What Is Content Marketing and How to Make Use of It
by Morgan Cruz, Marketing Content Coordinator, MHI | @mhi_morgan
You’ve probably heard someone mention “content marketing” but you have a fuzzy idea of what that means. If you feel like you should probably know this but are too embarrassed to ask, then this is the post for you. Let’s take a look at what is content marketing and how to make use of it.
What is content marketing?
The Content Marketing Institute, a leading global content marketing education and training organization, defines content marketing as follow:
“Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”
The key word here is “valuable”. Content marketing is only successful when it is tailored to the needs and interests of your target audience and offers value. Successful content marketing conveys brand personality, demonstrates thought leadership and is welcomed and sought after. Content marketing is not promotional. You are not talking about your products and services because you are thinking about your customer’s pain points first.
What is content?
There are many different types of content just as there are many different ways to deliver value. Here are a few examples: infographics, webpages, podcasts, videos, books, blogs, webinars, white papers, case studies, reports, magazines, newsletters, etc. In other words, content is anything that can address the needs of your target audience by being educational, thought provoking and even entertaining.
What is the meaning of content creation?
Successful content marketing is a team effort. Creating content that is compelling, relevant and on brand takes skilled writers, research with subject matter experts, designers, social media and digital marketers and, in larger companies, even brand managers and project managers.
According to Chief Content Officer, and VP or director of content at Curata, “By 2017 51% of companies will have an executive in their organization who is directly responsible for an overall content marketing strategy.”
So why is content marketing becoming a well oiled and vital machine in so many companies today?
Why content marketing?
To understand why the process is becoming increasingly important, we must look at the customer process. Before someone becomes your customer they go through stages of awareness, research, consideration and buy. Online search engines allow customers to self-educate on whatever problem and solution they are researching. This is why your helpful content such as blogs and case studies are so important especially when the customer is in the awareness and research stage. This is called inbound marketing as opposed to the more traditional outbound marketing strategy involving sales calls and product pitches.
Another reason why content marking works is because it makes the most business sense. Stats taken from Content Marketing Statistics: The Ultimate List show, “While content marketing costs 62% less than outbound marketing, it generates more than three times as many leads.” – Demand Metric
Lisa Petrilli, consultant, blogger and advisor at Content Marketing Institute explains:
“Traditional advertising is the pudding and content marketing is the proof in that pudding. In other words, we use traditional advertising to make people aware of our brand and, in many ways, to demonstrate the heart of our brand. It’s the content marketing that can bring living proof of our brand to our customers in the form of video demonstrations and interviews, educational webinars, case studies, white papers, blog insights and advice, and so much more.”
This proof keeps customers coming back to your website because they know you have the answers they need and builds excellent brand loyalty.
Now that you’re up to speed on content marketing you’re probably already thinking of ideas to help improve brand awareness and facilitate leads! I’ll leave you with one final tip – find out what your customer’s pain points are and create content that addresses these with the best research and statistics and with more personality than your competitor. You just might be amazed at the results.
ShowPro Live Exhibitor Workshop
Learn more about content marketing Wednesday, December 7th at ShowPro! Powered by MHI, we will feature a day of exhibitor education at the ShowPro Live Exhibitor Workshop for ProMat 2017. Robert Rose, Chief Strategy Advisor at the Content Marketing Institute will speak to experienced ProMat Exhibitors on Content Marketing: The New Era of Event Marketing. The workshop will be followed by an evening of dining, networking, and entertainment at Top Golf Atlanta for the Space Draw Kickoff. Find out more and register today!