The Question, ‘what is Content Marketing‘ is one that 21st-century entrepreneurs, small business owners, and Career Professionals need to understand. It remains relevant in 2018, 2019 and beyond. Understanding Content Marketing strategy is important to grow your brand whether you are in paid employment trying to build your career or you are a start-up entrepreneur or small business owner.
This is a question that is being asked all over the internet in places like quora, nairaland, facebook, twitter, linkedin, reddit, etc. An understanding of it would go a long way in utilising it to boost your brand.
What is Content?
When we understand what content is, the question what is content marketing would become easier. According to Wikipedia, content is the information and experiences that are directed towards an end-user or audience. Content is “something that is to be expressed through some medium, as speech, writing or any of various arts. Business Dictionary defines content as text matter of a document or publication in any form. Content is both information and communication: the sum total of the freshness, readability, relevance, and usefulness of the information presented, and the manner in which it is presented.
In today’s digital space with the advent of social media and the internet, the term content means something more than text. I’ll define content as any form of material which could be text, designed creatives or video which is aimed at explaining something or passing a message to an intended audience. (Leke Ademo, 2018).
Now that we have an understanding of what content is, in order for us to understand what content marketing is, let’s also look at the term ‘marketing‘.
What is Marketing?
According to Hubspot, Marketing is the process of getting consumers interested in your company’s product or service. This happens through market research, analysis, and a solid understanding of your ideal consumer’s wants and needs. Marketing pertains to all aspects of a business, including product development, distribution methods, sales, and advertising.
Investopedia also says marketing refers to the activities of a company associated with buying and selling a product or service. It includes advertising, selling and delivering products to people.
For me, marketing is everything you do in the process of making a sale. From the idea stage through product development, advertising, negotiation, conviction and the eventual sale when the product is delivered. I also consider after sales service as a part of marketing.
The 4 Ps of Marketing
Marketing as a discipline has been studied for several years now and there have been many theories developed to explain what marketing really is. The goal of marketing is to match a company’s products and services to the people who need and want them to ensure profitability.
It is generally agreed that there are 4 Ps of marketing that explain the marketing process. The 4 Ps are: product, price, place, and promotion. These 4 Ps aid the success of any marketing process.
When it comes to product, it must be right, there must not be any mistake whatsoever in choosing your product, although some people believe that with the other Ps, you can still make headway, the truth is that when a product is good and it finds the necessary exposure, it will sell. You need to know what differentiates your product from every other product in your niche and use it to your advantage, that’s your unique selling proposition.
When your product is right, the price is equally important, be affordable but not cheap. You should consider your unit costs, marketing costs, and distribution costs and make the right decision in picking your price, it should be competitive!
Place refers to the distribution of the product. Here, you have to determine where you want to sell your product, You can choose to sell it through a physical storefront, online or through both distribution channels.
According to investopedia, promotion refers to the integrated marketing communications campaign. Promotional activities may include advertising, personal selling, sales promotions, public relations, direct marketing, sponsorship, and guerrilla marketing. Promotions are likely to vary depending on what stage of product life cycle the product is in.
Now that we have an understanding of what content and marketing are, let’s look at what content marketing is.
What is Content Marketing?
This is the real deal. Content Marketing is an important part of marketing. With an in-depth understanding of what content is, mixing the two together brings us home to how and why content marketing is important.
So many people have explained what content marketing is and how to maximize it to boost your brand. OptinMonster says content marketing is all about using content to attract and retain visitors, and eventually turn them into customers. Kunocreative is of the opinion that content marketing is a strategy that leverages content, tailored and distributed to a specific audience, to attract and convert better-qualified leads and keep customers engaged long-term.
According to postcron, Content Marketing aids the attraction of interested people towards your brand’s proposals, and it also transmits your business’ identity and values while enabling you to secure a spot in these people’s daily lives through the use of Social Media.
Content Marketing is a part of Online or Digital Marketing where digital tools are used to market over the internet. Content Marketing cuts across the various channels of online or digital marketing. Digital Marketing simply has to do with the use of online tools to reach your desired audience. This includes email marketing, social media marketing, google adwords, Whatsapp marketing, etc.
