Just How Important Is Content Marketing?
Chances are good that you’ve at least heard of content marketing. You might have even dabbled in it a bit, with a few blog posts, articles and social media posts to your credit. However, if that is all you’re doing, then you’re sabotaging your own company’s success. Content marketing has become absolutely critical. But why is that?
Building Your Brand The primary purpose of content marketing is not to draw in customers, but to build your brand. It’s designed to offer them something of value with no strings attached. It’s also designed to show your company’s credibility, expertise and value to your audience. Without the ability to publish content to your audience, you lack an essential means of building your brand.
Engagement with Your Audience While some forms of content marketing are one-way streets (an email newsletter, for instance), most aren’t. Let’s consider both blog posts and social media posts as examples here.
With blog posts, you’re able to create valuable content and then post it on your site for others to read. Ideally, your blog is tied into your primary business website, so readers can easily move from one to the other. If you have comments enabled, you can even interact with your readers on each post. Sharing buttons allow them to spread the word about posts they enjoy or that offer good value.
Social media is even more about interaction (in fact, it’s ALL about interaction and communication). When you post an update, your followers can comment, like and share that update. You can respond to their comments, thank them for the share and more. It allows you to brand your business, as well as provide value to your customers and prospective customers.
In Contrast with Older Methods Now, let’s compare content marketing with older methods. Traditional advertising can be seen as little more than shouting at your audience. It’s a one-way street, with absolutely no give and take, and no value given to your audience. Other methods rely on buying space and shelling out significant amounts of cash in the hopes that your message will resonate with at least a few people – this includes newspaper ads, magazine ads, radio spots and TV commercials.
None of these methods gives your audience anything of value. None of them does anything to build your brand, either. Why would they? Anyone can pay a chunk of cash to have a slick ad thrown together by an advertising agency, but not everyone is able to create compelling, useful content that actually helps their audience members learn, grow or change their lives. That’s exactly what content marketing does, though.
A Caveat While content marketing is absolutely essential, you can’t just leap right in. Quality matters greatly here. If you start pushing out loads of low quality, mediocre content, it’s quite possible that you’ll damage your brand severely. Anything created for the purpose of marketing should be original, high-quality, and above all, offer value to your audience in one or more ways.