“Self-expression is a vital part of understanding life and enjoying it to the full” states Oliver Bowden. Humans are defined by emotions and expression is a way through which we express our emotions and connect with others. The expression can be presented either visually or through language. This fundamental concept has become a formula for marketers in an urge to build relationships with customers, and this is where the structured approach named content marketing has evolved. Now a necessity that marketers can’t ignore!
What is Content Marketing?
“Content marketing is strategic marketing and business process focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience, and ultimately, to drive profitable customer action”- Content marketing Institute.
Content can be a text blog, video, audio (podcast), and an infographic. Content marketing is an artistic approach where businesses communicate their business solutions to customer problems in an inbound way. Content marketing is aimed to facilitate inbound marketing strategy in reaching potential customers, develop relationships, and educate them. One fundamental principle that I personally believe drives content marketing is “Content builds relationships. Relationships are built on trust. Trust drives revenue.” This is the reason why it observed that close to 44 percent of B2B and B2C businesses have a documented content strategy.
Understanding the Relevance of Content Marketing
Here are some interesting stats that necessitate the need to opt for content marketing:
- YouTube viewers worldwide are now watching more than 1 billion hours of videos a day- Tech Crunch
- 53% of marketers stated that content creation is one of their top priorities. — State of Inbound
- 1388 blog posts are published in 60 seconds –Medium
- 70 per cent of consumers prefer getting to know a company via content marketing rather than ads – Entrepreneur
- 350,000 tweets sent per minute and 500 million tweets per day- Twitter
- Instagram has one billion users and 95 million photos and videos are posted on Instagram in a day- Hootsuite
- 190 million Facebook users in the USA and globally Facebook have 2.41 billion active users monthly in the second quarter of 2019- Statista
With globally 3.2 billion Smartphone users and a maximum of internet usage driven by smartphones, data consumption is on a high note. Moreover, content consumption trends are changing drastically, where users are not limited to a single form of content and this is the reason why social media platforms like YouTube, Pinterest, and Instagram have gained massive users and attracted businesses too. Now, it is no strange that YouTube stands as the next search engine to Google. These varied platforms offer an opportunity for businesses to easily reach the target group and provide ease to serve content to their customers in the way they want it. All marketers need to do is, develop single content, then model it in different content formats strategically according to the channel it is distributed and distribute. To start with the content distribution process, I would suggest considering the Garyvee content funnel model.
Content Marketing Doesn’t End with Content Creation and Distribution: Do’s and Don’ts
Most of the businesses complain that we full log of content, fully optimized SEO, and good traffic, but still we don’t find customers. Strange, isn’t it? Here are the reasons when not considering may lead to failure of your content marketing strategy:
- Most of content marketer’s study trends, channelize their content efforts and optimize their SEO to gain traffic. Your content marketing is not just about getting traffic and SEO. Your viewers must transform into customers or promoters. You got to provide value to viewers in the form of a guide to further educate or offer expert help for personalized assistance. Businesses need to plan the buyer’s journey.
- The key to content marketing is precisely understanding your buyer and having a complete map of what interests your buyer, which is termed a buyer persona. Lack of a fully structured buyer persona is like shooting aimlessly.
- Your content strategy will fail if you aren’t clear about what interests your buyer and at the same time if your content strategy lacked the purpose and failed to align with your business goals.
- Content marketing is a relationship-building process. Content marketing is not a short-term plan, it’s a long-term process, where you got to nurture your viewers until they become customers (and even after they become customers to ensure they transform into your promoters).
- Not having the roadmap of your content will dump your content marketing efforts in vain, regardless of how much ever content you produce.
Finally, I want to conclude that how much ever great your content strategy may be, but is should follow three principles: