What is content marketing?

The term content marketing is a misnomer. There is little, if at all, marketing involved in content marketing. Instead, the whole concept revolves around delivering useful, educational and entertaining information to a selected audience. In a way, this is somewhat like public relations with one exception – there is an ulterior motive.

A podcast is a great way to deliver highly targeted content. Image courtesy of Pixabay

Why is content marketing important?

Customers are constantly bombarded with sales pitches and high pressure selling tactics, be it in person, from marketing emails, brochures or advertisements. There will eventually come a point when they become desensitised to everything. So how do businesses reach them? By developing a bond of trust with them, that’s how.

Content marketing, an increasingly popular branch of digital marketing, facilitates trust creation with selected audiences by delivering timely, targeted and relevant information in the form of videos, infographics, podcasts and much more. The idea is to attract their attention with disruptive messaging which will address their questions and gaps in knowledge, and thereafter, steer them towards an objective, which is typically the marketer’s product or service. It bears reminding that as soon as the real objective becomes transparent, customers will be less likely to continue their engagement with the content.

How to create an effective content marketing strategy?

First and foremost, marketers must identify their core audience with a high degree of specificity. Otherwise, they cannot develop content which are focused on the core audience. Analyse the product or service, survey the market and competitors and develop qualifying criteria, and use this information to build an ideal client profile.

Using that information, brainstorm with your team on the type of content which can reach the selected audience. Create an editorial calendar for the entire year to streamline the content creation process. Remember the integrate milestones or events such as product launches, holidays and cultural festivals into the content to heighten its sincerity.

The third step involves hiring content creators. Do not skimp on this. Pay for quality copywriters, videographers or designers – they will be responsible for the success of the entire campaign, so don’t cut corners here. If you have been compelled to find a way to reduce the budget, that’s a sign that your management doesn’t respect or understand content marketing. So instead of slashing your budget unilaterally, make the effort to explain to your upper management why content marketing deserves their utmost support.

The final step in the whole process is metrics measurement. Establish internal KPIs to track the performance of your campaign, ranging from the obvious (such newsletter opt-ins and unsubscribe rates) to the not so obvious (like a request to visit your manufacturing floor). Keep special track of leads that are generated from the campaign, as well as conversions. These will help to fine-tune future content creation and content delivery strategies.