If You’re Not Content Marketing, You’re Not Marketing
It goes by many names…let’s try to name them all. Custom publishing, custom media, customer media, customer publishing, member media, private media, branded content, corporate media, corporate publishing, corporate journalism and branded media.
Perhaps nothing says it better than content marketing. But what exactly is content marketing?
Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.
Basically, content marketing is the art of communicating with your customers and prospects without selling. It is non-interruption marketing. Instead of pitching your products or services, you are delivering information that makes your buyer more intelligent. The essence of this content strategy is the belief that if we, as businesses, deliver consistent, ongoing valuable information to buyers, they ultimately reward us with their business and loyalty.
And they do. Content marketing is being used by some of the greatest marketing 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.
See the best case studies and research on content marketing for free with a subscription to Chief Content Officer magazine from the Content Marketing Institute.
Consumers have simply shut off the traditional world of marketing. They own a DVR to skip television advertising, often ignore magazine advertising, and now have become so adept at online “surfing” that they can take in online information without a care for banners or buttons (making them irrelevant). Smart marketers understand that traditional marketing is becoming less and less effective by the minute, and that there has to be a better way. Thought leaders and marketing experts from around the world, including the likes of Seth Godin and hundreds of the leading thinkers in marketing have concluded that content marketing isn’t just the future, it’s the present (see the video below on the history of content marketing).
Marketing Is Impossible Without Great Content
Go back and read the content marketing definition one more time, but this time remove therelevant 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. Good content marketing makes a person stop… read… think… behave… differently.
According to the Roper Public Affairs, 80% of business decision makers prefer to get company information in a series of articles versus an advertisement. 70% say content marketing makes them feel closer to the sponsoring company, while 60% say that company content helps them make better product decisions. Think of this – what if your customer looked forward to receiving your marketing? What if when they received it, via print, email, website, they spent 15, 30, 45 minutes with it? (See all the latest content marketing research here.)
Yes, you really can create marketing that is anticipated and truly makes a connection! You can develop and execute “sales” messages that are needed, even requested, by your customers. Content marketing is a far cry from the interruption marketing we are bombarded with every minute of every day. Now that is marketing for the present and the future.
Intrigued? Do you buy in? If so, take the next step by reviewing the full resources of the Content Marketing Institute, which will answer just about every question you have about how content, marketing correctly, which can change your business, and your customers, for the better.