What is Content Marketing and Why Should You Adopt the Strategy?
You have probably heard about content marketing already, but can you explain what is it? In a few words, we could say that content marketing is an advertising strategy based on producing pieces of content to be consumed by potential clients.
One of the most asked questions about this strategy is: why should I adopt it? Well, content marketing works as indirect advertising. Potential clients consume the content produced by a company that presents itself as a trustful and relevant source of information, entertainment, opinion or whatever the nature of the content is.
What is Content Marketing?
Content Marketing is a company’s strategy for attracting a target-audience through content related to its products or services.
In the book Epic Content Marketing (McGraw Hill, Cleveland, 2013), the founder of the Content Marketing Institute, Joe Pulizzi, lists some of the main goals that companies usually establish through content marketing:
- To form a loyal audience.
- To create brand awareness.
- To achieve customer conversion, retention and loyalty.
- To generate brand ambassadors.
Why Content Marketing Matter?
Content Marketing is everywhere and it’s actually a global trend. Sources say that 60% of all marketing professionals create at least one piece of content each day. Why? It generates 3 times more leads than other forms of advertising.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, 86% of the world’s most effective organizations have a person responsible for content strategy.
We could continue to share facts and stats about content marketing, but there’s a distinction we must do:
What is The Difference Between Content Marketing and Inbound Marketing?
Many people use the term content marketing to refer to inbound marketing, but both concepts are not synonymous.
Inbound marketing is actually more comprehensive than content marketing, because it doesn’t focus just on content.
Inbound marketing’s strategy is to generate and nurture leads with a simple goal: to sell. Content marketing, however, can be considered as one of the key components of inbound marketing.
Content Marketing, The 21st Century Coin
The passage from a consumer society model to an information society meant, for the business world, a revolutionary change in the way advertisers used to understand and do marketing.
Buy! Consume! Have! Those 20th century calls to action were transformed into new forms, such as Know, Meet and Discover.
Brazilian specialist Rafael Rez is one of Latin America’s most important experts on content marketing. He wrote a book that became one of the digital marketing classics. It’s called Marketing de conteúdo: a moeda do século XXI (DVS Editora, São Paulo, 2016) that literally means Content Marketing: The 21st Century Coin.
According to Rez, we should understand content marketing strategy and goals from a comprehensive perspective: it’s not just posting stuff online. Rez says that content marketing is everything that a company communicates and everything related to its image. In other words: content marketing is the way a company reaches its target-audience.
This is a strategy both offline and online and it aims to establish a company as a trustful source and a reference in a specific sector.
Okay, but when are we going to sell our products? Calm, dear reader. This is a long-term strategy. If you want to see results immediately, you should try another type of campaign. But if you want to build a solid growth path, this is the way.
Content Marketing Examples
There’s an interesting case of content marketing that may help us understand how important content is. Do you know the G.I. Joe?
G.I. Joe is a worldwide known line of action figures developed in 1964 by Hasbro (which created some of the world’s most famous games and toys, such as Mr. Potato and Monopoly).
This line of action figures were launched, as we said, in 1964, but it didn’t have a background story, as many other toys did back then. So, what did Hasbro do about it? It partnered with Marvel and in 1982 launched a comic called G.I. Joe – A Real American Hero.
It was an impressive success that made Hasbro’s worldwide sales to multiply. This is a classic example of how content can increase a product’s sales, generating a loyal audience and even opening new business opportunities (clothing, card games and more).
For a more recent example we could see the case of Lego and its movies.
Content Marketing Tools
There are some tools that can be used for doing content marketing and developing an effective strategy.
Some of those tools are more widely accepted than others, but there’s a few that can be considered indispensable. Let’s see some examples:
This is a fundamental tool for monitoring website traffic. With Google Analytics it’s possible to know how many visitors a website had, from where these visitors came from, how long they stayed at the website, where did they click and more.
With this platform we can see Google’s searching trends over time. The segmentation options allow us to analyze local searches and select specific periods of time.
Google Keyword Planner, Keyword Tool & SemRush
These three tools are very effective for searching keywords in order to optimize online content. Google Keyword Planner, Keyword Tool and SemRush are ideal for planning an assertive content marketing strategy.
Trello & Evernote
Trello is one of the most used tools for organising and coordinating tasks. It’s easy to use and allows a rapid and clear management. Evernote, however, is a little more complex than Trello, but the idea is the same: to help organising, managing and distributing tasks.
Content Marketing and Buyer Persona
The concept of Buyer Persona refers to an idealized client. This term is built with real data based on clients and potential clients behaviour, localization, age, interests, gender, etc. It’s easier to understand it with an example:
A Brazilian company offers scholarship and student exchange programs between American and Brazilian colleges. It defines its target-audience like this: English-speaking Brazilian college students between 18 and 25 years old who like to travel.
In this case, the company’s buyer persona could be a young mid-class Brazilian student from Rio de Janeiro who’s going through its third year at college, who recently took an English course and who has been searching for cheap flights to the US.
Therefore, to develop a strategy based on a buyer persona has to do with an emotional aspect, because the campaign is directed to impact a highly segmented target-audience and the content is made bearing that persona in mind.
How Much Does It Cost to Make Content Marketing?
That’s a good question, but the answer is not so simple. Why? Because the cost will depend on a series of factors, such as:
- The type of content, its complexity and length.
- A strategy’s build up based on that content.
- The content’s quality.
There are other factors that should be taken into account, such as previous market research and a digital marketing calendar. Also, we must remember that it is not the same thing to design a content marketing strategy for a small portion of the market and to do it on a global scale.
A very important insight: to create content is not putting words together. A poor content strategy, made just to include keywords without much concern about the content’s quality, is without a doubt condemned to failure.Have you worked with content marketing before? Let us know in the comments. If you want to know more about it, contact our team of digital marketing experts.