What is Content Marketing (and Why is it So Popular These Days)?


A business owner creating content on her laptop | a featured image from "What is Content Marketing (and Why is it So Popular These Days)?" an article from Big Country Marketing.

Whether you’re a growing business, a professional, a neighborhood establishment, or an online brand, content marketing is an important part of your marketing efforts. 

So what is content marketing?

Content marketing is a marketing procedure zeroed in on delivering imaginative content, usually in line with a brand story or brand messaging. Through the various content pieces the brand creates, it draws in and gains a characterized target crowd, with the expectations of expanding beneficial activity by the individual’s audience. 

Why has content marketing been so popular?

That’s because marketers, brand managers, and business owners have seen the benefits of having an engaged audience. Content marketing connects with clients in a manner that is more conversational than an attempt to sell something.

With content marketing, individuals are not hindered by marketing endeavors; all things considered, content marketing centers around conveying the data the potential new client is searching for, without attempting to push them to purchase your item. 

For years, marketers have touted content marketing as the next big thing. Without a doubt, content marketing is an amazing marketing practice to employ to introduce your brand, connect with your target audience, build a following, and bring in business. 

As opposed to the more traditional, hard-sell approach, clients today are more welcoming and receptive to well-thought-out content marketing campaigns, making it even more appealing to marketers and business owners alike.

Is content marketing part of digital marketing?

A featured image from "What is Content Marketing (and Why is it So Popular These Days)?" an article from Big Country Marketing.

It’s probably more appropriate to say that content marketing overlaps with digital marketing. 

Remember– you can come up with just about any sort of creative content for your brand. Much of these will work well in digital marketing but remember that you can also use great content in your more traditional (non-digital) marketing methods. 

The field of marketing– digital marketing included– is truly an ever-evolving space. To rise above the noise and the competition, you need to promote yourself ever-creatively. 

Before digital marketing, the most customary ways businesses would promote themselves would include TV ads, radio spots, print media, direct mail, and outdoor advertising. With the digital revolution, you now have everything from social media, email marketing, search engine marketing, instant messaging, chatbots, and websites of all kinds.

Indeed, all that we look at, we see, or read have content in it.

While the whole internet is filled with all kinds of content, not everything holds the same value to everyone at any given time. So, when developing content for your marketing campaigns, you need to consider your overall helpfulness, your relevance to your target audience, and the right timing.

This is what truly separates you from all the noise from the competition– truly helpful, relevant content that your audience needs now.

Why is content marketing important for brands and businesses?

 

A young woman browsing through a tablet | a featured image from "What is Content Marketing (and Why is it So Popular These Days)?" an article from Big Country Marketing.

As a small business, it can be really hard to stand out in front of other similar brands within your space without the proper promotional tools. 

Online marketing provides the best ways to raise awareness for your small business, with content marketing being the preferred method thanks to its (relatively) low cost and its ability to reach very specific targeted audiences.

For brands and businesses, content marketing is a simple method to implement. Properly designed and executed, results and returns can be very encouraging, bringing high-quality leads to your site for you to nurture and convert. 

What is it about content marketing that makes it a preferred way to promote a brand or business?

One can argue that the best thing about content marketing is that it is non-interrupting marketing. 

It is not direct selling of products and services, instead of pitching them directly, you deliver information about your products and services that make our prospect more intelligent. The main essence of this whole strategy lies in one simple fact that if as businesses and service providers, we deliver consistent and ongoing valuable information to buyers.

Why should your business have a good content marketing strategy in play? There are obvious advantages to a great content strategy. These include:

Branding 

Your target audience will read and share your content and associate all these great pieces– with all the realizations, emotional attachments, and feelings of discovery– with your brand.

This connection might be intangible but in an overly saturated marketplace, being able to differentiate your business among your competitors is invaluable indeed.

If branding is all about winning hearts and minds, content marketing helps you achieve those goals easily.

Visibility– online and offline

Good content marketing not only helps you with your branding, it also makes you more top-of-mind and more visible, especially online.

Visibility isn’t the fundamental focus of content marketing but rather a by-product. Content marketing helps your business by building your expertise and authority within your space.

If your readers consistently like your content, keep coming back for more, and share your content with others with the same problems, then you are seen as an expert. If you have other blogs and websites talking about you and linking to you, then Google and other search engines see you as an authority. These are always advantages to rank higher in search engine rankings.

Visitors, leads, and customers 

Isn’t that the ultimate goal of every brand and business?

Different types of content should be made for different segments of your target audience. You also create different forms of content depending on what stage of the buyer’s journey your leads are in.

Good content marketing campaigns not only draw in a steady (and sustainable) stream of visitors, you also have content ready for those who would want to engage with your brand (and buy your products and services).

You also have content to nurture your leads so that not only do they convert, but they’d also keep coming back to do more business with you any time they need your solutions.

What are the various types of content marketing that I can do for my business?

A salesperson making a pitch to a client using brochures and other marketing materials | a featured image from "What is Content Marketing (and Why is it So Popular These Days)?" an article from Big Country Marketing.

Digital marketing can certainly be part of your content marketing efforts for your business, but don’t forget that there are many pieces of content that you can create for your market that don’t necessarily have to fall within the digital space.

Remember: any content you can do creatively for the purpose of promoting your brand or business can fall within content marketing. So as long as you use your content to:

  • Establish you (or your brand) as a thought leader within your space
  • Attract new leads 
  • Nurture better connections or relationships with your audience

You are then using content marketing to effectively promote your business.

