What is the Content Marketing?

A summary of the defintion given by the Content Marketing Institute could be that Content Marketing is a technique that consists on creating different content about our brand in order to attract the attention of different groups of our public, in order to make them new clients. This concept has become more popular recently and even if it is not a familiar expression for many, this concept is more common that what we think, in fact, other authors such as Montse Peñarroya, Joe Puzzi and Josh Steimle are also into this new type of Marketing.

Maybe “Content Marketing” is not a common term for many people. The definition given by the Content Marketing Institute for this concept is:

“Content marketing is the strategic marketing approach of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.” 

Josh Steimle emphacizes the concept of “valuable” mentioned before. As he clarifies, “You can tell if a piece of content is the sort that could be part of a content marketing campaign if people seek it out, if people want to consume it, rather than avoiding it.” He also defends that the main difference between an ad and content marketing is if the public have found it valuable or not, that is, if the consumer of the publicity has thought that it has been useful or not.

Montse Peñarroya highlights 5 relevant points to have a succesful Content Marketing strategy:

  1. Defining who the public is, by, first of all, analyzing who the current clients are, in order to create a common shared pattern. Then, it should be analyzed the competence, their comumunication plan and their brand, and by this analysis we could know how to differenciate from our competence. Last, it could also studied the behaviour pattern, by investigating what kind of webpages do our clients visit, or the which are the ones visited by the public of the competence, for example.
  2. Know which type content interests the public. Summarizing in one word: Empathy. It is important to know what the public wants and what are they looking for.
  3. Being able to create that content. There are different ways to finish this task, as it could be done by someone outside the brand, however, is preferable to be written by someone who understantds the topic.
  4. Publishing this content in order to come to the public’s notice
  5. Once that the public has seen the webpage, being able to make them clients

In his article, Josh Steimle focuses in the main types of content Marketing. In it, he mentions some, such as the infographics, which are graphics including stadistics, charts, graphs and other information, and it can later by used by other web-pages or blogs, but he also mentions the use of podcasts, as it can give you

Retrieved from sinapzis.com
Retrieved from sinapzis.com

visibility in other areas, as well as the use of videos and of publishing books.

But which are the goals of the content Marketing? Joe Puzzi defines the 7 main objectives that a business could achieve by the use of Content Marketing:

  1. Brand Reinforcement: The objective of the Content Marketing is not only to find a way of advertising, but to create awareness for the product or service. The customer may have a need, and needs to know that there is a solution. Perhaps, your brand is knot known yet, so you have the opportunity to create good content in order to catch the attention of the public.
  2. Lead conversion and nurturing: Through the exchange of engaging content, it is possible to record information about the public and is possible to “market” it to them. This information could be obtained by the register of the clients to an event, by suscribing to newsletters, etc.
  3. Customer conversion: This is the content developed to show to the public why your product or service is better fitted for them.
  4. Customer service: Between the practices useful to convince the users to become suscribers, could be mentioned the FAQ, the documented process for success and the user manual.
  5. Customer Loyality: It is very relevant to develop a “customer retention plan”, but if having suscribers is not enough and the intention is to score fans, it could be really useful a customer newsletter (printed or online); as well as a magazine, both printed or online; and perhaps, an event.
  6. Customer upsell: This goal could be closely linked to the customer retention goals, as by having frequent communication with the customers, is possible to give them information about other products or services offered.
  7. Passionate subscribers: When arrived to this point, Content Marketing starts working with amazing consequences.
Retrieved from Singlegrain.com
Retrieved from Singlegrain.com

John Steimle also explains that the key to know if the content is good is not as difficult as it may seem: a content is good if people really want to read, watch or listen to it, and you know that your content is great if the people would pay to read, watch or listen to it.

Joe Puzzi illutrates that is only needed to take a look to Apple Computer. As he explains, “Apple Computer is the quintessential example of this. Ask yourself what their content marketing strategy is. They have no social media presence. They have no blog. But they have successfully built their passionate subscriber base — and these people create fan sites, write, share, and evangelize the Apple brand. Your ultimate goal should be to create a community of evangelists who are prepared to fight for your brand.”

All in all, as it is explained in Content Marketing Institute’s web-page, Apple is not the only brand using this type of marketing. In fact, other organizations such as P&G, Microsoft, Cisco Systems and John Deere are also into Content Marketing. However, it is also used by smaller bussines, and acording to the Institute, 9 out of 10 companies are using Content Marketing, not mattering the size or the area.

So, it would be possible to make a brief summary of what Content Marketing is by defining it as the type of marketing that consists on creating and distributing important content for their customers and possible clients with the main objective of attracting them to the brand. It should not be confounded with any other kind of promotional marketing, as it only distributes useful information for the clients. The content can be almost any type of publications: posts at blogs, tweets, being active in the social media, newletters, magazines, videos or podcasts.


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