Content marketing: what it is and why you need to do it

If you’ve been marketing your business long enough then you already know the overused phrase Content is King! The thing is…it really is.

Think about it…

Without content there would really be no search engine optimization (SEO). And without SEO, other than paid advertising, how else would people to find you?

So, let’s define content marketing.

The Content Marketing Institute defines content marketing as a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.

You’ll notice that I underlined the last part of the definition: ultimately, to drive profitable customer action. That’s because the key to content marketing is that it results in a desired action: getting a lead, making a sale, etc.

When I talk about content, I don’t just mean blogging because there are so many types of content that exist today, such as writing emails, writing social media, and even creating videos. And even if you decide to run advertising campaigns, you still need content. You just can’t escape it.

Here’s a larger list put together by HubSpot to give you an idea of the different content marketing formats that are available.

cherylwashington list of formats

Why content marketing?

Once you start looking at the trends, you’ll see that content marketing is growing. B2C companies are making significant investments. Take a look at the graphic below. 56% of B2C Content marketers increased their spending in the last 12 months. This stat is from CMI’s 2019 Bench Report.

These stats show as that content marketing is alive and well, and it’s bringing in results.

cheryl washington cmi 12 mo stat

What can content marketing help you do:

1. Build trust. Doing business online can be a challenge mostly because you don’t have that face to face. Yet, people do business with those they know like and trust. So, how do you build that trust? Simple, you build that trust with the right content marketing strategy; whether it be through emails, blog posts, videos, social media, podcasts, and much more. Content marketing is the best way to create that bond that generates trust and ultimately the sale.
2. Nurture relationships. This is very similar to building trust. It’s important to continue communicating with those who have expressed an interest in your products and services. Show them that you care and that you’re there to help. Think about when you go to your favorite department store. The customer service associate usually strikes up a conversation in an effort to understand what your needs are. Once the sale is made, the associate often follows up with you after the purchase. Based on what you purchased, the store will usually follow up with special discounts or other incentives. This is a part of nurturing. They want you to come back to buy more stuff. The same thing applies online and this can be done via your content marketing strategy.
3. Educate. What are your clients biggest struggle? What about their deepest desire? What do you help people do? Use your content to help them in these two areas. TED talks, videos, webinars, eBooks are all examples of ways to help bring you more leads, build trust, nurture relationship, and generate sales.
4. Build brand awareness. This is a very important step you want people to you who you are. You want your audience to have certain beliefs about you. Think about what those are. And the best way to express your brand and who you are is to have a solid content marketing plan.
5. Optimize organic search. Search engine optimization is what we also called SEO is how people find you on line with the right content marketing strategy you can optimize your webpages and your sales pages in a way that will drive more traffic and sales.
6. Generate leads. Without leads you really don’t have a business. With the right content marketing strategy, you can generate leads from many different places online and off-line.
7. Increase credibility. You already know that people buy from people they know, like, and trust. Content marketing can position you as someone who is credible simply because it shows that you actually exist and that you know your stuff.
8. Attract an ideal audience. You don’t just want leads but leads that want to learn and who want to buy. The type of content you create will affect the type of leads you attract. By creating content, you help yourself rank Better in Google there by driving traffic to your content.
9. Convert leads into buyers. By way of emailing your list on a consistent basis will continue to build trust and nurture the relationship between you and your potential clients. As they continue to hear from you, you’ll increase your chance to convert your leads into buyers.
10. Be more cost-effective. What content marketing creating content is also cost-effective because you no longer are you don’t have to rely on paid advertising if you if you have the right content marketing strategy.

Conclusion:

Content marketing comes in many forms, from blogs to podcasts and from emails to eBooks. With the right content marketing strategy, you can generate new leads, nurture those on your list, and convert those leads into sales like never before.

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