(5 Minute Read) 

 

Definition of Content Marketing 

Content marketing is the process of delivering relevant and valuable information to your audience. What this means is that you must create content based off analysis from your current customers as well as what the market is asking what they want information on. Where most brands fail, is in delivering their content in only one form.  

Here is what I mean by that. Content is consumed in several ways by your audience. Some like to consume it through video while others like to consume it through written articles or even audio. Without fully understanding who likes to consume what from your audience, the best approach is to ensure every single piece of your content that you are creating is produced in all three of these mediums. 

More definitions: 

Joe Pulizzi’s Content Marketing Institute defines content marketing as: 

“Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach 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.” 

Neil Patel takes this definition a little deeper: 

“[It’s] a long-term strategy that focuses on building a strong relationship with your target audience by giving them high-quality content that is very relevant to them on a consistent basis.” 

And Rebecca Lieb: 

“It isn’t advertising. It isn’t push marketing, in which messages are sprayed out at groups of consumers. Rather, it’s a pull strategy – it’s the marketing of attraction. It’s being there when consumers need you and seek you out with relevant, educational, helpful, compelling, engaging, and sometimes entertaining information.” 

Build Brand Equity 

Going about content marketing the right way will be beneficial to your brand. It’s all about building brand equity, meaning your brand becomes more valuable over time as you build high-quality and valuable pieces of content. The more you answer your audience’s questions, the more your brand becomes an authority within your industry. 

Content Marketing is NOT 

One thing we need to understand is content marketing is not writing marketing content. The difference here is content marketing is ultimately answering the questions your audience are craving answers for thereby delivering the value your audience is seeking. 

This is not to say content marketing does not create opportunities for sales, however, your main goal when putting together a content marketing strategy and delivering and executing on the actual content is to ensure you are providing value. The ultimate question to always ask as if you were in the shows of our audience is, “what’s in it for me?” 

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Become a Thought Leader with Financial Assets 

What this means is for you as a brand is by becoming thought leaders in your space, delivering the content that your audience is craving, they will come to you therefore driving demand to your brand. 

We as brands need to understand and look at our content as financial assets. They are investments in our future of becoming the authority in the industry, driving leads to your sales team and driving demand to your brand. Content marketing is less expensive than other marketing avenues such as paid advertising. If you have an in-house person that can deliver constant, quality, and valuable content you are going to further your authority in the industry you serve. This helps to fill your pipeline with new leads. There is a key purpose for ads when it comes to your content, and we will talk about that in a future upcoming article. 

It’s an Investment not an Expense – Mind Shift 

As you look to invest in content marketing or increase your investment in the current content marketing you are producing , please understand content marketing is sustainable.  This means you can produce content even if there is no revenue coming in the door because you are not paying for the content to be produced, well maybe except for the staff member. Whereas paid advertising is an expense when it comes to your marketing budget. Understand this is not me saying paid advertising is the devil. What I am saying is paid advertising has a role and that role is to distribute your content. We need to stop thinking as paid advertising as commercials and more on delivering value. 

So, it’s normal to have uneasiness about investing in a strategy that seems conjectural in nature. But stats don’t lie. Consider these numbers: 

  • Web-site growth:

    Companies that a blog or resources page have on average, 434% more indexed pages than those that do not. More content equates to more traffic, and content marketers have seen 7.8 times higher year-over-year growth in unique site traffic. (Source: Aberdeen) – Side note – even in 2023 and on you (after the 3rd party cookie less world) you can still retarget this traffic with valuable advertising. 

  • Leaner budget but Larger results:

    Content marketing produces 3X more leads than paid search advertising. Additionally, it costs 62% less to execute content marketing versus any other type of campaign. (Source: Demand Metric) 

  • Higher conversion rates:

    Brands that use content marketing can expect 6X higher conversion rates. (Source: Aberdeen) Why? Because you are getting the buyer in a stage of when they are actively looking for a solution for their challenge. 

  • More Eye Balls:

    47% of internet users read blogs daily. (Source: Statista) 

  • Buyers crave content in the decision-making process:

    80% of business owners and executives prefer to learn about brands through articles rather than ads. 41% of B2B buyers consume three to five pieces of content before talking to sales. (Source: Demand Gen Report) 

  • Thought leadership:

    Developing a credible library of content that signals your authority and expertise draws in decision-makers. In fact, 60% of buyers said thought leadership convinced them to purchase a product or service they had never considered previously. (Source: Edelman-LinkedIn) 

Why Content Marketing Matters 

Content marketing matters because your audience says it does. They are not saying it aloud to you but the statistics in all marketing channels speak about how much a buyer consumes before even remotely looking to purchase. No one wants to be sold to, really! This comes from a sales professional. They want to be educated on the value that your Brand and service might provide for them. Sometimes yes, they do not know they have a pain, and content can help them realize this pain.  

People, your audience, like stories. How and why XYZ overcame a challenge – oh wait that is a similar challenge that I have – and what they did in their decision-making process to choose your brand to help.  

Conclusion 

Content marketing is a long-term strategy. It is not one you can do for 3 months, 6 months, or even a year and expect to have results delivered exponentially. Now, don’t get me wrong, this can happen if you have a strong content marketing strategy which we will jump into our next article. Really it all comes down to your mindset into the investment of your brand and its content for the long term.  

So, how are you going to go about your content marketing strategy? Stay tuned, next week we will go into this.  

epIQ Creative Group drives demand to your brand! We deploy our multi-channel marketing system that focuses on delivering smart messaging and value to your audience. Our method includes a mix of content creation and distribution, outbound personalized and targeted messaging, and effective social media management. The epIQ method increases the velocity of pipeline growth for brands of all industries looking to scale and drive demand to their brand.