While you may be able to guess a little bit about content marketing from its name, there’s more to it than meets the eye.
Today we’re going to give a brief (but comprehensive) definition of what content marketing is, what it isn’t, and how it can help you grow your business year on year.
Let’s get started.
Content Marketing: A Definition
Content marketing is about one thing and one thing only – content.
The basic premise is that you provide existing and potential customers with high quality, informative content relevant to your business and your industry. Almost all content used for content marketing purposes should be useful to the visitor regardless of if they decide to use your product or service or not.
Content marketing isn’t about sales pages and pushy posts, instead, you’re providing a service to your visitors by producing this helpful content for them. It builds rapport, builds trust, and eventually turns some them into customers in a gentle warm and fuzzy way.
How Does Content Marketing Work?
It almost sounds too good to be true. How can writing helpful non-commercial content bring your business more leads and more sales?
Because content created for content marketing purposes is related to your industry you’re going to be getting your brand in front of super targeted people with a genuine interest in (or need for) your services.
Non-commercial content is shared much more often than the salesy stuff on social media which increases your overall reach and exposure. Some of the targeted visitors that result from all of this social sharing will be reading several other pages of your site too. This means that in the end, they’ll often learn about your brand’s product or service (despite landing on your site for the non-commercial information you provided).
Your visitors may not even know they need or want your service when they first reach your site from your content marketing efforts, but sure enough, when they do realize their need – they’ll often remember you.
Remember: There’s nothing wrong with putting a little soft sell somewhere in your content marketing materials if you want to give the reader a little nudge to speed things along – but don’t make it the purpose of the content.
The Different Kinds Of Content Marketing
There are a few different content types that can come under the umbrella of “content marketing”. However, the term is usually used to describe written content – although technically video and audio can be classed as content marketing materials too.
Blogging is a universal form of content marketing that works for almost every industry (we literally can’t think of a business that wouldn’t benefit from blogging).
The other forms of content marketing (like video and podcasts) will also work in the vast majority of industries (and they’re highly effective strategies). However, they’re often a complement to written content instead of a replacement for it.
The Final Word: Content Marketing Is Not The Same As Inbound Marketing
To end this post, I just want to point out that content marketing and inbound marketing are not the same things – despite the terms being used interchangeably all too often.
Content marketing is a form of inbound marketing – but it is not the only form of inbound marketing.
It’s the same way that a Ferrari is a kind of car – but it is not the only kind of car.