Content Marketing... What's the big deal?
By Andy, May 25 2016 10:39AM
Cows ought not to eat nuts tomorrow…. That’s how my Dad used to tell me to remember how to spell the word content! Not really sure where that saying came from or if it’s just another of my dear old Dad’s pearls of wisdom!
However, nowadays, ‘content’ means something different, in marketing terms, and has a very important role in your marketing strategy.
That’s not to say that the ‘content’ of your marketing hasn’t always been key, but never more so than since the advent of what is now known specifically as ‘content marketing’.
You may have also heard the terms ‘story telling’ and, perhaps, ‘user journey’ used in equal amounts too, but, whatever you call it, it’s crucial as part of today’s marketing landscape – it’s how you are perceived by your customers; dictates how much Google likes and ranks your site; and affects the extent to which the masters of social media display your messages to its millions of followers.
So, for the avoidance of any doubt, what exactly is ‘content’?
The official definition is that “Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
So, in the age of digital media, ‘content’ can be delivered to your audience in many forms – blogs, posts, tweets, links, articles, memes – you name it, it’s all driven by content.
But, it’s also a step change, compared to traditional marketing methods, because you are essentially ‘sharing your wares’ with your customers and some think that content marketing makes you vulnerable, in that you are showing a side of you (or your company) that your customers wouldn’t normally see and you’re putting your thoughts and ideas on the line and hoping people respond positively.
It’s a bit like the marketing equivalent of dating. And, quite frankly, it can be scary!
However, if a financial advisor creates content or writes a blog about the best pensions on the market, it creates both visibility and trust. In truth, we all want to know that our financial advisor knows about pensions but, if they or their firm is seen to be talking about the latest rules and regulations on pensions, it engenders a feeling that they can be trusted and that they know their financial onions.
First and foremost, content should; be informative; express an opinion; offer advice and best practice and offer key insights/expertise into the industry or topic in question.
So, now we kind of know what content is, you can put your thinking cap on and consider its importance to your business. Fundamentally, content drives engagement (and that’s key right now) with both existing and future customers; it reinforces your position as a trusted source in your industry and it’s arguably one of the best ways to demonstrate your knowledge in your field.
You can target your audience, to build trust and recognition so that when the time comes for a purchase decision, you are at the forefront of their minds, such was your expert use of content marketing, on overt and covert levels.
Google L-O-V-E-S content so, creating regular, informative and rich content gives you a repertoire of things that will tickle Google’s fancy no end! And, as Google is an ever-changing beast, their SEO now sees content as king!
So, in summary – it’s not just about pushing your product or service in simple sales and marketing terms any more – you need to be informative, informed, opinionated (without being controversial or offensive) and signpost people as to what to do next with your brand, product or service.
Therefore, right now, content truly is king – get it right and ‘Long live the King’!