Understanding the Ins and Outs of Content Marketing

When Bill Gates coined the phrase “content is king” back in 1996, it is likely that even he couldn’t fathom just how true this adage would eventually come to be.

October 12, 2021 11:37 AM

Understanding the Ins and Outs of Content Marketing

In this highly-connected, digital age, it is virtually impossible for a business or brand to remain competitive without investing at least some time and money in cultivating a strong presence online. However, it is no longer enough to simply have a branded website or be active on social media since these factors alone aren’t sufficient to help you stand out from the crowd. Instead, success nowadays relies in large part on getting people to engage online with your brand or business through the use of informative, interesting and useful content. Known as content marketing, this strategy involves creating and publishing digital content that increases your exposure and enables your target audience to connect with your brand in a meaningful way. With this is mind, here is a quick primer on content marketing, what it is and how you can use it to help you achieve your specific goals.

Content Marketing Explained

Before you can fully get a grasp on what content marketing is and what all it involves, it is first necessary to understand exactly what is meant by the term digital content. In short, digital content refers to any type of digital asset that you create and distribute in order to both increase your brand recognition and provide useful information to your target audience. This can include anything from simple blog posts, social media posts, infographics and listicles to more in-depth works such as videos, e-books, whitepapers and podcasts. In simple terms, digital content can refer to virtually any type of branded or sponsored materials that you post online.

Knowing all of this, it should be fairly easy to know understand exactly what is meant by content marketing. Essentially, content marketing is a type of digital marketing strategy that uses any and all types of digital content in an effort to better reach your target audience. Of course, the end goal of this strategy can differ from individual to individual or brand to brand. However, no matter whether you’re looking to increase sales, drive traffic to your website or simply increase your brand recognition, the strategy is still mostly the same.

The Benefits of Developing a Sound Content Marketing Strategy

For some people, the idea of content marketing is all about creating social media posts, articles, videos or other assets that will “go viral” and gain their company or brand more recognition and acclaim. While this is one possible strategy and benefitted associated with it, the truth is that content marketing is far more than that and can bring with it many additional benefits. In fact, this is simply not immediately possible for most organizations, businesses and brands without first making sure that your target audience knows who you are and is interested in what you’re offering or what you have to say.

Content marketing is one of the major strategies involved in search engine optimization (SEO), which is a tactic used to help ensure that your website or organization ranks near the top of search engine results. Studies have continually shown that most people vary rarely stray past the first page or two of the search engine results. This means, in essence, that if you’re not at or near the top then people will never find you.

Simply creating content designed to go viral and posting it to your Facebook, Twitter or other social media site will never provide results if you don’t first focus on getting your audience involved and engaged enough in your brand or message to start following you. This is where having a well-though content marketing strategy can be a huge help. In this case, the key is to make sure that your content actually provides something that people are looking for and is tailored in a way to get your audience more involved and connected with your brand, message, products or services.

Ensuring Your Content Makes a Good First Impression

Content marketing is a great tool for lead generation, but it is really far more than that. One helpful way to think about it is as a tool to create a good first impression. Whatever content you create may be the first time that your prospective audience, clients or customers have ever heard about you, so it is always essential that you put your best foot forward. In this sense, it is really all about brand activation, which basically means building up a positive image of your brand and engaging or motivating your audience to take whatever your desired action is.

Just as every market or target audience is different, every organization and brand is also different in terms of its specific goals and needs. For this reason, it is essential that you tailor your content to meet your specific needs while also taking into account the desires and demographics of your target audience. In this way, you can ensure that your content not only reaches the people you want it to, but also that is actually appeals to them and gets them more engaged.