Content Marketing refers to any content - newsletters, white papers, case studies, videos, how-tos, and yes, even this blog post, where the intention is brand awareness, reputation building, and ultimately, customer acquisition. It differs from traditional forms of advertising where the primary goal is to sell something now.
You may already be building your Content Marketing library without calling it that. If you have not started, don't wait. It's an ongoing effort and requires time and expertise (yours or someone else's) - but unlike the banner ad - the effectiveness continues to build over time. Here are three of the main reasons why Content Marketing should be part of your overall strategy:
1. It Helps With Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The content marketing you place on your website, in the form of a blog post, PDF documents, image gallery, or an FAQ page can all contribute to your visibility to the search engines. You should definitely include keywords and phrases in your content marketing, but do not make it the primary goal. Your primary goal is to provide something of value to your readers. The keywords just help them to find your words of wisdom.
2. Permission Based Marketing Is Where It's At
It only makes sense to market to the people who want to hear your message. And, when you know the people who are listening to you, you can tailor your message to give them more of what they want to hear. That's where Content Marketing comes into play. It is ideally suited to permission marketing because it is topic-oriented, targeted, and relevant. Give your audience plenty of opportunities to opt-in to your newsletter, your blog updates, and your how-to guides. Build your audience, and your customer base, by providing content that people would miss if it went away.
3. You're Selling To A Discriminating Audience
Unlike consumers, who might be incented to buy the latest whatever by a catchy ad, businesses are more discriminating. The sales cycle is longer and more sophisticated. Businesses only spend money to solve problems. When you demonstrate that you understand the challenges your prospects face - and that you have solved similar challenges for other companies - your credibility soars. Content Marketing, in the form of testimonials, white papers, and blog posts, provides an ideal venue for demonstrating you are the go-to firm.
So, build your library of content and leverage it across platforms. Portions of your newsletter make a great Twitter feed. And expand on the idea in your blog post to form a longer topic paper downloadable from your website. Content Marketing - giving your audience something of value and building your business at the same time. It's a winning proposition.