What is Content Marketing?


Published: April 3, 2017 Author: Jason Holicky - Hometown Design Studio Inc.
What is Content Marketing?

By now you have probably heard of content marketing, or you have at least stumbled upon the term here and there. If you are not sure what content marketing means or how it can help you get results on the web, then you have come to the right place.

What is Content Marketing

Before we get into what content marketing is, we must take a moment to tell you what it is not. Content marketing is not advertising. It is not a sales pitch.

Content marketing will not work if you push for the hard sell. Instead, content marketing is more like a conversation; a way to make connections with people on the web.

In the simplest terms, content marketing is the use of materials on the web to attract an audience and then drive that audience to take action. More than 80% of shoppers research on their own before making a purchase decision.

Content marketing serves as the answers to the questions that consumers ask before choosing where to spend their money--and most of the time before ever making direct contact with a company.

How Content Marketing Works

Content marketing is meant to add value to the consumer’s shopping experience. By providing valuable insight into your company and information about how your products and services will make your customers’ lives easier, you promote positive feelings about your company and begin to build the trust that is an essential part of every transaction.

Consider the rule of reciprocity: people tend to give back the kind of treatment they receive from another. When you pay forward the good treatment of your customers by providing free information with no pressure to make a sale, your audience will be primed for a positive interaction with your company when they are ready.

Content marketing is also the fuel that fires an inbound marketing campaign, or one that seeks to bring customers to you rather than dispatching sales people out to recruit customers. It will boost your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) efforts and provide the path that people need to find your products and services. (Don’t worry, we’ll cover how this all works in a future post).

More than Words

The most common form that content marketing takes is blog posts and articles. However, content can include virtually anything you create that adds value to the research and shopping experience. Here are just a few examples of the forms content can take:

  • Infographics.

    Usually used to visually represent data and statistics, infographics are a great way to communicate a lot of details in a visually-appealing way and are easily shareable.

  • Podcasts.

    Whether the user listens online or downloads for offline enjoyment, podcasts are a perfect for interviews, lengthy explanations, and other valuable information. Podcasts are an important content component as they extend your audience reach beyond typical web browsing patterns.

  • Videos.

    From short videos embedded into social media updates to longer how-tos on your website, videos provide a way to connect with an audience that prefers to skip long paragraphs of type or for conveying complex ideas that are more hands on.

Stay Tuned

Our next several posts will delve into the finer details of using content marketing to get results. We’ll go over more reasons to choose content, how to set up a campaign, the many forms that content can take and how to maximize the potential of each, and how to get your content in front of the right people.

Categories: Content Marketing
About the Author

Creative Director Jason co-founded Hometown Design Studio of New Lenox, IL in 2013. He spends his days guiding and consulting industrial clients and small businesses owners on their marketing strategy and projects. Jason enables everyone to be successful and grow their business by sharing his knowledge and experience.
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