Hello! In this article we will talk about content marketing.
Business does not work without advertising. Even if you have the best product and best service, what’s the point if no one knows about the product. In order for more people to know about you, marketing was invented. In this article we’ll talk about one of its areas – content marketing (what it is, why it is needed and how much it costs).
What is plain language content marketing
Content marketing is a strategy for promoting a product or service through materials that are useful to potential customers.
In simple words, content marketing is selling through quality materials. Moreover, the sale is not explicit, but veiled. You kind of tell the client how to solve his problem, but do it under your brand. And it is beneficial for the reader if the material is really high-quality, and you, because they say about you.
Content marketing has emerged as a counterweight to advertising, which directly begs “well buy.” This approach is a thing of the past. Now too many companies are competing for consumer attention, a huge number of brands. It was on the general wave of the war for the attention of customers that content marketing appeared.
He appeared in the West and actively developed there. Its fundamental principle: creating useful content for consumers. So the company solves two problems: shows its expertise and talks about its product. And it works. Indeed, large companies that use this method of attracting customers receive additional sales.
The principles of content marketing have remained unchanged:
- Make useful content.
- Answer questions from readers.
- Sell your products / services.
There are several fundamental differences in content marketing:
- To answer consumer questions in the most detailed way possible, dispel his fears and motivate him for the target action.
- Greater customer focus, not search queries.
- A certain style of presentation of the material is formed.
- The industry is fully studied, down to the smallest detail.
Content marketing involves deep work with the industry. You need to thoroughly study the business and the product, and after that already tell, seasoning with the correct presentation. Content marketing is a complex advertising direction that is suitable only for professionals in their industry.
When do content marketing apply?
It is difficult to name specific niches for content marketing. Just because different channels for attracting customers will be effective for different companies. For content marketing, there are conditions for effective work:
- The consumer has questions about the product. This is the main thing that content marketing works with. It is necessary to explain to the potential customer why he needs this product (with what it will help and what problems it will solve).
- Questions are searched in search engines. Most of the content will be textual, which means that traffic from search engines is needed. If there are requests, then content marketing will be effective.
- The company has experts. If you have people who can simply and clearly talk about the product, then everything is fine. But if they are not there, and you yourself can hardly explain why you should buy something from you, then content marketing will not help. To write a good article, you need not only an ideal author, but also an expert who will give all the necessary information.
- Resources are available for producing content. If you have a good special, but it is constantly busy with work, or you do not have a free advertising budget, you do not need to engage in content marketing. Continuous, inseparable production of useful materials is the key to successful work.
If all conditions are met, then content marketing will be effective. If everything is debatable, then it’s better to look at other advertising channels, such as Google, social media targeting and cold sales.
Content Marketing Methods
Now let’s dwell on how content marketing works in general. The main task is to sell, through materials useful to the client. This means that we need objective materials from specialists who will show the advantages of the product, as well as give a lot of useful information to potential buyers.
Content marketing additionally helps build your brand so that consumers do not have doubts about your professionalism.
Content marketing is not just about articles. These are mailings, and publications on social networks, videos on Youtube and work with those media that you can reach. The whole strategy looks something like this:
Make a content plan -> find the right media for the company -> make the material -> publish -> advertise and increase your reach -> work out the feedback.
Usually use the following content marketing tools:
- Own site. This is the core. The site publishes text materials, links to social networks, all videos, announcements.
- Social networks. Not suitable for every business. With the right choice of niche and competent promotion, more customers can give than any other advertisement.
- Post office. Of course, email newsletters are almost dead. But in some industries, it is still an effective tool to attract customers.
- MEDIA. It’s hard to do without them. These are company notes, product stories and services, unobtrusive advertising.
There is another important thing that some marketing agencies have burned on. It is necessary to write for potential clients, and not for specialists who need practical knowledge. A striking example of such an error is MadCats. They created materials for copywriters, editors, managers, for anyone, but not for businessmen. The company has established itself among professionals as a cool agency, but this information has not reached the customers.
To summarize: the main sales tool is useful content. It can be text, video, picture. You can publish your content on your website, on Youtube, in social networks and in the media.
Advantages and disadvantages of content marketing
Each advertising method has its pros and cons.
Pluses of content marketing:
- Raises the status. If you make useful materials, you look like an expert in the eyes of readers. So, your product should be the same. And this is another reason to think about buying.
- It works for a long time. Quality content lives long. Especially in those niches where fundamentally nothing changes. There are many real-life examples of how people changed their niche, but cool content brought them customers for another 2-3 years.
- It does not cause irritation. Proven fact: native advertising practically does not irritate readers.
- You can create viral content. If you make truly high-quality material for users, they will quickly distribute it. And this will increase coverage, give good growth to indicators and ultimately increase sales.
Cons of content marketing:
- Long leads the first customers. For content marketing to bring the first customers, 3-6 months must pass. This is the standard minimum period after which efforts produce results.
- Expensive. Content marketing can be created with company resources. But this is not as effective as outsourcing everything. And this will bring additional costs.
- It requires constant work. Content marketing is too proactive. Every second company considers it their duty to create useful content and thereby try to attract new customers. Therefore, this is a continuous race when you have to make increasingly useful and high-quality materials.
- Does not guarantee a result. If you use content marketing correctly, it will certainly yield results. But in the case of small business and even some niches on average it will be much cheaper and more efficient to buy simple advertising or talk about your product head-on.
Content marketing is not the best form of advertising. And this is not the next step in the evolution of marketing. This is another tool that can lead customers. But there is no guarantee that it will be more effective than standard methods. And, of course, there is no guarantee that the investment will pay off.
Successful Content Marketing Examples
For clarity, let’s talk about successful examples of content marketing. From this small selection you can see what you need to focus on when creating quality materials.
Thinkwithgoogle is a Google project that talks about everything related to advertising, search engines, and business. Many useful articles on industries, mobile and desktop advertising, research and marketing analytics. There are even cases from readers. In the first place in the blog is exactly the benefit. Each article answers a specific question or offers a solution. The popularity is also evidenced by the fact that the site has been translated into more than 10 languages. And for each region – separate articles.
To some extent, Thinkwithgoogle is the benchmark for global content marketing. These are useful articles for consumers, minimum verbal waste and maximum benefit. This is what any person who decides to engage in content marketing should strive for.