What Is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is a brand of marketing that involves promoting and selling contents that have been tailored to suit a particular audience in order to drive profitable interaction with customers. There are several definitions of content marketing depending on who is asking and who is answering but ultimately, the common factor is the aim. Content marketing is aimed at generating sales (profitable interaction) from the targeted audience.Content marketing is not just about having one time customers to purchase the goods or services on offer, it is rather more concerned with keeping hold of them by continually creating curated content which ultimately drives their behaviour with respect to said good and services.There are little differences between conventional marketing and content marketing, but it is summed up quite well in the words of Robert Rose who submits that traditional advertising or marketing is about telling the world that you are a rock star; content marketing on the other hand shows you up as one.
There are several media available through which information can reach target audiences who end up becoming customers, content marketing is about owning these media channels rather than merely renting them – which is basically what advertisement it. This is the difference between content marketing and advertisement. A more explanatory way of talking about content marketing is by defining it as helping target audiences find whatever they are looking for wherever they look for it. This means that content marketing employs content creation, content curation and content syndication in order to consistently deliver.
Long story short, content marketing is all about the prospective customers and their interests. Your product or you mean almost nothing to them on its own, but finding what interests them and using it to sell your product or service, that makes sense to them, that is content marketing.Many of these definitions can make content marketing and advertising sound alike (that’s because sometimes they are), but there are major differences between advertising and content marketing. The most important difference is that content marking is more subtle than advertising. Advertising operates more of a shout-now-that-they-listen concept whereas content marketing is about sharing actual valuable information that will eventually sway customer opinion.Through content marketing, information which might erstwhile have been kept under wraps in the name of trade secrets has today become a tool to entice audiences and turn them into customers.
Content Marketing Audiences
As mentioned earlier, content marketing can happen across variety of media; be it electronic, print, real life events and so on. The marketer doesn’t necessarily try to use these events to push the sale of their own products or services, it is rather used as a means of addressing topical issues relatable to their industry in general, rather the only specific part of the whole content is the audience. Doing this strengthens the marketer’s position in the mind of consumers as an industry leader. Content marketing can be a blog post, a Facebook post, a tweet, a little picture on Instagram but with a purpose behind it; no advert line saying “patronize us” or anything of the sort, it rather uses words specific to their target audience, sometimes repeatedly but it is all in a bid to pass the message across. The messages passed will be visibly from the marketer but will not be about the marketer, rather it will be about the customer.
The submissions above means that discussing the quality of the marketer’s products and services may never be mentioned at all, but it will form itself in the mind of the customer one piece at a time. Price tags are unnecessary here, because then it has become advertising – and where advertising tries to tell consumers to buy an item the marketer really wants to sell, content marketing is the more evolved version of it which lets customers come looking for exactly what they want.Content marketing is more about selling an idea than a product, selling a brand’s purposes and ideals instead of a fancy logo. And the results are almost polar opposites; where advertising creates one time customers, content marketing creates something of a fan base. It brings a group of people together as followers of the brand and its content (especially when well curated).
Example of content marketing
An example to imagine is the probable case of two commercial banks A and B seeking to grow their customer base with two different approaches. While bank A goes all aggressive and rolls out minutes of adverts enticing customers to come open an account, telling them why their bank is the next best thing after sliced bread. A very solid strategy and one that yields results.
Bank B decides to disseminate information about the banking situation all over the world and in the specific country. Statistics are called upon, researchers are quoted, figures are announced and so much more. People get a chance to learn from Bank B’s decision to teach them what they did not know. This decision makes them want to trust bank B more than A and in the long run, they gain not just a customer base, but a group of believers in their brand.
So back to our question, “what is content marketing”? We can simply put it that content marketing is trying to sell products by not making it about the product, the brand or the marketer; but by making in every way about the target audience / customer.