Essentially Content Marketing is the same as Marketing. It’s a series of quality articles that position your company as an authority in your subject domain.
Content Marketing is sometimes called: editorial publishing, custom publishing, customer media, customer publishing, member media, private media, corporate publishing, branded content, corporate media, corporate journalism and branded media.
So which companies use Content Marketing. As a technique, it’s as old as the hills, most corporates produce a wide range of journalistic quality magazines that target their customers with valuable content. The video features leading content marketers such as: P&G, Microsoft, John Deere and Cisco Systems.
And now many small innovative businesses have pioneered content marketing to a whole new level with the internet. Pioneers such as Corey Rudl, Frank Kern, Jeff Walker and Andy Jenkins to name but a few.
But what makes the content valuable, well it’s not salesy for a start. In fact, traditional sales approaches that manipulate the prospect towards your solution too early often back fire. It’s too easy for customers to research any field. With the internet they always have the facts at their fingertips, even when they’re on the move with their mobile devices. Therefore, you might as well create intelligent buyers with your content. If you don’t then your competitors will!
The content should be unbiased and objective and should simply solve customer problems in a way that creates loyalty to your organisation. Ultimately, this loyalty will be exchanged for financial reward once the customer has reached a high enough level of trust from your content.
In other words, content marketing is the art of communication with your prospects without selling. It relies on having a deep understanding of your target market. Understanding their goals and the potential roadblocks that they will encounter. Great content allows your prospects to swiftly overcome these roadblocks giving them confidence that you’re the right partner for their journey.
With search engines, your content can be delivered to the customer just at the right time as they research their problems. Imagine an OEM customer looking for future trends in automotive braking technology. They Google “braking technology trends” and your paper comes up first. How valuable is that position to a tier 1 automotive supplier who provides braking products.
Catching the customer at the same time that they are proactively seeking solutions to their problems is the surest way of driving profitable customer action.
We all know that you should continuously communicate with your past, present and future customers, but it’s a struggle finding the time. A Content Marketing strategy played out on an attractive Blog can achieve these goals. Look at the success of the “Money Saving Expert” Blog by Martin Lewis. It’s no accident that it fetched £87M when he sold it to the Money Supermarket!
Most of the value was in the huge list that he had cultivated from Blog sign-ups.