For most brands with an online image, content marketing is a basic part of the marketing strategy and daily work. Content marketing can add value to users and can serve brands to achieve various business objectives, so its role is very important.
As marketers, we must fully understand what is content marketing and what is not content marketing, can contribute to our brand and what best practices and mistakes to avoid. Let’s go!
What is content marketing? As defined by Joe Pulizzi, content marketing or content marketing is a technology based on the creation and distribution of relevant and valuable content to attract, engage and attract the attention of a clearly defined target audience with the purpose of encouraging them to become future customers.
Therefore, the strategy is based on providing value to users for free. It does not focus on immediate purchases, but tries to attract users and establish long-term partnerships. This is as an investment aimed at achieving better results for the brand in the future, rather than immediate satisfaction.
Content marketing and inbound marketing
A very common confusion that needs to be clarified is the difference between content marketing and inbound marketing. These two concepts are closely related and may even overlap, but in the end they are different things.
Content marketing is a technology that is based on providing customers with valuable content that will interest them, while inbound marketing is a holistic approach that is based on attracting customers to join the brand and building relationships with customers to convert them into customers. Customers and long-term loyalty.
The term inbound marketing is the opposite of “outbound” or traditional marketing, which is based on interrupting users to convey information to us (for example, consider a typical TV commercial). We should not mistakenly think that outbound equals analog and inbound equals digital, because in digital marketing there are many outbound technologies, such as advertising slogans or pre-roll ads (shown before the video that users want).
In the inbound approach, content marketing plays a key role, as content often acts as a “bait” to entice users to use the brand. But there are some essential differences:
- Inbound marketing is responsible for the entire process, from initial user acquisition to customer and loyalty. Content marketing is a special technology that can attract customers in the initial stage and even play a role in loyalty, but in the end it is an aid to the process, not the method itself.
- Content marketing can be done without inbound marketing, for example, by sending bulk newsletters. Although not common, inbound marketing can be performed without resorting to content marketing. Inbound marketing uses several technologies other than content to generate traffic, such as pay-per-click advertising or email marketing.
- Working in content marketing requires more creative materials based on copywriting, photography and video editing, while marketers focusing on inbound need more technology and broader materials, because executing overall inbound strategies requires programming, analytics and marketing automation skills.
What do we mean when we say “content”? The origin of content marketing is mainly based on written work, such as through company magazines. But today, we no longer have the limitations of traditional marketing and can present content in multiple formats:
- Blog . Written text still has a place in modern content marketing strategies, and many brands base their strategies on company blogs (a chronological collection of articles). For this type of content to work, we must keep in mind that we are writing for the Internet, and the text must be organized and easy to read.
- Electronic book (ebook). Many companies use e-books as a way of linking content strategies and inbound marketing. Basically, this technology involves providing users with ebooks on topics of interest in exchange for keeping their personal data (including their emails) in the form of tables. This data is then used to maintain contact with the user and guide them to make a purchase.
- Infographics. Infographics are very popular on the Internet because they allow you to provide large amounts of data in a format that is easy to understand and share.
- Movies or videos. Video or video marketing is becoming the star content on the Internet, and in recent years they have experienced a great prosperity thanks to their live streaming function. For brands, they offer many possibilities to connect with the audience and convey information.
Not only that: you can also choose podcasts, interactive content and extended videos, etc. Let your creativity run wild!
What is the content?
As we have already seen, content can play a key role in attracting users and incorporating them into our inbound strategy. The idea is that users find our content when they are looking to solve a need related to our brand.
However, while we know that this is a key feature, the real situation is much more complicated and interesting, i.e. content can serve multiple purposes and is interrelated to many aspects of online marketing:
- Content marketing and SEO complement each other perfectly, because search engines like Google are very optimistic that websites contain high quality content and are updated frequently. Therefore, the content must be related to the brand’s keyword strategy so that users can find it quickly when performing related searches.
- Content can help enhance the brand and brand reputation. Products launched by brands such as videos and articles should respond to their style and values, thus strengthening their image in the minds of consumers. In turn, if this content is useful and entertaining for users, it will help build a positive association with the brand.
- Content marketing can help improve customer service. If we have ready-to-use resources related to the most common customer issues, such as a FAQ guide or a short video showing how to solve installation problems, we will make it easier for users to quickly resolve their issues. Therefore, customer support time will be reduced, or we can even make it possible for users to find answers on their own without having to turn to our team.
- Content marketing strengthens public relations. Traditionally, public relations is based on sending content (such as press releases) to different media in the hope that they will publish it. Today, brands have their own channels to convey information.
- Content is provided to the brand’s paid channels and social networks. Content marketing works in conjunction with other channels to convey useful and interesting information about the brand to users.