What Is Content Marketing?
Content marketing means creating engaging content to indirectly drive brand awareness and valuable customer action. “Content” includes social media posts, blogs, newsletters, podcasts, videos, infographics, and more. By “indirectly,” we mean that it supports advertisement and SEO but is also separate from them. Content marketing ideally creates “valuable” content: a user experience containing more than just your products or services.
Content marketing has roots to 1672, making it about as old as novels. It’s hardly a novel concept. However, it has grown profoundly relevant in the digital age. In fact, 86% of today’s businesses use content marketing, including big names. For instance, Red Bull’s monthly magazine The Red Bulletin associates their product with their sports and lifestyle articles. Marketers always say “content is king,” so here we will explain how and why.
ioCreative makes content marketing a priority in our Website, Branding, and SEO services. Content marketing operates on all three levels, so we plan our strategies and tactics according to best practices and your own ideas of what makes your business stand out from your competitors. The end result is content marketing that keeps you relevant and your customers educated and ready to choose your business over your competition. Good content creates contentment.
How Content Marketing Works
Content marketing uses good design and composition as a means to an end: increased brand awareness, sales, and other customer engagement. The normal rules of copywriting apply: targeting specific audiences, having a hook, and using correct language. Storytelling helps, whether or not it’s directly about your history and importance in people’s lives.
Our “Local versus National SEO” page explains that local SEO appeals to niche local interests, while national SEO offers widespread brand awareness. Content marketing makes businesses appealing to both audiences. For instance, guest blogging earns you community outreach alongside backlinks, and social media campaigns set you apart among national brands. As we note under our SEO services, SEO needs content as a vessel for keywords, and algorithms like Google Hummingbird privilege authenticity. So a good marketing approach encapsulates content and SEO together.
Digital marketing in particular requires frequent updates to content. Industries, customers’ interests, and cultural landscapes change rapidly, so it’s important to keep content relevant and up-to-date. Luckily, search engine tools like Google Analytics can measure a marketing campaign’s success. They’ll show how many visitors reach a page, how long they stay, how often they make beneficial transactions, and more. They even show whether users got there from search engines, social media, links, or the address bar. Experts can determine whether these data call for improvement in content, SEO, or both.
Our collaborative approach considers content marketing and SEO, user behavior and search engine behavior. Our Website services contain user experience and copywriting, our Branding services contain graphic design, and our SEO services contain a natural flow between keywords and content. But we can hardly contain our excitement about releasing these strategic approaches into new websites.
Why Brands Should Contain Multitudes
All businesses can benefit from content marketing. After all, the content can tie your brand to topics of interest only tangentially-related to your product or service. Fundamentally, the benefits of content marketing don’t stay contained within content marketing. They spill over into other digital marketing steps, making them easier.
Brand awareness drives traffic, sales, and SEO. Users who start with your valuable content often decide that your product or service is equally valuable. They often develop loyalty based on the brand’s unique personality and remain loyal beyond a single transaction. Good content also creates opportunities for internal links across your site and backlinks (planned and unplanned) from other sites, improving your search ranking. Remember, only half of SEO’s success comes from strategies like keyword research. The other half comes from customers’ actual interactions.
We strive to measure and increase these customer interactions. Each brand is different, so our content marketing communicates a unique voice for each brand. If you share your brand’s unique merits (or USBs, unique selling benefits) with us, you can remain true to them in your daily business while we work out the technical details of marketing them. Good content requires thinking outside the box.