What is Content Marketing?

Want to attract the right audience to your brand, and keep it coming back for more? Content marketing is how you do it. By using quality ‘content’ – articles, infographics, videos – you can keep your brand’s target audience engaged and loyal.

While advertising has long been the medium used for brand awareness, and direct marketing the platform for the hard sell, the goal of content marketing is to draw in and maintain the right audience. It can complement other types of marketing. Or it can be used on its own to build a customer base from scratch.

Instead of simply shouting “please buy our products”, companies publish engaging, inspiring and informative content – whether blogs, newsletters, magazines, social media, vlogs or webinars. And if the content marketing strategy is sustained, it will build that audience’s trust - making the job of selling significantly easier.

The long game

Information designed only to promote or sell isn’t content marketing. Sales emails might be an example of this. If all you’re doing is telling customers about your latest holiday deals, that isn’t content. They might see it and book if they’re looking for a holiday, but otherwise, they’ll quickly click away, barely even registering your brand name.

But it’s easy to turn an email like that into content marketing. Take an email selling cruises, for example. Instead of simply mailing a list of deal prices, you could write about what’s new at key ports – a museum opening or a cool cocktail bar, for example – then suggest relevant cruises to get to those ports. This can help capture the imagination and set your brand up as having unique insights into the needs and wants of cruisers. People will want to open your emails every time they arrive in their inbox. And when it’s time to book, they’ll think of you first.

The ultimate goal

Let’s make no bones about it – the ultimate goal of content marketing is increased revenue. In that respect, it differs from no other form of marketing. However, it’s also about building and maintaining an engaged customer base so that you don’t have to keep scrabbling around for new clients.

What’s more, with the best content marketing, your customers will want to share your content with other people who have similar interests – and who are your exact target market. So you’re developing an engaged, loyal client base and gaining new customers without the need for additional marketing spend.

In some ways, content marketing is more like public relations than advertising. If all you want is to see a sharp jump in sales for a few days, you’re better off taking out a newspaper or TV ad. But if your goal is long-term growth, then you need a solid content marketing strategy that delivers high-quality content to your targeted audience.

Getting started

The success or failure of content marketing lies in the execution. You need good planning of course, and the kind of consistent delivery that builds expectations and promotes loyalty. But above all, you need great ideas, and talented creators to produce them.

Planning a content marketing campaign, but can't find the writers, editors or social media experts for the job? Contact us: we know all the good ones.