According to Investopedia, as of 2015, approximately 70 percent of U.S. adults shop online at least monthly, and 33 percent shop online every week. Experts expect online sales in the United States to increase from $445 billion in 2017 to over $600 billion in 2020 and over $1 trillion by 2027. This tells us that online marketing is big and getting bigger by the day.
Why is Content Marketing so Important?
If you have been around the marketing space for quite some time, you will have come across the word content marketing over and again. Content marketing is so important that it gives you the opportunity to tell your own story.
Content Marketing sets you up for success. It makes you an industry leader if you use it rightly. It uses blog posts, videos, podcasts, ebooks or infographics to help promote your brand.
What is Content Marketing Strategy?
When it comes to marketing, to achieve success, there has to be an effective strategy employed. An effective strategy is what differentiates the results of successful people from failures. Value is a very important aspect of great content, so in formulating an effective content marketing strategy, you need to ensure that you use relevant and valuable content to attract the readers.
In formulating an effective content marketing strategy, you need to be consistent and understand keyword research. if you use keywords that people are searching for in your niche, when they search, they will find it. Your job is to consistently write on what people need and help them, in so doing you would also achieve your own goals.
Among other things, Content Marketing does 2 things:
- Help your organization stand out as a credible, reliable and trustworthy provider
- Attract a steady flow of qualified leads, and nurture them through the buyer’s journey.
Boosting Content with Blog Traffic
When it comes to content marketing, the more people see your content the better, especially if you have your on-page SEO technique on-point. If you write a content on Online Stock Trading, for instance, people have to view it to benefit from it. With an effective SEO Strategy, you can get somewhere, but you might also need to buy traffic from a reliable source. Growtraffic.com among others is a good place to get traffic most especially if you are a new-bie.
Growtraffic.com is a pay per visit network where they send traffic to your site from various websites. They also claim to be adsense safe. It is important to verify their claims before buying though .
What is Content Marketing for Business
Now that you understand what content marketing is, you also have to know how to apply it to your business. Small businesses stand a very great chance of growing if they utilize the opportunities that content marketing offers. Small businesses have an upper hand than large businesses if they do what they should do because they have the ability to have close, personal, one-on-one conversations.
Content marketing is basically about telling the story of a brand or product in such a compelling way that the reading audience buys into it without much hesitation. Its all about telling your own story. Every business needs to have a blog connected with their website which would update regularly. They also need to make use of social media to tell better stories and convert their prospects to clients.
The creator of the term ‘content marketing‘, Joe Pulizzi, has argued that small businesses beat large corporations when it comes to content marketing.
There are some facts to help you decide to use content marketing for your business. For instance, Dragon Search discovers that blog content influences purchase decisions. Demand Metric also released an infographic saying that per dollar spent, content marketing generates three times as many leads as traditional marketing.
What is Content Marketing for Startup Entrepreneurs
Just like small, medium and large businesses, startup entrepreneurs also need to utilize content marketing to boost their brand and get more clients. The beauty about content marketing is that a lot of people are searching for their needs and wants daily, the question to ask is “would these searchers see my blog or website where my products are?
To be successful as an entrepreneur, you have to be found, you have to strategically build your online profile so that those that need what you offer would find you.
What is Content Marketing for Employees
Are you an employee? Don’t think that content marketing does not concern you, because it does. You might not be working in marketing or anything close to it, but you need the knowledge of content marketing. In the nearest future, you might have an interest in entrepreneurship or running a business and these skills would become handy.
That said, the most important reason why you need to learn content marketing is that you are a product. Most people don’t see it this way, but you should. You should use content marketing to sell yourself for promotion, you should also use it to improve your chances for a new job. Most importantly, you should use it to build your online presence and to position yourself as an authority in your field. Anyone can do anything, but it’s actually those that do that stand out. If you are in sales for instance, and you write an article on how to make sales effectively when your future employer searches for you, they would see your article, and if it is really good, you might just get a job without an interview.
