The value of content marketing can’t be overstated. After all, what is the Internet but a big conglomeration of words?
If you are marketing online, it is important to understand the concept of content marketing. (Or you should have a trusted online marketing company working with you who understands it!)
Content marketing is the technique of creating and distributing content that is relevant and valuable with the purpose of attracting, engaging and acquiring a clearly defined and understood target audience with the goal of generating revenue.
To fully understand the statement above, let’s break it down into its key components:
Key Component 1: “content that is relevant and valuable”
Just because it is called “content marketing” does not mean that the content provided should be a series of sales pitches. Nothing turns off an audience more than a lot of information thrown at them about why they should choose your product or service. No matter how much you attempt to hide your sales pitch, today’s savvy consumers will sniff it out and shun you for it.
Content marketing should be thought of more as education. Consumer’s today want to do proper research before making a purchase. (And, the larger the price, the more research they’ll want to do.) So, give them what they are looking for!
Here’s a question to help you get in the proper frame of mind…
Do consumers need your product or service? If so, why? Hint: It has nothing to do with the fact that you are the best. In fact, it has nothing to do with you at all! Your product or service is fixing a problem they have or serving a purpose that matters to them. Tell them how your product or service will do that.
Key Component 2: “the purpose of attracting, engaging and acquiring”
The crucial words here are “the purpose.” The purpose of content marketing is to create a following of people who are reading your content and engaged with you. In essence, you need to create your own fan base. By doing so, you will be creating a mini-sales force of sorts since your fans will tell their friends about your company – which will create an even bigger fan base.
Notice what the purpose is not. The purpose of content marketing is not to generate revenue. This is the ultimate goal, of course, and we’ll elaborate on the goal in a moment, but the purpose is to create your own group of followers who go to you for the information they need and want. When you understand the true purpose of content marketing; the copy you produce will naturally be more relevant and educational and not sales copy.
Key Component 3: “clearly defined and understood target audience”
Do you have a deep understanding of your target audience? Your target audience is the people who are most likely to be in the market for the product or service you are offering. Here’s a hint for you: your target audience is NOT anyone with a checkbook! Your target audience (or target market) is much more specific than that. No matter what you are selling, there is a way to identify your ideal customer. Factors to consider are gender, socio-economic status, marital status, and age. You might find it helpful to create a fictional person who fits the characteristics of your ideal customer and then think of them when writing your content. The more specific you can be, the more your ideal customers will recognize themselves and understand how your product or service will appeal to them.
Key Component 4: “the goal of generating revenue”
Ah, the fun part! Yes, the goal of content marketing, just like any marketing technique, is to generate revenue. However, the distinction to be made here is that you can’t get directly from “A” (creating content) to “B” (generating revenue). There are some very important steps in between. But when you understand the steps and focus on them, you will find that content marketing is a very profitable technique to incorporate into your overall marketing plan.