When speaking with business owners about Internet marketing and blogging, I’ll often use the phrase “Content Marketing.” In context, I am usually referring to the use of a business blog for marketing, but it means quite a bit more than that. I think it’s worth taking the time to review what Content Marketing really is, and how it can be beneficial to a business as a part of their overall Internet Marketing plan.
Content Marketing is often referred to by a number of names, including content publishing, custom publishing, custom media, customer media, customer publishing, member media, private media, branded content, corporate media, corporate publishing, corporate journalism and branded media. They all basically refer to the same techniques and methods.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, “Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”
This is not selling.
The content that you create using this technique must be “relevant” and “valuable” so that you can “engage” a “target” customer or audience.
Businesses have been using this technique for years in the form of white papers, articles and now blogs. In each case, the business attempts to provide valuable information to customers and potential customers. This is a technique that is in use today, by some of the top businesses in the world, because it works.
Particularly today, a marketing technique that can’t be dismissed or ignored like traditional advertising is one that small businesses can ill afford to disregard. The problem, of course, is that content marketing is a technique that takes time. A business can easily pay someone to create and run an ad in the local newspaper, but it’s much harder and more time-consuming to write an article or ebook.
A successful content marketing campaign includes:
- Content Creation (blogs, articles, ebooks, white papers, surveys, swipe files, presentations, etc.)
- Social Media (developing audiences and communities on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, etc.)
- Email Marketing (regularly subscribing targeted leads and sending newsletters, autoresponders, sales messages, etc.)
What if, though, instead of ignoring your newspaper ad or skipping past your TV commercial, a potential client spent 20 minutes reading an article you wrote? What your customers actually looked forward to getting new content from you in their email box?
Content Marketing is one of the best marketing techniques available to businesses. Small business owners can take advantage of this method at virtually no cost. Your only cost is the time it takes you to sit down and write. And if you take the time to review some of our other articles on blogging and writing, you may find that the average article doesn’t take you that much time at all.
For more assistance and training on content marketing, consider joining the 360 Marketing Squad private Facebook Group.