There is a rumour that at the foundations of a successful company there is a website, a portfolio, a promotional material with excellent content and useful information. This rumour is utterly real. Welcome to the Content Marketing world, where the meaning lies in the content itself.
Marketing researches show that 7 out of 10 consumers categorically refuse to get any information via ads, while they only accept it by reading articles or content placements. Does it sound strange? Let’s simplify it with an example: You are facing a dilemma on choosing your holiday destination -the answer “I will go to both of them” would be smart, but suddenly you realise that your budget is sufficient only for one. The real question is: Will you choose according to tourist advertisements, or by reading and watching specific material and info for them?
Exactly the same also applies for daily matters, and the procedure sometimes is subconscious. It is an internal mechanism, when preparing to choose something: And it goes by collecting information for comparison. So, what is the easiest way nowadays to find all the information needed? The answer lies in googling. Everyone who seeks something can easily find it online. The result of the Internet search will provide him with an extremely long list of options, of which someone most likely will spend only a few seconds in the first five pages. But more important is what you check in order to select the result that you will choose to visit. The answer lies in Content Marketing.
What is Content Marketing?
Content is the key: This lovely word is used here in the sense of something that is contained, but just the same letters in the same order mean “joy”, “pleasure” and “satisfaction”. And the truth is that Content Marketing should include both meanings: Quality content and satisfaction for the reader. But let’s go a click deeper, just because we can: It’s not a Coincidence that Content is etymologically derived from the Latin verb continere, meaning “to keep/hold together”, “to support”, “to hold up”. In terms of Marketing, the target of the content is to keep the reader to the page and satisfy it, in order to make the final choice. So, in other words we are talking about a communication strategy of quality content.
Since we can have a visitor on our website, a reader for our list, a receiver of our information; we have to justify the reason for which we ask the recipient to exchange its valuable time for our information. The only reason is the quality of the content. It is only a matter of time for a website with quality content and good structure to generate high traffic and profit for the company. Moreover, traffic (and carefully designed content) is among those factors which Google’s “robots” take into consideration in order to improve the rankings and place the website at a higher position in the result lists.
Content in practice
The content is clearly not a stuffing to fill in the gaps. There are rules that define it, and we can discuss them …somewhen in the future. But, for now let’s see what the content itself is. Initially, we could say that content is all those useful information contained in a website. This answer is not good enough though. You cannot gain the attention of someone only by saying “good morning”, it’s not enough; it takes communication. Therefore content includes all these means used to keep constantly contact with your target audience. It is for this constant communication that even the vast majority of multinational corporations dedicate more than 30% (on an uptrend) of their marketing budget.
This communication consists of continuous information flow to the consumers and potential customers about new activities and general developments in their field (this is a classic example of content). Thus, newsletters gradually transform into letters, and into extensive reports, while a simple posting turns into an article. This primarily happens because this is the only way in which one can build a stable communication channel: Large portions of quality content. Another reason why now we move to this form of communication is that conventional ads (in which social network ads have recently been added) have started to be more and more ineffective.
Therefore, these conditions set the scene for informational blogs, multipage eBooks of any kind and video presentations, including new actions, developments, demonstrations and even tutorials for products and services.
How does it work properly?
We‘ve seen what it is, what happens when it works; let’s see how it is done properly. Successful Content Marketing is built on four pillars:
Targeting: No, we do not grab a loudspeaker to get out on the road. We did not do all this progress just to go back to the “bronze age” of Marketing. The keywords are: Target audience; we have to know who we address, and how to reach them.
Quality: As we have already mentioned above. You don’t feed your car with hay. We need substance and specificity in our communication. Otherwise, everyone would enjoy the meaningless phone calls amid work and stress, and wouldn’t pretend not to hear the phone ringing.
Uniqueness: Anything repeated is worth nothing. And here is the example with the infamous uncle who keeps telling you the same story over and over again, living it as if it were the first time. Google averts repetitions too. Plagiarism is not only an offense, but also the Google-engine will ignore and hide duplicate results.
SEO: Three letters that determine the position of all others in the text, but also they dictate the form of the medium itself that hosts all the audio-visual material. In other words, here we are talking about all those factors that contribute to the search engine optimization.
And herein lies the issue. Content Marketing cannot stand without one of these four pillars; or, even worse, perhaps the failure will bring the exact opposite of the desired results.
Talk to the experts
Yes, hardly you can find an expert on this subject. Even the communication department of a multinational corporation might not have a way to work it out. Usually, apart from the lack of knowledge, there are three other factors that make it difficult or even impossible: Lack of time, lack of content and the failure to create appropriate content. The last two seem to have many things in common, but in the first case the company itself does not produce the content -thus, it might be high time for rebranding, in the second case, the communications department cannot take advantage of the created product and transform it into content; therefore, you need the support of an expert who knows how to build and handle a tool made of words.