Content marketing has become somewhat of a buzzword recently. With developing technology and the Internet taking over our lives, PR and marketing terms constantly develop and shift in meaning. So, I thought a little primer on content marketing might be useful!
The classic definition of marketing typically involves activities such as ads, coupons and direct mail pieces, both digital and in traditional media. Add the word “content” in front, however, and things get a little fuzzy for some.
What exactly is content marketing? And, do you need to be involved in it?
Content is at the heart of what we do as marketers. We send messages to our customers, clients, and our readers. The messages we relay, regardless of the form it takes, is our content.
Content marketing is using that content to meet a marketing goal. Perhaps it is the acquisition of potential customers, retention of existing ones, or making more people aware of your brand or products.
You’re probably already doing some of it. Content marketing includes any piece of content you put out via any platform that does NOT involve direct selling. “Why would I not want to sell directly with ALL my content?” you may be thinking. Because sometimes, your audience is more willing to listen to and interact with you if you’re not shouting, “buy something from me!” in their ear.
Content marketing can include blog articles, social media posts, trade magazine articles, images and anything designed to engage your audience OTHER THAN your traditional advertising and direct marketing efforts.
What are the benefits of content marketing?
If you are a dealership you can perhaps provide information on vehicle service, or how to synch your smartphone with your in-vehicle entertainment system, for example. As a vendor you could focus on some key pain points dealers are faced with daily. By providing that material, you can easily get exposure through comments, sharing and just plain curiosity. Perhaps the person reading the blog doesn’t need your product or service right now. But, by adding them as an audience member, creating your company as a thought-leader, they could easily consider you first when the need arises.
The bottom line is this: If you create great content that targets potential customers, you can shorten the distance between these customers and your products, increasing the chance that they'll make a purchase later.