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Why All Marketing Today Should Be Content Marketing

Why All Marketing Today Should Be Content Marketing

What is the distinction between traditional marketing and content marketing? 

Just like traditional marketing, content marketing is the driving force behind high-level engagement and audience interaction.

Content marketing is used to generate demand across all stages of a buyer’s journey by delivering messages to mass audiences through social media, emails, apps and other digital platforms. Just like traditional marketing, content marketing is the driving force behind high-level engagement and audience interaction. Put simply, content marketing is the logical evolution of traditional marketing applied to various platforms, channels and technologies available today.

The Case for Content Marketing

Business leaders who operate the world’s most successful brands share a similar philosophy: all marketing should be content-driven. 

General Electric (GE) was quick to adapt to modern trends in consumer behaviours and approached its marketing by putting people first. In 2011, GE brought on Thomas Keller, a legendary editor from Forbes, who explains his approach describing it as purely story-based content for GE’s audience: 

“I really approached it as an online magazine rather than thinking about it as a company blog. I wanted to produce an online magazine that tells people something new,” he said. “I basically ignored press releases and focused one hundred percent on storytelling. My stories have real protagonists who are trying to solve real problems and reach real outcomes.”

The GE Report is a successful example of content marketing which uses authentic narratives and resulted in hundreds of thousands of devoted readers as well as stories that regularly go viral in the news.

Content Connects with Audiences

The path to successful and sustainable content marketing starts with a deep understanding of your audience. Instead of showing off your brand as being good at what it does, acknowledge the concerns of your customers and know how to address them by delivering relevant and relatable content. 

You can spend significant time and resources producing content, but do you know which type of content is going to routinely outperform others? 

You can spend significant time and resources producing content, but do you know which type of content is going to routinely outperform others? 

In an article for the Harvard Business Review, Frank V. Cespedes and Russ Heddleston point out that when content marketing is done well, it can accelerate customer conversion through the sales funnel and optimize data-driven marketing by connecting each piece of content to metrics such as opens, reads and downloads.

Good content focuses on showing your audience what others are doing with your business. It makes a genuine effort toward uncovering the concerns that people are facing and delivering a content format that’s most useful for them. With 47% of buyersviewing three to five pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep, content marketing allows you to serve a customer’s needs in a proactive way.

Content Marketing is Effective

Content marketing has the ability to produce considerable results for your business. According to CMI, 44% of B2B marketersfind their content marketing to be effective. 

Brands can develop an effective strategy for creating content by offering valuable information to their audience. As of 2019, the most engaging type of content includes:

  • Social media posts (e.g., Tweets, Pins)
  • Case studies
  • Videos
  • eBooks and white papers
  • Infographics
  • Illustrations and photos

Regardless of the type of content you choose to produce, the true value of any content comes from offering information that helps people before asking them to buy. Sharing knowledge and insights with your customers – for free – lets your audience know they are valued and understood. 

Brian Stutter wrote the following for Forbes magazine

“Today’s consumers block out online marketing and sales content, but they respond to content marketing’s ‘Teach, Don’t Sell.’ The point of content marketing is not to swamp people with ads or pitches; it’s to give useful, relevant information.”

This makes effective content marketing as putting “selling” in the background while offering real value to prospects in the foreground. Instead of using content marketing as a means to sell, focus on providing free content that helps. This serves not only as a sign of generosity but also positions your brand as confident in what you’re doing, consequently building yourself as a market leader. Content marketing can bring an abundance of new business when there is less focus on self-promotion and more value provided to your audience. If you can prove to people that you are a valuable source of informative content, you’ll have a marketing strategy that serves your customers across all stages of their journey with your business. 

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