Content marketing is a phrase you’ve heard more and more of over the last couple years. It’s not just a fad in marketing; it’s here to stay, and you should probably know what it means before your competition gets ahead of you.
Which of the below headlines for Pretend Pizza are you more likely to click on?
- Pretend Pizza is #1
- The Most Important Ingredients In Pretend Pizza’s Gordo Pie
The correct answer is the second option.
So, what is content marketing?
Content marketing is the proof that you’re the expert in town. By creating useful content about your topic, you’re informing potential customers that you know what you’re doing. So in the case of Pretend Pizza you might want to share with your customers information on…
- your quality ingredients
- your business history which started in Italy
- your special technique for making pizza
- your best non-pizza menu items
We wouldn’t just create those topics randomly though. These content topics would be chosen based on the information your ideal customer is looking for from you (which could very well be those things I listed). What questions are your customers asking you? What’s your biggest suggestion from customers? Is there a certain type of customer who comes in more often (local high school team, firefighters, etc)? What are you known for already?
Content marketing works best when you’re arming the customer with all the info they need to make a wise purchase decision.
Not all content creation is blogging
Every customer absorbs content differently. Sure, a lot of content marketing ends up being blog posts, but there are many other types of content. Some other forms are:
- New website pages
- Share-able graphics
As a bonus, you can actually re-purpose blog posts to any of the above mediums. For instance, I could take this blog post and turn it into a Slideshare presentation. Then I could turn that Slideshare presentation into a YouTube/ Vimeo/ Facebook video with narration. Then I can isolate that narration and turn it into a podcast. Test me, and I’ll turn this post into an Instagram image and a Tumblr animated gif.
But why go through the trouble of re-purposing all that content?
Maybe a large portion of your audience doesn’t read blogs. Maybe they like videos or easy-to-absorb infographics. Give them options.
What’s the difference between inbound and content marketing
I hesitate even bringing this up because the differences between inbound and content marketing shouldn’t really concern you. For all-intensive purposes, they’re the same. In reality though, there are differences. Think of it this way…
Inbound marketing is the umbrella. Content marketing is the metal spokes and umbrella handle.
Perhaps one day, I’ll write a long blog post about this topic. For now though, let’s move on.
Is content really the king?
Content is becoming more “king-like” as the internet gets smarter.
Take SEO for instance. Back in the day, getting a lot of backlinks would make you rank higher than the competition– it didn’t matter the source of the link. Nowadays, getting tons of spammy backlinks is a death sentence for your website on Google. In general, backlinks as a whole are significantly less a part of SEO. Today, good content dominates the search engines. Google (and Bing) wised up to better tactics to figure out which websites are making the internet a better place and which ones are cluttering it with junk. Content marketing and SEO go hand-in-hand.
Any search engine guru that doesn’t include quality content in the SEO strategy should be reported to the Better Business Bureau
As a second example, let’s look at social media. Without great content that YOU OWN (you don’t own your Facebook Page, you do own your website), you’re missing potential website traffic and meaningful interactions. When you share all your good content as a Facebook status, it stays on Facebook. That serves a purpose, but wouldn’t you rather maximize the potential results? Get those people to your website and get them sharing links to your website.
A social media strategy that doesn’t involve quality content is (almost) a waste of time
We will almost never recommend signing up with just one service because everything works together as you can now see. That’s why we advertise “all-inclusive content marketing”; it’s really the only way to do internet marketing these days.
At this point, you should get the gist of content marketing and how it can help your business. In summary…
- Content marketing lets your customer know that you’re the best in town.
- The content can take many forms, not just blog posts
- Don’t worry about inbound vs content marketing
- All internet marketing channels work together
Have you had success already with content marketing?