photo source: https://edubirdie.com/blog/college-majors-that-arent-worth-it
Instead of interrupting people with annoying and irrelevant ads, content marketers create valuable works that audience enjoys and desires to know more about.
Introduction to Content Marketing
“Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content […]”
-- Cited from Content Marketing Institute.
Clearly, based on the above definition, the goal of content marketing is to build a strong relationship with prospects and deliver highly valuable content which is relevant to potential customers.
More precisely, content marketing helps prospects pay more attention to messages carried in the content and stimulate their curiosity to understand your products. Hence, by the time prospects finish transactions, they have been educated about products you sell, and are more likely to have an affinity or loyalty to your brand over other existing competitors.
When taking a close look below, undoubtedly, you will find that content marketing is one of today’s best marketing approaches.
Why do you need content marketing?
The current environment, especially in social media, is filled with interruptive and annoying banners. Something even worse is people nowadays get used to them and act as if nothing showed up. Moreover, direct mail, trade shows, and telemarketing are yielding less new business. In order word, the effectiveness of traditional push-in marketing approach is declining.
On the other hand, it is reported thatcontent marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates more than three times as many leads. More and more companies, small and medium enterprises in particular, find that creating quality content on video platforms, blogs, and social media brings new business at higher rates.
Although some may claim that content marketing is expensive, the fact is that it’s much cheaper than traditional marketing approaches. For example, in terms of total spend for desired actions, content marketing is more effective, easier to begin, and, more importantly, popular with consumers because of highly relevant and specifically designed content. Content marketing not only make use of marketing budgets maximally but also reduce the money spent on traditional advertising drastically.
How to increase content quality ?
Compelling content always attracts customers to the business. The content, without a doubt, must be useful to customers and not just a promotional message. There is, however, no one-size-fits-all and universal copy formula, not to mention that there are several types of content, live video on Facebook and podcast for example, you can make use of. With that said, some fundamental principles discovered by professional marketers has been well-known and implemented thoroughly.
First of all, starting with a story, whether it is a funny plot or heart-stirring scenario, is a desirable hook. The story must be relevant to customers. It could be customer’s personal experience or, more precisely, customer’s pain points in their daily life. By doing so, the audience will be enticed to pay attention to your works.
Secondly, creating a series of episodes (or event) featuring similar proposition with the end of the content slightly overlapped the beginning of the next one and pulling all the threads together to form a complete big picture. These series of episodes stimulate audience’s curiosity and, at the same time, make them tightly close to the message you desire to deliver.
The last but not the least, always make the audience feel that you stand on their side and you are their confidant. The content should, once again, be emotionally useful or even authentically professional to gain audience’s trust. After all, as a friend of your audience, is it ethically right to lie your friend?
How to increase the value of content ?
With the quality content in your business, the next step is to distribute content and make it easily found by prospective customers using either search engines, which required a sophisticated understanding of search engine optimization (SEO), or social media.
One of the easy ways to increase exposure opportunities is to show your appearance in every different channel , Snapchat or Instagram or Twitter for instance, because some audience may only be active on certain social media or communities.
Having said that, under no circumstance do I emphasize that you should create different content for different channels. Instead, you should make your content replicable and ensure consistency in every platform. This not only significantly reduces your effort managing accounts on different platforms but also creates a common topic even if they are audience from different platforms.
Lastly, adding audience’s thoughts to an ongoing dialogue can nurture an active audience and gain credibility in the marketplace because it is exactly the support of an audience conferring expertise in a particular area.
Through inviting buyers to share their reviews via unboxing videos and articles, S3 Beauty Store, a cosmetics shop based in Taiwan, takes the advantage of user-generated content to swiftly accumulate customers trust. On top of that, It also makes use of videos featuring useful and professional methods for how to apply cosmetics in social media marketing, causing word of mouth and viral effect. (Video)
The underlying goal of content marketing is to turn visitors into customers and further make customers become evangelists of your company. The power of content marketing, nevertheless, won’t take effect right after you just publish your first blog or finish editing video clips. By and large, It takes a certain amount of time and needs the accumulation of contents.
More significantly, despite that some may claim outsourcing content marketing is the best way in terms of focusing core business, the cost, on average, is usually not cheap and is another financial burden for companies just getting off the ground. Running your own content marketing not only train yourself to produce original and quality creation but also make yourself understand your audience better, figuring out prospective customer’s habit.
By no means should a company invest all the resource into content marketing. Traditional outbound and paid marketing, such as Facebook ads, is still necessary. Content marketing is designed to pull in only those customers who are interested in the product. It is not an elixir. Only when leveraging both well can you lead a company to another business milestone.
Author: Edison Chen, Business Development Manager at Tagtoo