What Is Content Marketing?

Useful content should be at the core of your marketing

Traditional marketing is becoming less and less effective by the minute; as a forward-thinking marketer, you know there has be a better way.

Enter content marketing.

Content marketing is 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.

Instead of pitching your products or services, you are providing truly relevant and useful content to your prospects and customers to help them solve their issues.

Content marketing is used by leading brands

Our annual research shows the vast majority of marketers are using content marketing. In fact, it is used by many prominent organizations in the world, including P&G, Microsoft, Cisco Systems, and John Deere. It’s also developed and executed by small businesses and one-person shops around the globe. Why? Because it works.

Here is just one example of content marketing in action:

Looking for more examples of content marketing? Download our Ultimate e-book with 75 content marketing examples.

Content marketing is good for your bottom line — and your customers

Specifically, there are three key reasons — and benefits — for enterprises who use content marketing:

  • Increased sales
  • Cost savings
  • Better customers who have more loyalty

Content is the present – and future – of marketing

Go back and read the content marketing definition one more time, but this time remove the relevant and valuable. That’s the difference between content marketing and the other informational garbage you get from companies trying to sell you “stuff.” Companies send us information all the time – it’s just that most of the time it’s not very relevant or valuable (can you say spam?). That’s what makes content marketing so intriguing in today’s environment of thousands of marketing messages per person per day.

Marketing is impossible without great content

Regardless of what type of marketing tactics you use, content marketing should be part of your process, not something separate. Quality content is part of all forms of marketing:

  • Social media marketing: Content marketing strategy comes before your social media strategy.
  • SEO: Search engines reward businesses that publish quality, consistent content.
  • PR: Successful PR strategies address issues readers care about, not their business.
  • PPC: For PPC to work, you need great content behind it.
  • Inbound marketing: Content is key to driving inbound traffic and leads.
  • Content strategy: Content strategy is part of most content marketing strategies.

Content Marketing vs. Inbound Marketing

To be effective at content marketing, it is essential to have a documented content marketing strategy. Download our 16-page guide to learn what questions to ask and how to develop your strategy.

What if your customers looked forward to receiving your marketing? What if when they received it, via print, email, website, they spent 15, 30, 45 minutes with it? What if they anticipated it and shared it with their peers?

If you are intrigued and ready to learn more, we can help. Here are a few popular ways to dig in:

  • New to content marketing? Check out our getting started guide, where you’ll learn the definition of content marketing, as well as basic steps for putting a content marketing plan in place.
  • Need a content strategy? Read the CMI Content Marketing Framework, which outlines the essential building blocks for a successful content marketing program.
  • Looking for some content marketing examples? Download our Ultimate e-book: 75 Content Marketing Examples.
  • Are you in marketing leadership? Subscribe to our free magazine, Chief Content Officer, to stay on top of the latest industry trends.
  • Need advice specific to your organization? Contact our consulting group, led by strategist Robert Rose, to find out how they can help you meet your content marketing challenges.

If at any time you have questions about content marketing, don’t hesitate to reach out and ask us.