Types of Content Marketing
When answering the question, what is content marketing, we also have to look at the types of content marketing. The various types we have help in understanding it better. According to Oberlo, there are 6 types of content marketing formats. The first is Written. Under this type, we have blogs, case studies and ebooks. Secondly, we have videos, here, we have Vlogs, webinars and Q and A’s. The third type is called Outreach. Here we have surveys, opinion polls, and giveaways.
We also have visuals which include infographics, memes, and photos. The fifth type is public relations where we have press releases, brand updates, and interviews, and lastly, we have other types where podcasts, templates, and quizzes fall under.
What are the benefits of content marketing?
There are enormous benefits of content marketing. Let’s examine these benefits:
- Content marketing increases traffic and builds an engaged satisfied audience.
- It helps in boosting sales and increases the likelihood of having a return customer which leads to repeat sales.
- It gets you, loyal followers or customers. When your audience resonates with your story, they become your follower and if the relationship is well cultivated, they will become your clients.[the_ad_placement id=”adsense-in-feed”]
What is Content Marketing (The History)
The history of content marketing dates back to 1731 when Benjamin Franklin began publishing his annual ‘Poor Richard’s Almanack to promote his printing business. Ever since several others have also utilized it to promote their businesses.
Source: Content Marketing Institute
Measuring your Content Marketing Efforts?
At the end of any content marketing effort, there has to be some form of measurement to know if it was worth it or not. The question then is, how do you measure your content marketing efforts? Here, we are attempting to measure our content marketing KPI. To do this, ask yourself this questions:
- Why are you using content marketing in the first place?
- What do you want your content to accomplish?
- What specific need are you trying to solve for your audience?
- Do you understand your audience or your buyers’ persona?
If you can successfully understand this, you stand a better chance of succeeding with your content marketing efforts.
What is Content Marketing and SEO
Since the evolution of content marketing to what it is today, it has added Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) as a major component. Most people distribute their content through social media, but SEO is equally as important.
Search Engine Optimisation or SEO as it is generally called is a sure way to get your content ranking on Google’s Search Engine Result Pages (SERP).
SEO is very important because it helps you get found by those that are looking for you through the keywords they search on google. Also, if you set up your content for search well, they’ll enjoy free traffic to your site.
How to distribute your content
When it comes to content distribution, there are so many ways to go about it. What is the essence of developing content if enough people do not get to read it? This is the reason why content distribution is as important as its development.
Before you start the process of distribution of your content, you need to answer 2 questions, who is your ideal audience and what is the goal of your content. Answering these two questions would keep you on track. Are they males, or females, working-class professionals or business owners, or are they those living in a particular geographical location or students? If you can get this right, you are on the right path.
Apart from this, you also need to determine your goal. After your audience reads your post, what action do you want them to take, do you want them to click on something? or drop their emails, or share the post or even make a purchase from your e-commerce store.
What is Content Marketing The Distribution Channels
To get a clearer understanding of the question, what is content marketing, we have to examine the various distribution channels for content. There are several distribution channels. The first is email marketing which still remains one of the most effective ways of distributing your content. Emarketer.com reports that US marketing professionals believe that email has a staggering 122 percent return on investment (ROI) than any other marketing channel.
The most popular distribution of content is social media. In an annual survey of 1000 bloggers, Orbit Media Studios reported that 95.9 % of bloggers use social media to distribute their content. When it comes to social media, the top sites include facebook, twitter, instagram, linkedin, pinterest, reddit, and even quora and nairaland which tend towards being a forum.
Conclusion (What is Content Marketing)
Every single letter above has been targeted at answering the question: What is Content Marketing? I hope it has been helpful. You can also use it to help someone by sharing to your social media. Content marketing is going to help you better your business and your career. Its all about telling your own story in a compelling manner for people to patronize you.
It is hoped that you have found this useful. There are various content marketing examples that you can also check out. You can also make use of content marketing tools to improve content marketing experience. Tools like buzzsumo, canva, grammarly, headline analyser, etc can help you get the best out.
I believe that by now, after reading this, if anyone asks you the question ‘what is content marketing, you should be able to give a profound answer.
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