Content marketing is a strategic approach that leverages timely, relevant, valuable content to grow and maintain an audience. This content can take many forms, including written copy, images, video, infographics and combinations of several types of media. Done right, content marketing positions a brand as an authority in its field or a valued contributor to the online conversation. More than just promoting a brand’s products or services, great content marketing genuinely informs or entertains the target audience – sometimes both!
The average person is inundated with 1000s of marketing message a day; content marketing is an approach that cuts through the clutter by providing value to rise above the noise. Effective content is rarely promotional, relying instead on its value to attract an audience and draw eyeballs to a website or social media channel where they’ll encounter and be more receptive to traditional marketing tactics.
Effective content marketing strategies can increase traffic to your website by creating a loyal audience who return regularly, seeking additional content. It also aids in your search engine marketing efforts by increasing inbound links to your site and by leveraging keywords that consumers are using to search for products and services like yours, elevating your website in the search results. Google and other search engines have evolved in recent years to push high-quality content to the top of the results and bury low quality content. Authenticity is key, as the kind of engagement you’re seeking can only be achieved when users see the value of your content enough to return regularly and to share the content within online communities.
Well-executed content marketing contributes not only to your search engine marketing efforts but can also support other marketing efforts, such as social media profiles and targeted newsletters. By appealing to your target audience’s wants, needs, and interests, content marketing drives engagement that builds a relationship with your audience and cuts through the noise of the online marketplace. When consumers see the value in your content, they’re more likely to subscribe to your newsletter or follow your social media pages in order to stay informed of your latest posts.
In addition to increasing the number of interactions your target audience has with your brand, good content marketing also increases the quality of those interactions. Relevant, informative content helps to establish your brand as an authority in your field, building trust and increasing the perception that you have something valuable to offer. Timely, entertaining content enhances the perception that your brand fits into the consumer’s desired lifestyle. While timeliness and consistency are important aspects of an effective content marketing strategy, an emphasis on quality helps to create evergreen content that’s as valuable to your target audience years down the road as it is the day you publish it.
Regardless of your industry, effective content marketing should be a key pillar of your online marketing strategy. By regularly providing something of value to your target audience, you can increase the number of interactions they have with your brand and the quality of each of those interactions. Investing time, effort and budget in content marketing pays off not only in its direct impact but also its added value for your other online marketing efforts.