What Is Content Marketing?

Content marketing is called by a variety of different names. Branded media, customer media, corporate journalism, custom publishing, and member media are all just a few of the different names. Can you think of anymore? Despite its many aliases, content marketing is the phrase that sums it up best, but what exactly is it?

Defining Content Marketing

In its most basic definition, content marketing could be described as a specific marketing technique that utilizes the creation and distribution of valuable and relevant content to a targeted demographic. This content is devises specifically to attract, engage, and retain a defined audience segment. The ultimate goal of content marketing is to drive potential clients to action that will be profitable for one’s business.

In relation to your business, you could think of content marketing as the fine art of communicating with potential clients and business prospects without actually selling. Content marketing is often referred to as no interruption marketing. Instead of delivering a business pitch to a business prospect, you are providing that individual with information that is going to increase their knowledge base and overall awareness. The belief that drives content marketing is that, if a business can provide their clients with consistent, valuable information, then the client will reward their efforts with their loyalty and business.

Does this type of strategy actually work? You bet it does! Content marketing is practiced by some of the most successful businesses in the world, like Microsoft and Proctor & Gamble. It is a marketing tactic that is also frequently employed by small businesses around the globe. Today’s consumers are so inundated with advertising everywhere they go that they have become immune to traditional marketing tactics. Content marketing has proven to be the most effective tactic for reaching jaded consumers.

Great Content Is What Makes Marketing Possible

Read our definition of content marketing one more time, but this time, remove the adjectives “valuable” and “relevant” from the text. What you are left with is content. This is the primary difference between the crap that junk companies try to sell you in the media and what content marketing truly is. Think about how often you are inundated with information on a daily basis. (Think spam.) This type of content has no applicable value to your daily life. Because content marketing has substance and value, it motivates you to think (and take action) differently than you normally would.

A recent study, published by Roper Public Affairs, uncovered that approximately 80% of those who make business decisions prefer to obtain their information about a specific company through a series of informative articles, rather than through an advertisement. 70% of these survey respondents stated that it makes them feel as though they are close to the business, and 60% of respondents stated that the provided business information enables them to make better business decisions. What if your business’s client based actually looked forward to receiving your emails? Think of the difference it would make in the volume of business you conduct on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis!

Content marketing is all about making a connection with your business’s targeted demographic. When the content you produce is anticipated, it can significantly increase the conversion rates of your marketing efforts. With a little planning and forethought, it will not be difficult for you to create sales messages that your clients eagerly anticipate. Interruption marketing has become such a way of life that, for many consumers, the value of content marketing is a welcome relief. This is why content marketing is the marketing solution for the here and now…and the future.