01.08.2022
1798

What is Content Marketing and Why is it so Important?

Olga Golubova
Author at ApiX-Drive
Reading time: ~10 min

Content marketing was created to solve the problems of the target audience, make their lives better. This is beneficial for the business, because it gives its service or product additional value, while simultaneously increasing the interest of the target audience in the brand. What is content marketing and how to correctly use all its advantages will be discussed in our article.

Content:
1.
What is content marketing
2. History of development
3. Why content marketing is important
4. Benefits of content marketing
5. Misconceptions about content marketing
6. Content strategy rules that can and should be broken
7. Conclusion. Content marketing matters!

***

If you've been told that content marketing is the future of online business, you're out of date. The era of content marketing has arrived. Without understanding and using its fundamentals, it is impossible to successfully promote a business online; it is the basis of Internet marketing. But what is content marketing in digital marketing?

What is content marketing

Content marketing is a strategy for creating content that is interesting and useful for the target audience, the kind that people are hunting for online. They ask for it in search engines, spread it on social networks like a virus, read it on different sites and are even ready to pay a lot of money for it.

There is no advertising and aggressive promotion in such content, here users are offered the most useful or interesting information about the product that can interest them, increase their level of knowledge about it and turn them almost into experts.

The essence of the idea is that if you provide a potential buyer with the opportunity to get the most useful information about a particular product, tell, for example, how to use it correctly, help you understand the intricacies of the settings, the client will become more loyal. This will instill confidence in the company itself and lead to a purchase if the user is really interested in this product.

The history of development

Let's take a quick look at the history of content marketing. We will focus only on the most striking dates:

  • 1732. Benjamin Franklin, in the first issue of Poor Richard's Almanac, advised his readers on the subject of success.
  • 1861. Editor Samuel Wagner founded his American Bee Journal dedicated to beekeeping. Initially, it was supposed to talk about the features of beekeeping from Lorenzo Langstroth, the inventor of mobile hives. But the project published interesting and useful information for readers, and not just advertising, so it became successful, including commercially, and still exists.
  • 1888. The Johnson & Johnson brand then produced sterilizing medical solutions, patches and other products. It published a brochure in which they spoke about modern antiseptic methods. The brochure helped doctors who bought products from the company.
  • 1900. Michelin was a tire manufacturer. It published the book "Michelin Guide", which helped car enthusiasts.
  • 1930. Procter & Gamble partnered with laundry detergent makers Duz and Oxydol to successfully pitch content on the radio and launch ads between radio series targeted at housewives. So the concept of "soap operas" was born.
  • 2001. Johnson & Johnson acquired the online platform BabyCenter, which helped expectant mothers and fathers to properly prepare for the expectation of a baby and childbirth, gave advice on how to properly care for children. In the same year, the Penton Custom Media business platform first used the term "content marketing".
  • 2008. P&G launched BeingGirl.com, today it's Always's platform. As a result, it was 4 times more effective than advertising in the media. Back this year, the world saw the first content marketing guides.
  • 2011. L'Oreal bought the Makeup.com platform and turned it into a platform with useful content on makeup and personal care.
  • 2015. The film "The Story of Content: Rise of the New Marketing", dedicated to content marketing, has been released.

More recently, new formats of interaction with the target audience have been developed: outbound marketing – with this approach, the company pushes, promotes its message and inbound marketing – attracts the target audience with its message.

If we compare content marketing with traditional advertising, then the first and main difference is much greater efficiency.


Why content marketing is important

If we compare content marketing with traditional advertising, then the first and main difference is much greater efficiency. With its help, you can attract new customers and promote the company's products or the brand itself in a natural, unobtrusive way, while it will require much less investment, but this method of promotion will generate many more leads for the business.

With valuable content on your site, potential buyers don't leave. Regular publication of news, useful and interesting materials, the company stimulates the interest and involvement of subscribers.

Interesting and informative content helps when buyers can't make a decision for a long time. People study various materials about the company, its products, and only then turn to contacts.

Plus, traditional advertising cannot be used several times, but content can. Brands can remake it into a podcast, compose infographic templates, and make a cycle of posts on social networks. About 60% of companies use their content repeatedly.

Today, almost all browsers offer users ad-blocking extensions, such as Ad Blocker. Because of them, the effectiveness of advertising is practically reduced to nothing, unlike content, with which you can satisfy the interest of customers in a particular product without using intrusive banners.

Focusing only on the blog is the wrong decision


Benefits of Content Marketing

Increasing brand awareness

The company created the content, and now users are discussing not only it, but also the author, the brand. Subscribers send links to each other, discuss on forums and form an opinion about the brand.

Reputation and trust

From the published content, potential buyers will see the competence of the company in a particular issue. As a result, trust will grow in the brand, users will contact more often. Customers love experts, and with content marketing, a company can easily become an expert, earning the reputation it needs. The audience chooses who they can trust. It is an integral part of the ladder that the customer goes up: from information about the product to its purchase.

Indirect Conversion

High-quality content marketing helps to attract the target audience and pushes consumers to buy the company's products. If readers like the article, they will be interested in the company's products. You just need to correctly focus on a particular consumer, otherwise all efforts will be in vain.

