Are you content with your content?
Marketing is everywhere, and it comes in the form of content.
It’s the greatest catch all term for anything marketing related.
However, if you are starting out learning about marketing and how to market your business, what the hell is it?
This is your introduction to the greatest marketing tool in your tool belt, the Swiss army knife, the multi-tool, the all-in-one that makes all other marketing work.
What is Content?
In a word, everything is content on the internet.
Any kind of post, writing, imagery, video, interactive widget, website, doo-da and more are all content.
Content is the all encompassing term for any form of text, imagery, or video.
As a result, content marketing is extremely prevalent.
What is content marketing?
The Content Marketing Institute has a very serious definition:
Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
This sounds all well and good but we define it here a little differently.
Content marketing is everything you say, write, create, draw, film, or publish to attract more customers.
Yes, it’s a simplified version of the above but we prefer simple and direct and also clear. If you create something online to make a sale or attract a new customer or even just try to start a conversation that is content.
However, not all content is made equal. More on that in a little bit.
The benefits of content marketing
The first major benefit of content marketing is that it’s cheap!
The content you write on a computer is the cost of running your computer and hitting publish more often than not.
The smartphone you already own can make exceptional images and videos for free and you can upload them pretty much anywhere for free.
Want to open up more options? Then you can always purchase fancy tools that will help you create “smoother” content.
But smoother isn’t always better. Just remember.
Here’s one thing I will say though. Marketing, especially content marketing, doesn’t have to cost a lot, but it does cost something.
It’s either time, effort, or money – most likely a combination of all three – but investing in content will help grow your business from an idea to a fully fledged organisation and beyond.
The issue with content marketing
The greatest issue with content marketing is also its greatest strength.
A social media post? Content
A blog post? Content
An image you created? Content
Your emails? Content
Your podcast/video? Content
Your DMs/private messages? Content
This makes content marketing extremely important but it also makes it incredibly easy to fluff up spectacularly.
You see the problem is that people, most commonly B2B but you also see it in B2C, create hideously boring content. Why? Because there’s no thought and passion behind it. You’re burnt out by it.
It also doesn’t help that the world is saturated to the point of drowning with good and bad (mostly bad) content.
“Cutting through the noise” is arguably the most challenging thing about content marketing as you have to cut through not only your competitor’s content noise but also all the other noise out there.
The solution seems obvious – just create “better” content.
The issue for many then becomes – how?!
Start with the audience, then the strategy
Before you even think about how to create content you first need to truly understand your audience.
What do they look for? What kind of content would they enjoy?
Entertaining? Informative? Formal? Entertaining, informative, AND formal?!
By understanding your audience deeply you will be better able to understand what to create and where to put it to then develop and transform people into customers.
How to find out? Start with an educated guess, see what happens, and adjust and experiment until you find that sweet spot of more people engaging with your content and reaching through to your KPIs.
In fact, that little process is the key to success with content marketing as a whole.
Your strategy should focus on making sure the content you create always contributes to your end goal.
If you’re creating content for better brand awareness, it should increase your reach and market share of voice.
If you’re creating content to engage people and get them to click through to your site, your engagement rate and CTR should be the metrics of success.
If you’re creating content to convert people from leads to customers, then measure the conversions.
If you’re trying to generate customer loyalty, create content that fosters and nurtures that.
Content Marketing, after all, is the Swiss Army Knife of Marketing. The multi-tool, the all-in-one.
It can do everything you need if you focus clearly on your audience and then create for them AND for the purpose you need it to perform.