9 out of 10 companies market with some form of content marketing, according to a 2011 study by the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs. Most of them likely have no idea that what they’re implementing is, in fact, content marketing. But let’s back up for a second.
What is Content Marketing?
According to Wikipedia, Content marketing is an umbrella term encompassing all marketing formats that involve the creation and sharing of content in order to engage current and potential consumer bases. In that respect, it closely resembles the field of marketing communication.
To be fair, content marketing has been around for ages. In fact, since the dawn of marketing. The title is just a fancy re-branding of what marketers have been doing for years – producing content to put in front of the eyes of their market. It’s just that now, there’s more platforms for us to use – most noticeably, digital platforms.
Sure, there are blogs. But what else?
The problem with content marketing is that when you mention it, people say “Oh, you mean blogging?” Well, yes and no. Yes, blogging fits into the umbrella of content marketing. But so do a lot of other mediums. Let’s take a look at some of them.
For some reason, marketers don’t tend to consider video as being a viable content marketing tool. There’s such a huge focus on the written word, that people overlook the fact that video is just as – if not more, in some circumstances, effective that written content.
2. White Papers
Technical papers on industry trends and topics is the quickest way to a B2B buyer’s pockets – or at least their email address. When B2B purchasers start their buying process, they go online. It doesn’t matter if they’re purchasing standard office supplies or a $10,ooo copy machine. And when they start to research, they want information and lots of it. That’s why technical specs and proven industry knowledge go a long way in these types of sales.
3. Email Marketing
There’s a reason that marketers will keep putting money into an email marketing budget. That’s because on average, email marketing returns over $40 for every $1 invested. It may be old school, but it’s a proven and tested marketing method that works.
Webinars seem a little outdated when you compare them with lightning speed social technologies, but with companies like SlideShare and Brainshark, webinars and online presentations are getting a well-deserved makeover.
The same idea that we expressed for videos goes for podcasts too. These are still a viable form of content marketing, especially when you want to hit your target market at a time that’s more convenient – ie commuting times or in the evenings.
Infographics are great for illustrating a point – and they’re often the first types of content marketing to go viral because of their fun nature and typically being a quick read.
E-books are another way to engage your target market, especially as an incentive to sign up for a newsletter or to fill out a questionnaire. It’s an easy crossover marketing tool and works in conjunction with a wide variety of other types of marketing – both content based and non-content based.
Content marketing is a fun buzzword that’s being circulated around, but what it really is is communicating with your audience – in whatever form they prefer to listen. Fill out our contact form or give us a call (212-729-6120) and find out how you can boost your inbound and outbound marketing efforts through content marketing.