Content Marketing 101: Definition

Jamen Droge, Contributor

Content marketing is a popular buzzword among the business community, but what exactly does it mean?

In its most simplified form, content marketing is information generated for your target audience that does not explicitly promote your product. Your product gets a notable mention without much room for bragging. For a more detailed definition, Forbes has a great reference article.

The content is user-centric. It is meant to provide a service to your potential customers. It’s almost difficult to describe because the content should blend-in to your audience’s daily social media newsfeed. Adobe’s CMO is a great example of an incredibly effective content marketing website. Beyond websites and social media, other tactics may include: e-books, white papers, blog posts, newsletters, podcasts, mobile applications, and webinars. As long as the content is usable to your audience, the possibilities are endless.

Marketing firms and thought leaders are notorious for using e-books as part of their content strategy: “How to Enhance Your Social Media Presence,” “5 Things You Need to Become a Content Marketer,” 3 Steps to Increase Your Audience.” These e-books provide general, practical information that isn’t blatant self-promotion. It is content that others can share and discuss. This strategy is meant to draw potential clients through the sales funnel, hence the e-book typically has a call-to-action near the end.  I’ll talk more about strategy in future articles.

So now that we know what Content marketing is, what does is require? And more importantly, does is yield strong returns? The Content Marketing Institute has a few statistics for you which include three of my favorite facts:

1. 200 million people now use ad blockers

Paid advertisements were all the rage in online marketing. Today, however, consumers are increasingly savvy about opting out of the advertising they would rather not see. In August 2015, approximately 200 million people worldwide had installed ad-blocking software.

While it is great news for consumers, it’s terrible news for marketers who rely heavily on paid advertisements to spread their brand’s message.

Luckily, there’s a way to continue marketing efforts without being blocked by the people you’re trying to reach. The secret is content.

In addition to being impervious to ad-blocking software, good content is something consumers want to interact with, which makes it more effective and welcome on a foundational level.

2. Content marketing leaders experience 7.8 times more site traffic than non-leaders

While high-quality content is difficult to pin down, it’s well worth it in the end. According to Neil Patel, people who succeed at becoming leaders in the world of content marketing — people who craft compelling, valuable content that gets to the heart of their readers — experience drastically more site growth than their competitors.

Take Search Engine Journal, for example. The content on this site is always high quality and, as a result, it earns over 1 million unique visitors each and every month. This is no accident: People want valuable, informative material and Search Engine Journal knows how to create it.

3. While content marketing costs 62% less than outbound marketing, it generates more than three times as many leads

While many inexperienced marketers assume that content marketing is expensive, the fact is that it’s often cheaper than traditional marketing methods. Because content marketing is effective, easy to begin, and popular with consumers, it can drastically reduce the money marketers spend on advertising their brands. What’s more, it manages to do all of this while being more effective than traditional marketing.

Content Marketing requires researching your audience, subtlety guiding them through the sales funnel, and organically creating a brand advocate to get a strong return on your objective or investment. Need help getting started? Contact us anytime.

Are you using content marketing in your marketing strategy? What are some of the things you’ve learned from it? What should we avoid? Start a convo by posting below.

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