What’s Content Marketing and Why You Need It

If you’ve been doing business online for any amount of time, you’ve probably heard a new phrase about using proprietary information to attract and retain customers. You’ve heard it’s all the rage–search engines love it, prospects love it, sometimes it even goes viral.

So, just what is content marketing?

Content Marketing

It is using any type of content to attract prospects and convert them to customers,  and to reconvert previous customers to repeat buyers.

By creating and sharing free yet highly valuable information, you get your target audience to know, like, and trust you enough to buy from you. This new form of branding and marketing your business is highly popular online because the internet makes it easy to share all types of content.

What is highly valuable information?

Most businesses who wonder “What is content marketing?” get hung up on the word “valuable.” When you use content and information to build your brand, you have to offer something of value. Otherwise, your content will never be consumed or shared.

Valuable content can take many forms. Some popular ways of offering value to your prospects include:

  • creating how-to’s and tutorials
  • answering frequently asked questions
  • solving common problems
  • providing cutting-edge industry news

Sharing valuable, or value-packed, content does not mean giving away the information in your books, courses, or consulting packages for free. But you can use valuable content to prove that you know your industry and to set up your company as the number-one resource in your field.

Value-packed content has another major benefit: it’s more likely to be shared. The more your content is shared, the more potential customers will see it, recognize your brand, and possibly choose to buy from you.

Plus, when your content gets shared you’ll get more love from search engines, who are paying a lot more attention to what other people are saying about you than ever.

What are the benefits of content marketing for your business?

Your content will always be related to your products and industry, but instead of pushing the sale like traditional advertising, content draws your prospects to you so you can gently guide them through the sales funnel. Marketing with valuable content can do a lot for your business, including:

  • build your brand’s trust, credibility, and authority
  • educate prospects about your product, brand, and industry
  • position you as a thought leader
  • spread brand awareness as it is shared
  • reinforce brand recognition and encourage brand loyalty
  • keep your company at the top of your prospects’ minds
  • attract new prospects and generate leads
  • lead to increased sales and happier customers

What kind of traditional advertising can do all that at once?

How to get started with content marketing

Now that we’ve explained what is content marketing, it’s time to make this marketing powerhouse work in your favor. Copyblogger.com has a great 10-step checklist for marketing with content, as well as a series of posts to help you further refine and expand your efforts.

Some of the most popular types of content to use include:

  • articles
  • blogs
  • videos
  • podcasts
  • webinars
  • slideshows
  • infographics
  • press releases
  • white papers
  • case studies
  • special reports

The great thing about content marketing is that you can choose what content to create based on how much work you put in and how much it engages your prospects. In fact, the matrix below from PRWeb provides great content ideas based on those two factors.

Content and branding large

Image source

Have you tried marketing your business with valuable content? Please leave comment below and let us know your thoughts.