What is Content Marketing?
To start, what exactly is content marketing?
Content marketing is a strategic marketing and business process that focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience and ultimately to drive profitable customer action.
Even though content marketing has grown in popularity in the past ten years with the rise if web 2.0, content marketing is not a new concept.
In fact, one of the first signs of content marketing can be dated back to 4200 B.C, with a cave wall publishing on how to stay protected from wild boars.
The Evolution of Content Marketing for Business
Nowadays, the foundation for content marketing is pretty much the same.
It is all about your audience, what they value, and how you can help to educate them.
When done correctly, this helps to create a relationship with your audience, which leads to trust.
And if your audience trusts you, then they are willing to do business with you when they are ready to make a purchasing decision.
In order to communicate with your audience, you need to produce content.
Content is the message your content marketing strategy delivers.
It is what you are trying to deliver to your visitors, leads, customers and promoters.
There are a lot of different ways you can deliver a message- blogs, emails, website pages, social media, and print collateral.
But without content, you did have nothing to deliver.
The Importance of Content Marketing for Small Business
Content has the very important job of pulling people from one stage of the inbound methodology to another.
It plays an integral part in the Attract, Close, Convert and Delight stage.
Your content should attract the right people to your site, convert those people into leads, and nurture and help close them into customers.
But it does not stop there, as your content should always delight your customers, turning them into promoters of your brand.
In a nutshell, content marketing is really just the art of communicating with your prospects and customers without having to sell to them.
As opposed to marketing or advertising your products and services, you are creating helpful, entertaining content that your prospects and customers could enjoy and learn from.
If it sounds like inbound marketing and content marketing are similar, that is because they are.
They both focus on empowering potential customers, building a lasting relationship with your audience, and creating valuable content that both entertains and educates them.
But what is the difference between them, and why do you need both?
You should think in terms of “and” not “or” when it comes to the content marketing, inbound marketing relationship.
Success relies on both.
Content may help fuel your inbound engine, but there are similarly valuable inbound projects-like technical SEO, product or service trials, marketing automation, and interactive tools that may exist outside of the scope of a content marketer.
This is where inbound marketing comes in as a valuable counterpart.
If you aren’t opening yourself up to the wide range of inbound practices, then you are limiting the potential of growth and impact you can have as a marketer or marketing leader.
In other words, your inbound plan should be a superset-inclusive of your content assets but not limited to them.
There are implications for organizational structure, roles and responsibilities as well as skills procurement.
Why Do You Need to Develop a Content Marketing Business Model?
If you are just like most marketers, you always begin your content marketing efforts with the best intentions.
You should have some great ideas for content in order to resonate and connected well with the reader.
In order to do that, you should have some thoughts about places to promote that content.
You also need to find the resource as well as the time that you will require to develop an effective content marketing plan.
But the problem is that you don’t.
To fully realize the potential content marketing offers, it is crucial for you to have a plan.
It may sound cliché or simple, yet is a step that many content marketers disregarded or overlooked.
For your information, there is 70 per cent of marketers are lacking the consistent or integrated content strategy.
While only 29 per cent of leading marketers systematically reuse and repurpose the content.
The reason is easy – to create such a plan is not easy and daunting.
It requires the skills of content marketers to analyse where their marketing efforts have been and what is the objective to achieve in the future time.
The Value of a Content Marketing Plan
Indeed, the content marketing plan is more than just content.
Why is it so hard for content marketers to create such a strategic plan for their content?
This is because they do not take the strategic approach to the content plan to ensure the message cuts through the clutter and reaches your target audience with the right information at the right time.
The Importance of Having an Effective Content Marketing Business Plan
That goes without saying that having an effective content marketing plan is crucial for the next step that you will take.
Basically, the content marketing plan is your roadmap to a successful content marketing effort.
To get a good start, an effective strategic plan will clearly define the key elements of your effort,
It will clearly specify and outline clearly on who you will be talking to, what you will say and how you are going to say it, where the content will be promoted, and what is the chance of you will be the success.
By having this type of plan, it keeps everyone who involved in creating and sharing your content on the same page.
This helps to ensure you have sufficient resources to manage all aspect of a successful content campaign.
From writing and posting to sharing and tracking, each of your team members should understand and knows what needs to happen and when should happen.
Furthermore, you have the guide or roadmap that you could share with the others.
Inevitably, this helps to ensure that your content marketing goals are in alignment with and are fully supported for the goals of your organization.
Besides, by sharing the plan also gets other in your organization to buy into the role that content plays in making the organization to the successful path.
This does not just act a support for your efforts, but it also gives you a team of employees who are engaged and willing to share the company’s content.
Thus, by having a clear understanding of the value of your content marketing plan and strategy will provide a good head start for you!
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