| Content Marketing

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What is Content Marketing and Why Should You Care?

Content marketing is the “in” marketing strategy.

Where did this idea come from and should you use content marketing to promote your own brand?

What is Content Marketing?

The idea behind content marketing is that instead of creating promotional content (for example an ad or a sales flyer), you create usable content that will benefit your prospective clients. Think about… would you rather get a hard sell about the features of an e-newsletter marketing tool, or would you prefer an email planning checklist?

By providing useful content to your prospects, you have been helpful, you’ve demonstrated your expertise, and you’ve started to build their trust.

The content can take many forms, but the most typical formats are:

  • blogs
  • e-newsletters
  • podcasts
  • infographics
  • social media posts
  • videos
  • webinars & presentations

Thought leadership

People have been using this technique, in some form, for a long time. Professionals have been positioning themselves as thought leaders for years. A great example is how professionals will give a presentation or workshop at a conference or industry event. The attendees benefit by getting valuable information and the presenter gets a chance to get in front of prospects and show off their experience.

Like in the past, being too sales-y or pushy during what should be an educational presentation is a big turn off. Instead, by turning off the sales pitch we actual gain more by building trust.

If people have been doing this for years, why is it so hot in 2015?

Inbound marketing and SEO have made content marketing more important than ever.

Inbound marketing

Inbound marketing is the idea that rather than spend time and effort pushing sales materials out and trying to find ideal clients, have them find you. They find you through search. They choose to join your newsletter or listen to your podcast.

Nowadays, everyone seems to turn to Google and the web to find answers to nearly all of their questions. If you can be the expert providing the guidance they need, you have positioned yourself as useful and trustworthy.

Developing content that attracts people to you is what inbound marketing is all about.

SEO and content marketing

Another side of this is optimizing for search. Google has made it clear that they want to see new, updated, relevant content. As people saw that blog posts generate a lot of web traffic, people recognized that more content, using more keywords was the key to getting more traffic from search.

The term content marketing got coined and is now the rage

Has content marketing peaked?

The challenge is that business owners, bloggers, and marketing firms; small firms, large firms and solopreneurs; are all jumping into content marketing. Whether you write a blog, send out a tweet or produce a podcast, there is so, so, SO much content being created right now.

We’re all overwhelmed.

Yet, if you create great content it is still a tremendously effective strategy. However, the bar has risen significantly and quality over volume is the path to success.

Are you using content marketing and has it been successful for you and your company?

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