Let’s be honest, the primary goal of marketing is to sell stuff. Today’s folk have adapted to the traditional marketing methods though, and nobody wants to feel like they’re being pushed to buy something. So how do you sell a product or service without acting like you’re trying to sell something? Enter content marketing.
What is content marketing?
All marketing activities focused on producing and sharing relevant, valuable, consistent information to a clearly defined audience are classed as content marketing.
Instead of blatantly pitching your product or service, content marketing enables you to express your expertise in a certain field and build an audience that is genuinely interested in the solution you are offering.
Examples of content marketing
There are so many types of content marketing out there, here’s a list we created of the main ones:
- Social media posts
- Slideshare presentations
We could go on, but we think you get the picture.
The importance of content marketing
Content marketing is giving away valuable information for free. Yes, that’s right, for free. You might be thinking that sounds a little counterintuitive when the ultimate goal is to make money, but here’s why it works.
Back in the day customers were less likely to question the expertise of a company, but today we have the internet. An endless stream of information and home to countless businesses offering the same products or services. You can judge companies by reading reviews, and you don’t have to stay local. If you want to buy a new coat you can have it delivered from across the globe, if you need a new car insurance deal you can find and compare hundreds in the click of a mouse. With so many options to choose from, customers are becoming increasingly critical in their decision making before they decide to buy something. Online researching before you commit to purchase is standard practise these days.
This is where content marketing comes in. A thorough content marketing strategy can help businesses compete by sharing their expertise and building trust in potential customers.
Here’s how it works
Say you’re currently redecorating your house. You’re trying to decide which tile to buy for your new bathroom, and so you hit Pinterest in the hope that by browsing hundreds of images of bathrooms you’ll stumble on the perfect bathroom inspo. As you’re browsing, you click on an image that takes your fancy. You’ve found it, the perfect tile. A white rectangular porcelain number. And what’s that link attached to the image? A link to a shop that sells these exact tiles…handy right? Well, that’s content marketing. This hypothetical bathroom tile business has used Pinterest as a platform to post free content of their products.
The same company might also have a blog where they post weekly home DIY articles, an Instagram page full of beautiful eye-catching images and a Facebook page showcasing their customer testimonials.
There are endless options when it comes to content marketing. If you’re struggling to figure out which kind of content will work best for targeting your perfect customer, check out our guide on how to create a top tier marketing plan.