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Explaining Content marketing is a never-ending challenge! This is because the practice is constantly evolving. In short, content marketing is marketing technique whereby relevant and consistent content is created and distributed to a clearly defined audience. It is a long-term effort with a strong focus on building a relationship with your specified audience by providing them with valuable content that is consistently relevant to them on a daily basis. Doing this ensures when your customer is faced with a decision of what product to purchase – their loyalty already lies with you so they will purchase your item over other competitors’ products. We live in a world in which our attention is a valuable resource, therefore, it is important to know how to attract and retain it.
Since the base of content marketing is high-quality content and conveying a story to your audience, you can base it off past methods of storytelling. It is not a modern concept, but one which has evolved over the years along with society. There is much to be learnt from offline content marketing or storytelling – that which predates technology, social media and the Internet. However, it is impossible to ignore the fact that a majority of our lives today is spent online. Marketers have to ensure they are captivating their audience in more than one sphere of their lives, including using technology, in order to adapt to a constantly evolving society.
Since the base of content marketing is high-quality content and conveying a story to your audience, you can base it off past methods of storytelling. It is not a modern concept, but one which has evolved over the years along with society. There is much to be learnt from offline content marketing or storytelling – that which predates technology. Content marketing isn’t about directly promoting a brand, products or services – rather, it’s about providing useful information to your target audience. Examples of content marketing include educational articles, e-books, videos, white papers. As content marketeers push through their content, they in effect become a credible and authoritative source on the subject they are covering. If a content marketing agency is educating their audience, they are likely to gain their trust and loyalty, which down the line will lead to sales and profits.
The overall objective is to drive profitable customer action. However, content marketing is a spectrum industry – there are many different types of companies and organizations which work within this field. For example, this could include advertising agencies who recently have begun to use content marketing for branded storytelling outside of paid media. Direct marketing agencies are also moving into the content marketing sphere, whereby they are moving from “offer-focused” to “engagement-focused” content. In recent years there has been a major shift by SEO companies who in effect were forced to change their approaches in response to Google Panda and Penguin updates – this has included a cultural shift in SEO teams, with a greater emphasis on creativity rather than a purely technical focus. Lastly, one of the major players in the content marketing industry are pure content marketing agencies, formerly known as custom publishers., social media and the Internet. However, it is impossible to ignore the fact that a majority of our lives today is spent online. Marketers have to ensure they are captivating their audience in more than one sphere of their lives, including using technology, in order to adapt to a constantly evolving society.
Content marketing formats
Your content marketing strategy should state your key product or business, customer needs and how your content methods will address these directly. This means doing research into your audience in order to efficiently cater to their lifestyles through your content. After all, the ultimate aim of content marketing is of course, growing your business overall. There are many different types of content marketing formats you can use, such as:
Informational guides, such as how-to’s
Illustrations and cartoons
Charts and graphs to illustrate data
Vlogs and blogs
User Generated Content
Competitions and giveaways
Helpful apps and tools Informative resources
What is digital content marketing?
Digital content marketing includes strategies such as SEO, PPC and running social media ads. With digital content marketing, your main goal is so create clicks – when customers see your ad, it should be as appealing as possible, so they click back to your website.
The simple difference between content marketing and digital content marketing is that the digital varietal is focused on sales, while content marketing stimulates consumer interest in your brand, increasing brand awareness.
Content marketing solutions
As highlighted, it is important to get creative when it comes to your content marketing efforts – you are creating content that is relevant to and impactful on people’s lives. Good content marketing is specifically targeted and overall genuine, providing services that speak to your audience truthfully and in an engaging manner, that shows you care. Marketers can do this through a number of different formats, especially thanks to technology, which enables innovation and accessibility beyond borders. Some of the most effective content marketing formats you can use include videos, email marketing/newsletters and most importantly, social media. There are many different kinds of software marketers can use to make their lives easier, such as bulk email software and platforms like YouTube and Facebook.
Web content marketing
Content helps drive SEO, therefore, is essentially the core of what brings your brand’s message to life. There are a variety of aspects that come into play with web content marketing, such as:
A good, wholesome content strategy requires a focus on all peer-disciplines to be relevant and effective.
It is important to match your interface to the ability of your audience – so in other words, don’t make your website complicated to operate in order for your user to complete their task faster and be free from unnecessary frustration. Keep it simple!
Ensure your content strategy covers all these bases
Why are your embarking on this project?
What is the message you are conveying?
Where will this message be read? (ie. on a device or in print)
Who is your audience?
How should the content be structured?
When will it be published? (i.e. think of the most relevant time to your audience)