Here’s why we believe in the power of content marketing:
We get asked a lot why we call our work content marketing. The reality is that some days it looks like content marketing and other days it looks like copywriting, graphic design, social media management, or a mix of all of those. We call it content marketing because we see the power that having quality content gives to any discipline within digital marketing.
Social media marketing: Content marketing strategy comes before your social media strategy.
Smart businesses have a strategy to what they are going to say on social media. However, if you haven’t put thought to what your content marketing strategy involves, you don’t know what you want to say. Your content MUST come first. Then, you can go and actually say it on the various social media channels.
SEO: Search engines reward businesses that publish quality, consistent content.
Search engines love engaging content that drive people from other sources back to the original website. If you’re creating engaging, interesting content, search engines will start to notice that your website is proving to be quality to actual users. Not only that, but content marketing that centers on blogging is great because blogging is written word full of, well…words! Search engines love to grab hold of keywords and key phrases and you can literally embed them into the text you are writing. Compared to indexing and labeling graphics, videos, and audio, written blogging allows the SEO strategy to be done AS part of the content itself.
PR: Successful PR strategies address issues readers care about, not their business.
Quality public relations involves having something useful that can be used to feature that individual or brand as an expert. There needs to be something to prove their authority in the particular industry. Creating content (versus simply sharing content) establishes you as an authority and allows you, or your PR team, something to use as proof of your expert knowledge.
Inbound marketing: Content is key to driving inbound traffic and leads.
In our digital world, we see that the way people interact with brands is largely self-centered: what can you give me? The most successful inbound marketing strategies offer something for free or as a perceived valuable gift. Content gifts in the form of Ebooks, free guides, free webinars, graphics, and other useful tools are great ways to attract users to go from an offer to you. The more consistently that you provide quality resources, the inbound leads will increase.
Native Advertising: Uses Content To “Disguise” Ads
The whole concept of native advertising involves on the idea of disguising an ad to look like the surrounding material. In today’s world, much of the digital material we consume is content. Think through the last time you read a real magazine. You probably noticed a page that had “advertisement” at the top, but gave you suggestions on top ski gear to get this winter. Coincidently enough, most of those products happen to be one brand’s products, but the page and layout look oddly enough like an article you’d find in the rest of that magazine. Content marketing can be more subtle and more sticky to consumers.
Content marketing is all around us and while many brands claim that they can’t afford to spend the time and money to create content, it’s clear that they can’t afford NOT to. Content marketing supports so many different facets of digital marketing today and is interwoven throughout.
* Key bullet points taken from Content Marketing Institute’s definition of content marketing.
* This article created from a presentation Valerie originally created for Dr. Denny McCorkle’s Social Media Marketing Class at University of Northern Colorado.