What is Content Marketing and How Can It Help You Achieve Your Lead Generation Goals?
Part 1 of a 3-part series on Content Marketing
You may have heard a lot of buzz lately about it, but what exactly is Content Marketing, anyway? Put simply, it’s a way to attract new eyes to your organization, product or service by creating text and images that are relevant to the consumer and then distributing it through a variety of channels. Social media and your website are two of the most widely used channels, but any media that attracts and engages an audience such as blogs, podcasts, videos, broadcast media are opportunities to engage new or existing audiences.
The ideal content employs an audience-centered approach that considers first and foremost what problem the audience is hoping to solve, rather than what you are trying to promote. A good content marketing plan should take into consideration your organization’s overall marketing objectives, but also center itself on the audience’s needs: what your viewer is looking for when they encounter you.
The Shift Toward Inbound Marketing
Content marketing is another sign in a growing trend toward inbound marketing. This approach centers on creating and distributing content that draws people into your website to make a buying decision over time. By contrast, outbound marketing involves proactively reaching out to consumers to get them interested in a product.
As opposed to traditional outbound marketing, which is generally more broad-sweeping and aggressive, inbound marketing relies on a more organic approach, where the consumer uses search engines to help identify a product or solution to fit their needs. Useful, relevant content provides a benefit to the audience, and helps your organization stand out in a crowded digital market.
What is Content Marketing and How Does It Work?
We get into more detail in our post on exactly how well content marketing works. In fact, year-over-year growth in unique site traffic is nearly 8 times higher for content marketing leaders compared to others. With an overwhelmingly large digital advertising landscape, many people experience ad fatigue, making it harder to stand out in the crowd. Content marketing helps interested audiences find you organically through search, rather than relying on someone clicking a pop-up ad or picking up the phone.
Content Marketing is Strategic
The most effective content marketing is well-planned and seamlessly integrated into your overall marketing plan. It should be part of your process from the beginning. As part of an omni-channel strategy, content marketing can help your organization increase your audience, revenue, brand awareness and reach.
Social Media: Content is the backbone of social media, and incorporating original content into your social media strategy. There’s no better way to raise brand awareness and appeal to the public than through the thoughtful creation and curation of content.
Public relations: Media outlets (radio, TV, publications, podcasts, etc.) provide additional channels with new audiences for which you can utilize content developed by these third-party and aligned with your strategy. These partners help your passive outreach efforts as well as broader your community engagement.
SEO: Standing out in Google and other web searches is crucial for your organization’s goals. By creating and maintaining a helpful, consistent stream of content, you increase your relevancy to search engines, therefore moving placement higher in their results which boosts your likelihood of reaching your audience.
It Solves Problems — For You and Your Audience
The best content marketing solves a problem, rather than selling a product or service. This is the genius of content marketing. It provides answers and positions your organization as a helpful solution for your audience. Solutions-based content, material that fills a need while directly engaging its audience will garner strong results every time.
Ready to learn more? We can help. Here are a few ways to dig in:
- Want to learn more about the benefits of investing in content marketing?
- Ready to start? Learn the 5 steps for using content marketing to grow your business.
- Need proof of the benefits? Check out our case study on how content marketing increased visibility for one of our clients.
- Have good content, but need a strategy to help you grow engagement with your customers? Learn what Authentic Marketing can do for you.
- Need advice specific to your organization’s needs? Contact us