) Targeted Audience:
As opposed to traditional advertising that may be more focused on marketing to new customers, content marketing mostly targets your current customers. Build a relationship with your customers by sharing information that they are interested in. Potential customers can also be drawn in with content marketing because they are interested in what you have to say; by building this relationship early on they will be more likely to become a customer, as they already trust your brand.
2) Tell a Story:
The content you share should be delivered in a story-telling manner as opposed to a sales pitch. Decide what your content will be based on your customers’ current interests, you are writing for your audience not for your company. Create brand awareness without selling your brand by delivering a story instead. It also helps to tell a story if you write using your personality, try to give your brand a relatable and trustworthy ‘voice.’
3) Provide Value:
Every piece of ‘content’ you create must work to inform, educate and/or entertain your target audience. Remember content is not ‘content marketing’ unless your audience finds it interesting and valuable. If it is relevant and enjoyed by your customers they will reward you by becoming a loyal customer.
4) Create a Dialogue:
Does anyone actually like being told what to do? Instead of directing your customers and ‘selling’ your brand create a dialogue. Invite your audience to participate in your content marketing and respond to their comments or questions. This not only personifies your brand but it also helps show your audience that you are honest. Customers will be more likely to trust your brand if they feel that they have an honest relationship with you.
5) Increase Profits:
Content marketing increases traffic to your sites while building a relationship with your audience. With honest content your customers will feel more informed and will be more likely to trust your brand when making a purchasing decision. With content marketing you are also able to learn more about your current customers and their needs or find new sales leads.
Interested in learning more about content marketing? Follow @JoePulizzi, founder of Content Marketing Institute, on Twitter. I also recommend his book, ‘Epic Content Marketing,’ for great examples of successful content marketing!