Traffic growth

If the content in text or video format is useful, it will attract a new audience that will become interested in the company: what it offers, what product it produces. Visitor growth is inevitable.

Direct Conversion

A good product description can entice potential buyers to buy it. By “correct” here we mean well-designed cognitive content aimed at a specific audience.

Misconceptions about content marketing

ROI is always known in advance

Content marketing does not always fall into the area of predictable tools.

The secret formula is the key to victory

All secret formulas are invented and do not work. Don't waste your time on them.

Create the unique content and readers will be found

This won't work either. If it’s just like giving out texts from a conveyor, they won’t be read. Visitors do not care what percentage of uniqueness the texts on the site have, there are millions of such people on the web.

It all depends on the editor

One editor won't help. Without a team, the editor alone will make a cool blog of several dozen articles, which in the end will not be interesting to anyone.

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And now that we understand what the myths about content marketing are based on, let's talk about dogmas: are they as indestructible as they are said to be?

Content plans are effective when everything goes smoothly.


The rules of an effective content strategy that you can and should break

How to create a content marketing strategy? Don't use this rules!

Everyone needs a blog or media

Focusing only on the blog is a mistake. Today, there are many different ways to keep in touch with the audience. If the main goal is to create content that will unite the audience, then blogging is not a very effective solution.

Gotta walk the beaten path

Marketing trends are constantly changing. The main reason is the regular emergence of new technologies and the volatility of the preferences of potential buyers. It is for this reason that the quality of a content strategy directly depends on its versatility. It is necessary to constantly use new formats, follow the preferences of the target audience. Dependence on templates will not allow you to create something worthwhile and unique. To create something worthwhile and stand out, marketers must break away from traditional templates and use new formats that appeal to their target audiences. Hiring a fractional CMO is an excellent way to guide such a strategy, as they are well-versed in current trends and technologies. The fractional CMO can also oversee the content production process and improve efficiency. This can help maximize ROI by delivering quality content that resonates with potential buyers.

Use what once worked

Do not copy something from others. If someone has been successful using a certain tactic, then there is little chance that you will be able to achieve the same result. It is better to ignore the rules and come up with your own.

Create content for the sake of content

There is a huge amount of useless and low-quality texts on the Internet. Be brief, if you have nothing to say to your audience yet, it is better to switch to other promotion methods, since content marketing is not needed in this situation.

Focus on the benefits

Stop constantly talking about the benefits. You are not alone in a niche, and buyers see approximately the same advantages from you and competitors, this will not surprise them. Rather, tell them why your products will improve their lives.

Write short – no one likes to read long texts

Most of the audience can not concentrate for a long time on what they do not understand and even more uninteresting. Provide them with rich content and you will be provided with attention. This is where the legs of the delusion “grow” that users do not like voluminous text and do not want to read long reads. People can watch one TV series or read a book during the day, which will be larger than your longread, but on condition that it is interesting to the reader.

Need to strive for rapid success

Content marketing is still a long story, you should not rush, and the project will exist for a long time. A long and exciting "trip" is much more profitable.

Be consistent

Consistency is overrated. This does not mean at all that content plans are not needed, but at the same time, you need to be as flexible as possible so that you can quickly change something if necessary. In this matter, you can use a content marketing spreadsheet that will help you organize your content marketing strategies in a better way and regularly produce content.

Seek everyone's approval

Don't seek approval from the entire team. The fewer team members involved in the discussion of content, the faster the work will go. When the final result of the project is influenced by the opinion of a large number of participants, the final result may not come at all.

Do not use ads

There is such a belief that advertising publications repel the audience, you need to give only valuable content, and not fill up a newly launched site with banners. But advertising is also content, yes, it should be a little, but you definitely shouldn’t reject it.

Frequent publications

You don’t have to strictly follow someone’s invented schedule, publish the next post just because the time has come to do it, but in fact you have nothing to say, all the information is useless. Better less often, but better.

Strict adherence to the content plan

Content plans are effective when everything goes smoothly. However, 2020 taught us that if you want to stay relevant, give up a strict content plan and try to quickly adapt to changes.

It is necessary to cover all social networks and platforms with target audience

The company does not need to be on all social networks, especially if there are no funds for this and there is little benefit from this business. It’s better to focus your attention and energy on the sites where your audience is located, and only do things that have a tangible benefit.

Content marketing is not about sales

Since the main purpose of content marketing is to create brand loyalty, most people think that it does not drive sales. In fact, the more trust a brand has, the more people will buy its product.

Limit yourself to marketing

For maximum effectiveness, the marketing department needs to interact with salespeople. This will help to understand the target audience more deeply. Plus, the sales department should not stand aside. They need to work together to determine the most effective methods for increasing the number of sales.

Conclusion. Content marketing matters!

If you approach the content marketing strategy correctly, it gives your business great results. The main thing to focus on is the content strategy, which determines the type of content, depending on the portrait of the target audience. Some brands manage to create content so in-demand and valuable that people are willing to pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars for it!

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