Here are some of the more popular types of content marketing that you can use to promote your brand or your business:

  • Brochures, catalogs, portfolios, and sales kits
  • Blog posts
  • Ebooks
  • Whitepapers, research, case studies, and reports
  • Graphics and photo galleries
  • Infographics
  • Video
  • Product demos 
  • Online events: webinars, live broadcasts, etc.
  • Trade shows, conferences, and seminars
  • Networking events and meet-and-greets 

Here are some notes on some of the more popular types of content marketing businesses use today.

Blog Posts

When it comes to blog posts, there is no prescribed length or frequency– blog articles are as long as they have to be, and you can publish them as often (or not) as you wish.

So long as it’s a high-quality piece of content.

Some posts are great at 400-600 words while some need more in-depth content. If you are capable of writing a 2,000-word article, make it useful and informative. Also, consider writing one or two of these every month. Some of the types of posts you can write will include product reviews, lists, how-to, roundups of your best posts, tips, and interviews.

If you publish your content on other established blogs, your brand’s reach will expand. Experts emphasized that guest blogging works effectively if you establish long-term relationships as well as contribute to the site sending you traffic regularly.

Consider implementing one or more of these strategies into your current efforts and see how it can help your business succeed.

Original Research, Case Studies, Surveys, and Reports

Another great form of content marketing worth mentioning is original content via research, case studies, surveys, and reports.

All these are also quite useful for content marketing because they allow you to understand what your customers want and tailor your content to their needs. Also, by sharing the results of your original research, others within your space are more likely to cite you as a reference, building expertise and authority for you and your brand.

This also makes it easy for you to determine a good strategy to attract the attention of even more users as well!

Ebooks

Turning your blog posts into an e-book or white paper is a great tool for getting email sign-ups. You can make an ebook out of the material you already have from blog posts, from your original research, along with your other expert insights and opinions.

Videos

This is another great way of freshening up your content marketing strategy. Consider posting videos on different social media networks, email, or blog, as these will help increase your reach.

Also, you can make use of video applications to break out the traditional talking-head video – this can also make it more appealing to audiences using such apps.

Other ways to use video: interviewing someone at a conference, highlighting a new product or service, and taking viewers on a behind-the-scenes tour of your office are some of the great ideas for your videos. You will not need expensive video equipment to do this. You just have to learn how to optimize your content and your channel for the best results.

Infographics

Today, content marketing is not just about written words. Infographics are visually interpreted data that is very appealing to visual learners. Bear in mind that not all people love to read. Most individuals prefer to digest it in another format. For dry data, transforming it into an infographic is indeed a smart strategy for attracting many Web users.

What are the best ways to do content marketing for my business? 

To fully take advantage of content marketing for your business, you will need to be methodical about what sort of content to produce, which segment/s of your target audience you’d want to reach, and making that content available to your intended audience when they need it. 

Creating a Content Calendar

One of the most important content marketing strategies is to create a content calendar and plan the content creation/publishing ahead of time. This way, you will have a steady stream of optimized content that will be added to your site, your social media channels, email marketing efforts, or other media outlets. 

Adding valuable content consistently is great if you want to get the best results, so using this strategy is essential.

Leverage your social media channels

Integrating social media in your content marketing strategies is also essential. You can use social media to find out the trending topics and write content around them to get much-needed exposure.

Use video with your content marketing efforts

Adding videos alongside your content will also help your content marketing strategy because videos always attract more views, not to mention the fact that they are great for SEO as well.

Learn to repurpose content

Sometimes, you might find that the repurposing of content can also be beneficial. Gathering content that you already have and modifying it to share it on your blog for example provides you with a way to spend less time researching and more time writing the content that you need.

Use SEO with content marketing

Of course, optimizing the content marketing strategies for search engines is also essential. To do that you need to integrate the proper keywords and keyword phrases to achieve good results.

What do I need for a good content marketing strategy?

The core of a good content strategy remains the same – create content that people will like to talk about. 

The strategies of actually marketing your brand or business may differ– some businesses might get more leads via a specific social media channel, while others might prefer trade fairs and other live events. However, as a marketer, you shouldn’t lose sight of the big picture.

Individual tactics change with time. But the fundamentals don’t. Do not be fooled by hearsay on the internet that proclaims content marketing is dead. It isn’t. Only the form changes with time as technology evolves. 

In an ever-changing internet landscape, internet marketers should be careful not to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Marketers should be able to differentiate between genuine strategies that bring long-term benefits to the business as opposed to fly-by-night get-rich-quick kind of schemes. 

Content marketing is certainly not dead. If anything, it has become a more skewed game because out-sized gains go to the few who can deliver on their promise. 

Never forget: central to content marketing is quality content. Keep creating awesome content your audience loves, and your marketing efforts will never go wrong.

A Final Word About Content Marketing

A business owner creating content on her laptop | a featured image from "What is Content Marketing (and Why is it So Popular These Days)?" an article from Big Country Marketing.

Content marketing refers to the creation of quality content and sharing it with others. Even better– getting others to share it for you!

Creating content that is relevant, helpful, and timely will encourage your audience to not only share it with their friends and talk about it with others but also to (ultimately) drive more business to your brand.

The premise of a content marketing procedure is to reliably offer likely customers the dependable information they are searching for while looking for a solution to their problem, to meet a particular need, or to alleviate a particular pain point.

At the point when the opportunity arrives to make a purchase, your clients at that point know to go to you– your company. And they do so without the hard-sell sales pitch– they willingly want to give you their patronage and their business.

Big Country Marketing

Got a business venture that needs a little extra push? Get in touch with our team at Big Country Marketing today-- we can hook you up with a sweet website, manage content for you, take care of your social media channels-- whatever you need to let you do what you need to do.

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