Content MarketingAccording to the Content Marketing Institute, content marketing can be described as “a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.” At a glance, this definition might seem vague, but let’s delve a little deeper to see what a content marketing strategy really is and what a successful marketing plan can do for your company. First, let me point out that content marketing is NOT a quick fix for a company looking to increase sales. Content marketing is complex. These marketing plans are a part of an ongoing process that should align with your company’s overall marketing strategy. Keeping media up to date and relevant is essential in creating a successful marketing plan. To quote the Content Marketing Institute, this effective trend in marketing is simply, “the art of communicating with your customers and prospects without selling.” Integrating content marketing into your company’s marketing plan is simple, but may take some adjustment for those who favor traditional marketing. Here’s the trick: don’t oversell your product. Gain your customers’ trust by providing them with valuable information about your products or services. Subtlety is key in integrating a successful content marketing strategy into your company’s overall marketing plan.
BloggingMy suggestion for any company looking to integrate content marketing into their marketing plan is to start a corporate blog. Blogging is an innovative way to inform modern day consumers about your company, products, and services without selling directly to them. Launching a new product? Blog about it. Opening a new branch of your company? Blog about it. Want to inform your customers about the inner most workings of your company? Do what Zappos did and have your CEO blog about it! Want to bring attention to the importance of content marketing? BLOG ABOUT IT! Do you see what I’m getting at here? Blogging can greatly benefit companies looking to incorporate a content marketing strategy into their marketing process. According to one study, corporate blogs can increase online traffic to the company’s website by 55 percent versus companies that do not blog . Blogging not only keeps your customers interested in what is going on within your company but also creates a sense of transparency that will strengthen your brand image. Transparency is a valuable trait for any company to obtain because once your customers recognize this trait within your company; they will trust you as well as the products you sell to them. Integrating blog marketing into your content marketing strategy can be an extremely valuable asset to your company. In 2010, 88 percent of all brands incorporated a content marketing strategy into their marketing plan . That number has only increased in the past five years, and with good reason. Blogging can increase your company’s customer base by piquing their interest in new interesting information regarding your business. Blogging about your products and services opens a conversation with your customers rather than just shoving information at them. However, really great content marketing will not only make consumers more informed about your company’s products and services. When it is done well, putting a content marketing strategy into action will lead to a change in consumer behavior for the better. When consumers are able to access information about your company through conversation, they will build a personal connection with the brand, which increases their trust in your company. Customers may then feel more inclined to buy your products because they know your company is reliable. Modern day consumers aren’t interested in all the clutter that comes with traditional marketing. Utilizing forums such as corporate blogs to deliver an ongoing stream of helpful information to consumers will ultimately win their loyalty to your brand over your competitors’.
ConclusionSo to sum up all of this, let’s address the few key questions that most companies have about implementing a content marketing strategy. What is content marketing? Content marking is a process that allows brands to keep their customers informed by distributing relevant information about their products and services. Why is a content marketing strategy vital to the success of your business? Research shows that content marketing draws in more consumers than traditional marketing . Consumers often view traditional marketing as clutter or spam. Implementing a content marketing strategy is an innovative way to keep your customers informed and updated on what your company can do without forcing your product on them through a sales pitch. What is an effective way to implement content marketing into your company’s marketing strategy? Blogging. Using blogs to market your business is an interesting marketing tactic that will gain the attention of your customers along with potential audiences. Blogging also gives your company a sense of transparency that will lead to gaining your customers’ trust and loyalty.