Content marketing has been around for a while now, but is only growing in importance. Our latest Q&A answers some of the most common questions about its practice
What is content marketing?
The Content Marketing Association states that it (content marketing) is currently the largest marketing channel comprising of more than a £4bn spend just in the United Kingdom. It is also amongst the most cost effective, with consultancy Demand Metric, asserting that it is three times as effective (in lead generation) as traditional marketing while costing 62% less.
Content marketing is the creation and sharing of valuable and engaging content with the express aim of acquiring and retaining customers.
Definition Content Marketing
Content marketing is an inbound marketing technique focusing on consumer needs, aiming to empower consumers and build relationships which leads them to take profitable actions for the brand due to their exposure to branded content which educates, inspires and entertains, rather than traditional, interruptive sales approaches.
How does content marketing lead to sales?
Content marketing’s relationship to the bottom line is one which has been perpetually questioned, but about which evidence is consistently building. Modern consumers want more than brand names and discounts; they want to purchase a relationship, a lifestyle or worldview. Content marketing enables brands to foster relationships and build loyalty.
Not only will the best content increase brand awareness through shareability, it offers the consumer an insight into the, for want of a better term, soul of the company – making the brand something a consumer can interact with on several levels, not only purchasing, but being proud of the purchase and communicating that pride to others.
How does content marketing fit in with an overall search marketing strategy?
Content marketing raises brand awareness, builds trust and credibility for your brand as well as creating connections with customers; however, the quality and relevance content is also an influencing factor for SEO.
Google seeks to return results which are relevant and useful, and the brands ranking highly in SERPs are those providing the best customer experience by regularly publishing unique, customer-focused content.
How can content marketing be successfully implemented?
That is really a question that goes to the heart of the difficulties with content marketing – it is often assumed that it is the content alone that determines the success of a strategy, but realistically, it is far more complicated than that. To ensure that success is not just a one-off and that results are predictable, it is best to blend the creative with the scientific. For a more detailed answer, the recent Click eBook The Science Behind Content Marketing is a good place to start.
Are there any common content marketing errors to avoid?
The most common mistake, and the one which is almost guaranteed to cause a content marketing strategy to fail, is putting the brand’s interests before those of the consumer. By neglecting to put consumer interests first, the brand instantly reduces visibility, shareability and kills the relationship between brand and consumer before it begins – it takes a lot more to regain lost trust than to build it slowly. The best content marketing strategies are those that seek to combine the brand and consumer desires – but if there is ever any doubt, it is always best to err on the side of consumer taste than that of the brand.