According to Smart Insights (providers of digital marketing strategy advice), content marketing was predicted to be the most commercially important digital trend in 2015, but what exactly is content marketing and why is it so important?
Content marketing is all about creating and delivering high quality content to customers. Whether it’s in the form of a guide, ebook, review, case study, or any other type of document, the focus of the content should be to educate and engage customers. By educating customers with informative content (rather than pitching products and services to them) businesses hope to gain customers’ trust and loyalty. This is more likely to drive traffic to the business’s website where carefully placed marketing techniques can help to nurture customers into a lead conversion or purchase. Relevant, consistent and ongoing content should be published to help businesses develop long term relationships with customers and gain credibility in the industry.
Content Marketing versus Social Media Marketing
People often confuse content marketing with social media marketing when, in fact, they are two distinct entities. Social media marketing involves the placement of content within the parameters of social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ etc, whereas content marketing focusses on the brand’s own website where content can be published without restriction.
While the two marketing methods differ, the union of content marketing and social media marketing should definitely be considered as part of a business’s overall digital marketing strategy. By posting brand messages and links on social media sites, businesses can direct a large audience towards engaging and valuable content on their website.
Why is Content Marketing so Important?
High quality, original content is beneficial to businesses and consumers alike. Consumers benefit from receiving useful information from the business (which may lead to them using the products or services of that business), and businesses benefit from the relationships they forge with their customers, their ongoing support and custom.
The development of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and keyword rich content also increase the chance of businesses appearing higher in search engine rankings and being seen and shared by a greater number of people.
For content marketing to be successful, businesses should track the success of their digital marketing campaigns to help determine the effectiveness of each piece of content. This crucial step is often overlooked due to a lack of understanding, but if content marketing is to form part of your digital marketing strategy then it’s important to understand the fundamentals of performance measurement. Content marketing software from companies such as Uberflip can be used to help measure performance and capture customer information. Google Analytics can also help businesses manage online strategies with analytics reports and insights via click through rates and on-site metrics as well. If you already have a good understanding of performance measurement and analytics, there are more advanced tools available such as Hootsuite and UberVU that can be used to push your content marketing strategy further.
The Digital Age
The strength of content marketing in the Digital Age is something that cannot be ignored. It can transform the way businesses interact with their customers and can help businesses develop brand awareness and SEO rankings. If content marketing is something that hasn’t yet been considered, now is definitely a good time to get to grips with the concept and consider the benefits it may bring to your business.