What is content marketing?

Content marketing is a marketing technique 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. There are many different avenues for business owners to interact with consumers, and social media makes it easier than ever for business owners to reach potential customers through strategic tactics like content marketing.

Purpose of content marketing

The main purpose of content marketing, or inbound marketing, is to offer consumers value by presenting a solution to their needs, thus influencing the buying cycle. The beauty of content marketing is that it may lead consumers to recognise a problem or need in their lives that they would have otherwise been unaware of. This will draw them to your business when they are ready to buy, rather than knocking on doors or cold calling to try and convince someone to buy something from you now. Utilising content marketing tactics in your business’s strategy also introduces several benefits, many of which are long-lasting. Compared to traditional marketing programs, content marketing costs 62% less and generates approximately three times the volume of leads (DemandMetric).

The buying cycle

The main difference between traditional marketing methods and content marketing tactics is how each strategy affects the buying cycle for consumers. Traditional push marketing methods such as flyers, billboards or commercials seek to influence the comparison and purchase stages of the buying cycle by promoting or offering incentives that make a product or service seem superior to alternative solutions. Content marketing, or pull tactics, aim to increase consumer awareness and provide helpful information about the product or service your business offers as a solution.

The benefits

This method serves as a means for your business to attract, inform and engage with consumers. Here are some of the benefits that can accompany an effective strategy:

  • Brand awareness
    Publishing valuable content will lead consumers to discover your business and product offerings as they search for solutions to the problem they are facing. 80% of executives and business owners prefer to receive information about a company through articles rather than advertisements (Stratabeat). Therefore, by making content available to consumers, your business will communicate an awareness of consumer needs, humanising your brand with a personality that is friendly and helpful, as well as creating the opportunity for customers to form a relationship with you.
  • Brand equity
    Content that is relevant to the needs of consumers and offers them a valuable solution establishes your business as a thought leader in your industry, which helps build a trusting relationship with consumers. Attaining this level of credibility will lead consumers to prefer your goods and services over alternative solutions since they are aware of the unique value proposition offered by your business: that you are knowledgeable experts in your field.
  • Effective long-term results
    If the content your business releases is designed to be a mix of time-sensitive and evergreen pieces, your business’s content library will still be relevant to consumers as time passes. High-traffic content will also improve search engine rankings, and the consistent release of content can serve as a continuous source of interested consumers. On average, conversion rates are six times higher for companies and brands using content marketing than those that aren’t, at 2.9% vs. 0.5%, respectively (Aberdeen Group).
  • The main sell
    Content marketing is an effective strategy to interact with consumers and introduce them to your business’s brand. By providing consumers with value before they even visit your store, you are building positive relationships and connections to your brand, resulting in long-lasting customer loyalty and brand equity for your business.

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