4 min read

What is Content Marketing and How Does it Work?

Content marketing is a method which drives traffic and conversions from targeted audiences by answering their questions and addressing their pain points. This type of marketing has been around for many years. The methods for content marketing delivery have evolved over time with technology while the formula for great content has stayed nearly the same. It goes a little like this: Remind your audience of their pain point(s) > Relate to those pain points > Resolve their issues by presenting a solution to their problem.

Content marketing is educational material which is usually NOT directly about the products or services your company sells. In fact, your business can become so good at offering amazing information that your customers automatically become loyal to your brand because they look to you as the authority in your industry.

Content marketing is largely about your audience and what is important to them.

Content marketing differs from traditional product marketing efforts which touch solely on the products and services you offer. It includes material like e-books, informational how-to videos, quizzes, webinars, videos, and other types of media that answer specific questions and provide something that can't be found elsewhere. It’s one of the quickest ways to make your product valuable beyond any of your competitors’ – no matter how general your product might be – because you are offering knowledge that goes along with owning your product so that buyers can be confident in their purchase.

By becoming a trusted, confident, truthful authority on topics that matter to your target audience, your business is also more likely to get discovered by new customers who will give you their trust and loyalty. This trust enables your brand to strengthen its customer rapport, and ultimately increase business. 

ROI – YOU GET OUT WHAT YOU PUT IN.

A lot of time and effort go into building out and implementing an effective content marketing strategy. There is research to be done, and legwork to be had. We realize that many businesses just don’t have the time to put into their content marketing because there are only so many hours in a day – so it gets put on the back burner.

If you’re in that boat, give us a shout, and let’s come up with a managed content marketing plan that’s right for you. Content marketing is definitely an ideal approach if you truly want to provide a WOW experience for your customers while making a positive impact on the perception of your business – with the overarching goal of being found by the right audience.

Who is the right audience for content marketing?

With content marketing, you’re obviously looking for loyal customers, but you’re also targeting the potential opportunities or leads who are asking questions and looking for information via search engines. Because of this, you want your business to be at the top of the search results whenever humanly possible. Answering people’s questions via blog posts, social media, e-books, videos, and other creative means are key ingredients in making this happen. 

Now, once you’ve brought people in, you will need to focus on keeping them interested. Content marketing follows a long-term strategy focusing on building a strong relationship with your target audience by giving them top-quality content that is highly relevant to their life on a consistent basis. (Loyal Customer, I FEEL you.)

As opposed to spot-advertising, content marketing proves that you actually care about your customers, and want to keep their attention – and customer attention is a highly valuable resource.

Working-Together-Content-Marketing

Content marketing strategy boils down to three simple steps.

  1. 1. Map the content to the pain point.
    Let’s use an industry-specific example: If you are a cybersecurity company, you’ll want to comb through forum sites’ Q&A to identify trends in common problems people are trying to fix for themselves, and what pain points they are running into.
  2.  
  3. 2. Use the type of content that presents the best solution to the problem.
    There are a lot of options when it comes to deciding the combination of media to use. If we’re still using the service business example from above: You might consider posting a video to both YouTube AND your own website explaining a detailed repair process, where to get the tools and hardware, and the level of experience needed to complete this job – while also reminding the viewer that you could solve their issue with much less frustration.
  4.  
  5. 3. Map the content to the buying cycle of the people who have that pain point/problem.
    Some questions you’ll want answered in your map:
  • What keywords are people Googling, and at what point in their customer journey?

  • What channels and devices are your buyers using at each individual stage in their journey? (You can find this information through your Google analytics Dashboard.) Hubspot has an informative article here if you’re just starting out with Google Analytics.

  • What channels do your buyers most prefer? (Social? Video? Forums? etc…) Here’s where searching your industry hashtags comes in handy.

  • What questions are they asking, when are they asking them, and who/where are they asking?

    By meeting your buyer just as they admit they have a problem, and meeting them as a source for information they are seeking, you are able to position your business in the right place at the right time to solve their problem without having to deliver a sales pitch.

Content Marketing in a Nutshell

Content marketing is an ongoing marketing method of creating, publishing, and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content. This content has the goal of attracting a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer engagement.

So, if you are thinking of making content marketing part of your strategy, and just don’t know how to find the time, CommonPlaces will be happy to provide you with a customized managed plan to help increase your customer engagement. Ask us how!

 

Just for fun: Here is a list of potential media types to think about when presenting your content marketing (We know - it’s a LOT, and this is not even all of them!):

  • How-Tos 
  • Helpful Apps or Tools 
  • Content Curation 
  • Opinion Post 
  • White Papers 
  • Case Studies 
  • Charts and Graphs 
  • Vlogs 
  • Videos 
  • Ebooks 
  • Email Newsletters 
  • Templates 
  • Surveys 
  • Illustrations
  • Book Summaries 
  • Slideshares
  • Print Resources 
  • Reviews 
  • Giveaways 
  • Quotes 
  • Quizzes 
  • FAQs 
  • Q&A Sessions 
  • Polls 
  • Podcasts 
  • Webinars 
  • Guides 
  • Pin Boards
  • Press Releases 
  • Infographics 
  • Interviews 
  • Photo Galleries 
  • Predictions Lists
  • Mind Maps 
  • User-Generated Content 
  • Company News 
  • Memes 
  • Online Games 
  • Timelines
  • Social Shares

 




 

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