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Content Marketing: A Modern Guide

Content Marketing: A Modern Guide
Content Marketing

A business can choose to market itself in a number of ways to make itself known. Technically, any activity or process that works to provide value for an audience of potential customers falls within the scope of marketing.

These days, the power of marketing has moved beyond signs and billboards and into intangible spaces on the internet and in social media. While many companies use online advertising to place ads and relevant links to their products into webpages and social media timelines, ads are a passive way to market — they appear within other content as an interruption, and are easy to scroll past and ignore. These days, a good number of businesses work to remain active with content marketing as well: a new way to reach the customer and provide value.

What is Content Marketing?

Content can be a number of things we consume: text, images, audio, video. Using content as a portion of a company’s marketing strategy means the company must consistently produce quality content of some sort that will be of value to their potential customer base.

This can be a lot of work. Posting a daily image, writing short blog articles, recording a brief video — these are all time-consuming things that will take up valuable employee time. And it can’t just be any kind of content; the content your business produces needs to be interesting, useful, and/or entertaining to the customer, or else your potential audience won’t stay.

The best kind of content marketing works to bring ideal customers into your space, rather than projecting ads into their spaces. This kind of draw can bring the target market right into your company’s space, and can lead to positive customer interactions that ideally will drive sales.

Content Marketing Examples

It’s usually best to explain how content marketing works through examples. For the first example, consider a local lawn care and landscaping business looking to expand their customer base into more wealthy neighborhoods. They could run ads on television and various websites, but instead they decide to look into content marketing as well. They could start posting articles to a blog in their webspace talking about what’s involved in their services and how they can improve the quality of one’s yard.

They could even post images of work they’ve done, showing before and after shots to demonstrate the quality of their work. They might want to post informative how-to articles as well, so that users who might google ‘how often do I need to mow my lawn’ or ‘how to care for tulips’ might find their webpage as an answer. They could even provide video explanations of different kinds of water features, for example, to help homeowners understand what’s best for their own yard before moving to schedule service.

In these cases, the goal is to provide content that has value to these potential customers — consider the difference between regularly posting positive reviews of past work, and regularly posting content on how to garden in the local climate. Most homeowners only care to read reviews when they’re already decided they need a service, and won’t be looking for that information otherwise.

However, a number of homeowners putting ‘local flowers full sun’ into a search engine like Google or MSN may come to an article written by this company, read through the information, and decide to make a call for service based on the content provided. The key is to bring in potential users of the company’s products and services and have positive, valuable interactions.

Content Marketing Strategy

The first step in building a content marketing strategy is to identify the ideal customer. This may involve identifying the target markets for your goods and services, but also should represent where you want your business to go.

For example, the lawn service company above might decide their ideal customers are homeowners with children looking to get more value out of their lawn — or they might decide their ideal customers are homeowners without children, who can spend time on an intricate garden layout. Each of those situations will require a very different approach when it comes to marketing content.

The next step is determining what these customers need from your company, and how to communicate it to them. If the target market is DIY gardeners, then the content the business focuses on should give tips and tricks on how to create a stunning garden with common tools. If this is the case, written blog entries can provide this, but images and videos might add a bit extra. In other cases, a written story might be the best approach. Some companies will release podcasts for their followers to listen to, providing entertainment as well.

In today’s markets, where nearly every business is evolving to offer additional value through content, the best way to stand apart is to be creative. Make sure the content you provide is unique, interesting, and well-executed — and consistent. Building up a bank of useful content only increases your chances of attracting potential customers, who might be drawn in by one article and end up spending time browsing your website and making a purchase.

Help with Content Marketing

To help your business grow through effective content writing, a dedicated team of professionals is standing by. Contact Wordsmyth Creative Content Marketing today for help with your content writing needs.

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