Content marketing is one of the hottest trends in marketing today, but if you’re not totally clear on what it is, you’re not alone. The Content Marketing Institute defines content marketing as “a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience—with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”
So, What is Content?
Content can include any type of information you share with your customers, from blog posts and articles to videos, webinars, infographics or even photos.
With a whole Institute devoted to it, clearly content marketing is not just a flash in the pan. In fact, in a study last year by CopyPress, marketers said content marketing was their number-one focus, putting it ahead of both social media and email marketing.
However, both social media and email marketing can play an important role in your content marketing efforts. The growth of social media has spurred content marketing, as getting people to share your content with others—and, in the process, spread word-of-mouth about your business—has become crucial to attracting new customers and building a business reputation.
As for what types of content get the best results, here’s what marketers in the CopyPress survey say gets the greatest ROI for them:
- Articles: 62.2 percent
- Videos: 51.9 percent
- White papers: 45.6 percent
- Photos: 37.8 percent
- Interactive media: 36 percent
- Infographics: 27.9 percent
To develop a successful content marketing strategy, focus on the three elements included in The Content Marketing Institute’s definition:
Relevant and valuable
Make sure your content is of value to your customers and prospects. It could be informational, entertaining or even humorous; the point is to focus on what they want—not on promoting your business.
To Attract, Acquire and Engage
To get customers to “like” and share your content with others, it should be useful, unique or even funny (if appropriate to your industry). Customers enjoy sharing content that makes them seem to be in-the-know or trendsetters. Increase customer engagement by asking clients to do something such as post photos or videos, enter a contest or suggest names for a product.
Bonus: You can actually get clients to create content for you this way!
To Drive Profitable Customer Action
Likes and shares aren't the goal of content marketing—ultimately, you want people to buy from you. Always include some type of call to action either in or with your content. For instance, accountants can create e-newsletters with useful tax tips, and include a link to their websites where clients can make appointments.
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