Understanding Content marketing [A simple guide for beginners]
Marketers around the world have taken a U-turn. YES, that’s right.
They gave the turn a fancy name too. It’s called Content marketing.
To understand the turn (and the term) better, turn back the hands of time.
Here’s the story you might remember!
You must remember how the businesses used to get on your nerves with their annoyingly salesy content? (Since, that wasn’t very long ago, so you are allowed to be still pissed off on the cringe-worthy memories if that makes you feel any better).
You would agree that top marketers and influencers now don’t chase you up. They do not grab your neck or tie your limbs and shove their message down your throat. They are nothing like the advertisers from the past.
Why not? Because of the U-turn, they have taken, i.e., Content Marketing.
Content Marketing in simple words
Marketers these days provide their prospects with value for free. That’s right, FOR FREE, until prospects are hooked on their content. This bond ultimately drives sales for businesses.
The quality content and its value vouch for the brand, so they don’t have to be salesy to sell.
That’s the *Good Marketing*, the marketing we all want as prospects as well as marketers. That is because the benefits of this U-turned marketing are bi-directional.
But what’s the catch?
Well, no catch but score is surprisingly unlimited.
Content Marketing-Influencers take
Now that you know the basic concept, here’s a compilation of how marketing Influencers see Content Marketing.
Neil Patel’s definition
So the first benefit to reveal to you is your prospect’s attention. Needless to emphasize its importance since everyone knows how your relationship with prospects starts-with just a pint of their attention!
The important point here is SHARING VALUABLE FREE CONTENT to ATTRACT & CONVERT PROSPECTS INTO CUSTOMERS.
Have you been dreaming of a better outcome for your efforts, ever since you started your business?
SproutSocial has given a very comprehensive description that sheds light to all the aspects of the concept of Content Marketing.
As per the definition, content marketing includes the following for a content to produce desired output:
- Promotion and
The strategy helps brands track their success for improvement or retargeting. Both have their own perks, we’d say.
This is how Josh Steimle at Forbes introduces the concept:
So, the point to ponder here is that do not even imagine seeing yourself flying higher (getting customers and growth) if you are dealing in Mobile phones but producing content on automobiles. TAKE NOTES PLEASE.
Why? Because if you do so, you’d only have the attention of people interested in automobiles. But you don’t have any products or services to cash against their attention. Right? And you are not targeting your real prospects by your marketing efforts.
That demand and supply gap is catastrophic, we tell you.
Content Marketing vs. Traditional marketing
But, why care about Content marketing anyway, when we have the traditional methods?
The marketers in the early days were enjoying sales without caring about sharing. What changed now? How are the two marketing types different from each other?
The difference lies in VALUE.
Let’s dive in to figure out where’s the value today?
|Traditional Marketing||Content Marketing|
|Previously, Marketing efforts were mainly incorporated in the JD of a Copy Writer. Emails with conversion pixel installed in words, creative Call to action on landing pages to make followers tread on your heels and the like were the expected outcomes.|
Sounds simple (though that’s not if you ask a copywriter).
In those times, the marketing messages were shoved down your throat even when you were not interested.
No efforts were made to develop your interest. Apparently, they were not working on (or had the) concept of sharing value in return for your attention.
| Content Marketing is not all about Copy of a landing page or an Email. It is beyond that. It is teamwork requiring efforts on many fronts. You have to keep coming up with useful podcasts, webinars, blogs, videos, and every possible type of relevant, useful, and Valuable Content.|
Not half as complicated as it sounds (provided you have a skillful team that has a leader who knows what he’s doing and makes a good strategy that the team follows along and the strategy works, and the team stays together for future campaigns too. Well, at least it’s not a one-man show!).
This marketing hype doesn’t force the message on you but develops your interest and takes your permission to provide something with massive value. You are provided with free yet valuable content until you decide to pay the marketer to buy something you need. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.
Is value-provision the only difference?
So, even if the marketers in olden days were reaping the benefits of copywriters, were they all as successful as Content Marketers are today?
Even if some of them were, did they face the massive competition as the markers face today? Of course, most of the audience wasn’t as well-informed as it is today. Therefore, smart marketers had to take steps to stay a step ahead of their competitors (and audience).
And we haven’t seen one good marketer who’s happily preparing for doomsday ahead. Good digital marketers only prepare for testing and evolving as per the needs of the hour. Marketers who learned nature’s law of *adaptation* and*survival of the fittest* won the day.
What kind of content do Marketers produce?
So what kind of content are the Content Marketers generating today? The list of the type of content is growing every day and includes (but is not limited to):
Posts on Social media
Interviews and success stories
How to guides
Tools and plugins
There’re many more kinds, equally effective based on the situation, your type of message, and target audience.
Here are some of the Content Marketing efforts Marketers are practicing out there.
As you step on the website, you’d be asked to share your Email id to participate in a draw. As per their offer, they give away four books for free each month.
What a strategy!
You are knocked down with their kindness way before you find what you are looking for on their website. Even if you can’t find the required info and bounce back, they still get your Email to keep in touch and retarget you.
Oh, and if you win, the relationship would be the strongest right at its beginning.
These smarketers have gone a step ahead to provide value.
While you had to wait for a whole month in the previous example (and might or might not be the lucky one), “convince & convert” grabs your attention instantly. They aim at fixing the pain points of visitors with a free content guide based on the search behavior of the visitor.
Share your email, so you get the guide.
But you don’t think the guide is the only offer they’d have for you. Do you?
Of course not!
They’d keep showing up in your inbox with valuable data. Every now and then, a message for a free offer would be followed by a paid offer for their products/services. If their free services inspire you, you’d want to try their paid services too.
Here’s a report by sprout social as a gift for some of the blog readers. Download the report and be inspired by stats.
Here’s the best part.
This inspiration would keep bringing you back to them, and they’d keep feeding you with more FREE Value until you decide to buy value.
When readers are looking for data on Content marketing on moz.com, they are sure of the other topics these readers might be interested in. Therefore, they have stacked up free valuable resources along with filters to find with ease what you’d be interested in the most.
Now that you have read about what Content marketing is & how influencers define it, you are ready to proceed to the next series of questions.
During strategy building, you’d learn to incorporate and combine different type of content you have read about in this post. Once you know the benefits associated with each type of content, you’d be at a better position to devise better examples for the newbies following you.
Just keep learning until you get there.
Is the concept of content marketing understandable for you?
What feels like the biggest challenge to get started with your strategy? If you chose to share, we might be able to help with that.
Let us know in the comments 🙂