Content Marketing is one of those ‘it’ terms that’s been buzzing around for longer than you might think and which hasn’t been fully and wholeheartedly embraced – yet. There has been a distinct move towards content marketing however and away from interruption marketing and, this move is predicated to gather pace in the very near future.
Let’s face it, who among us actually likes interruption marketing? We all jab at the little x sign on pop-up and pop-down ads as quickly as they appear, we give ourselves paper cuts skimming past newspaper and magazine ads in our haste to get to the real content, we switch radio station when the ads are playing and we doggedly record our favourite television shows so we can fast-forward the ads.
Content marketing is all about educating and enlightening people about your company, product or service. It’s about creating free and valuable content that has the end result of getting people to know, like and trust your business and brand. It allows you to have a conversation with potential customers who like, share and comment on your content. Their feedback will also be invaluable in shaping your future content.
The Content Marketing Institute has defined this as a strategic marketing approach that’s about creating and distributing valuable and consistent content to attract and retain a targeted audience, with the ultimate result of driving profitable customer actions. An example would be Virgin mogul Richard Branson. He regularly contributes articles to newspapers, opinion pieces to business websites, publishes thought pieces on his LinkedIn page and writes his own blog.
A recent US study has shown that 80% of business decision makers prefer to get information from articles rather than advertisements, while 70% said content makes them feel closer to a company. It’s estimated that roughly eight in ten businesses will use content marketing in 2016 and beyond. So now is the time to get working on your content marketing strategy.
Research has shown that businesses with a documented content-marketing strategy perform better. So, develop your strategy, write it down and circulate to your staff. Content marketing is an ongoing process and should be integrated into your overall operation plans for optimum results.