Is Content Marketing effective?
The days of traditional marketing methods are becoming increasingly obsolete as people now can gather information on a brand from multiple sources. Today only 10 percent of US online adults trust ads on sites preferring to get their information from self-selected content. This has ushered in a new way of reaching out to consumers – content marketing.
What is Content Marketing?
At its most basic level content marketing is the creation and publication of engaging and interesting content with the purpose of gaining customer loyalty and increasing brand recognition. Unlike traditional ads and marketing methods, content marketing isn’t a direct sales tactic. Instead, it is a way for businesses and customers to communicate with each other. The rise of social media and mobile technology has made it even easier for businesses to make their presence known on the web.
Of course, with so much content produced daily, businesses cannot simply post something and expect people to find them. A good content marketing strategy offers a variety of quality content that targets a specific demographic. Some of the more common kinds of content include:
– How Tos – guides with simple steps to follow in order to accomplish a task or mission
– Articles – blog posts, news stories, informational pieces
– Infographics – visual design that combines images and statistics to explain an article, case study and more.
– Visuals – photos, videos, mixed media
This might sound simple enough, but a successful content marketing strategy requires a lot of research, creativity and, above all, time.
Why Content Marketing?
Content marketing differs from traditional marketing in that it creates a relationship between the business and its customers. Nurturing this relationship and improving trust increases the likelihood of customers buying products or services from that company. Well written and informative content can also help position companies as experts, give companies a voice and ensure customer satisfaction.
The best part is that content marketing isn’t necessarily more expensive than traditional marketing. In many cases it might even cost less and it often has a better ROI. In fact, content marketing has become so effective that 95 percent of B2B marketers use it. Companies and organisations that have successfully leveraged content marketing tend to do the following:
Create a Blog
Each blog post has the ability to increase SEO rankings and drive traffic to a site. It is also a way to share content to customers and further emphasize your position as thought leader. Instead of posting whenever inspiration strikes, it is best to have a weekly blogging schedule and post on the same days.
This way you already know the topics to cover in advance and your followers will know when to visit.
Use Social Media
Social media is one of the best ways to share content and get it seen by the right people. It is fast becoming the main form of marketing for many large companies as it helps foster new and current customer relations. It’s also an excellent way to promote content. The more people view and share your content, the more potential customers you will reach. You therefore need to ensure that it’s quick and easy for users to share your content via social media – ‘share’ buttons are a must.
Tell a Story
Content isn’t just about showing off your products and services, it’s about communicating who your brand is to customers. Adding personal flair to blog posts or providing videos that give a behind-the-scenes look at your company will give people an idea of your company culture and values. Not only that but it allow consumers to see the people behind the brand.
In order to stand out from the millions of other businesses, many companies are turning to content marketing to expand their reach and improve brand loyalty. Of course, with literally billions of posts, videos and emails sent daily great content alone won’t attract more visitors if there’s no audience. The most important part of content marketing is identifying your target demographic and then tailoring your content to suit them by researching the other types of content they consume. Without this information and insight, even the best content will not see the light of day.
Our job at TWK is to then present your content in the best way possible: to make it easy to navigate, easy to absorb, and crucially easy to engage with and share with others. The Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge have embarked on a new and ambitious content marketing strategy whereby they have identified a number of themes for different types of content produced by the school. We thought that the best way to present this was through clear colour coordination and an icon for each content type, and allow users to navigate according to these themes. The site also features DISQUS commenting platform to make it really easy for users to engage with the articles they read, and we use ‘addthis’ sharing to allow quick and easy sharing of posts. The site has so far been a great success and you can check it out here: https://www.jbs.cam.ac.uk/media/