samantha on Nov 30, 2018
What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is the creation and sharing of online material (videos, blogs, pictures) that does not explicitly promote a brand (Linn 2017). Rather, it is intended to enhance interest of the company and its offerings. The purpose of content marketing is to engage the audience with content that differentiates companies from others and build the brand as a credible resource for information. It revolves around target audience, content goals, brand personality, and channels.
If your company used social media solely for the purpose of publishing what you sell, content would not provide the interest or trust to build relationships and engage with viewers (Linn 2017). For example, a small fashion boutique on social media does not only post a photo of their clothing and accessories. Effective accounts post content of current trends, articles on how to style different pieces, quotes and messages that align with their brand, and several sources that enhance knowledge.
Content marketing is basically used to create loyal customers. It achieves this goal by providing valuable and relevant content to a targeted audience in order to drive positive customer interactions.
Content marketing should be a mixture of curated and created content. Curated content is information from other sources while created content is content produced by your business. Created content is useful for positioning your company within an industry and provides a unique perspective from your brand. Including curated content is a good way to show your community that you can be a trusted advisor within your industry. It creates multiple viewpoints and balances out purely promotional posts. This can build new relationships as well.
Types of Content Marketing
These can come from your company, reputable sources, or your own customers. It can repurposed; for example a blog post can be broken down into multiple Instagram posts or shared as a link on twitter (Hootsuite 2018). Content can further be used for entertainment, education, or inspiration which helps build long-term relationships with your community. Tailor content to each platform; for example, how-to posts work better on Twitter while viewers respond more to inspirational messages on Instagram.
Content marketing is especially important for your small business because they are factors of a customer’s buying process. Awareness and research are the first two steps of a customer making a purchase; awareness means the customer has a need, but they have not found a solution while research is where consumers find resources to educate themselves (Steimle 2014). Through content marketing, small businesses can raise awareness and provide knowledge to consumers of possible solutions. Ultimately, content marketing is created so the viewer does not just see an ad; they see value that applies to their interests and life.