What is Content Marketing and Why Do I Need to Know About It?

Take a moment to think about your day. Perhaps you have the news on TV while you’re getting ready in the morning. Then you listen to the radio on your way to work. For many of us, a large part of the work day is spent working on the computer and online. Then you listen to the radio on your way home. At home, if you’re like many Americans, you have the TV on in the background while you read the newspaper or you’re online for a large part of the evening. Throughout so much of our day, we’re being bombarded with information, advertisements, and messages coming at us from several angles. While this provides marketers with nearly endless possibilities for advertising (from internet ads to print to television commercials), it also presents a problem: if consumers have so much information coming at them at all times, how do you make your information break through and actually get noticed? The answer is content marketing.

What is content marketing?
To be brief, content marketing is marketing that is geared toward providing your consumer with valuable information—not an advertisement they’ll tolerate, but information they want to see and learn about. Clearly the overall goal of all your marketing efforts is to gain new business, but in content marketing, that takes a back burner. Your primary purpose is to give your audience valuable information, with only subtle information about your company. For instance, content marketing for a cosmetic dermatologist might be an article entitled, “Ten Tips for Glowing Summer Skin,” rather than, “Our Services are the Best in the Area.”

Why is content marketing important to my business?
As we mentioned above, your audience is saturated with information at any given moment. We’re in the age of newsfeeds, when consumers are seeing a stream of data that is constantly changing and building. While many websites now use this format, it’s especially true when it comes to social media—sites like Facebook and Twitter allow users to quickly scroll through a large number of posts and tweets. This is why content marketing is so important. Thousands of users could be seeing your post, but the only ones who will engage with it and click on it will be those who find it interesting. Consumers are increasingly tired of being “sold to,” so as they scroll through their feed, most users ignore advertisements and only engage with the posts that they find especially relevant. Expertly written and created content marketing can help your social media activity reap more benefits.

How can I start implementing a content marketing plan?
There’s no end to the number of ways you can implement content marketing, but here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Infographics—while any visual representation of interesting information is bound to get some attention, recently we’ve seen that the most popular infographics are those that are long, vertical images that compile several statistics, charts, and quick facts. These are easily spread from user to user, so when done well, infographics can give you large amounts of exposure.
  • Videos—YouTube is a resource that many people turn to for answers to their questions, and it can give you a way to establish trust with your audience before you even know they exist. Create a YouTube channel and record videos of how-to instructions or answers to commonly asked questions about your field.
  • Blogs—If you don’t have a regularly maintained blog on your website, start one now. Blogs give you the ability to go beyond the sales-driving information on your website and engage your audience on a more personal level. Having consistently updated information on your website is also important for Search Engine Optimization (SEO), so blogs are imperative to a strong web presence.

With content marketing, as with any marketing strategy, creating a plan and executing it well (along with adding smart SEO) can make all the difference in whether you’re successful. Working with a marketing company like McCauley Marketing Services, who understands the nuances and strategies of content marketing and knows how to write successful material, distribute it well, and get it noticed, will give you the best opportunity for successful results. For more marketing tips, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, or contact us to schedule a meeting to discuss your business.