As an entrepreneur, you may have noticed that buyers are currently not ok with looking for a product and buying it just like that.
Thanks to the technology available to them, they investigate and verify prices, quality, and brands, among other things.
Therefore, it is not surprising that traditional marketing techniques, used for years, are no longer as effective in the age of technology.
The world and its inhabitants experience dizzying and constant changes, so it is logical that the forms of marketing also experience them.
Having commercials, advertisements and recommendations are no longer enough. If you want your business to succeed, you must use all the tools at your disposal to give your customers what they want and need, even before they know it: this is where content marketing appears.
You have probably heard this word sometimes, especially now that the term has become fashionable and that more and more online companies are using it, but …
What is content marketing?
According to JoePulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), content marketing is defined as:
A marketing technique for the creation and distribution of relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire and attract the attention of a well-defined target audience, with the aim of encouraging them to be future clients.
The fact that Pulizzi developed this concept a little over 10 years ago does not mean that this technique is necessarily new, rather, that in the past there was no special term to define it. Although the technique of content marketing is known to be used on the Internet, it is not exclusive to this medium. You can use content to improve the recognition of your brand inside and outside the domains of the internet.
Now that you have a clearer idea of what content marketing is, you surely ask yourself, how does it benefit me? Well, the answer is simple and I show it to you next.
What is the use of content marketing?
- Increase awareness of your brand. This is achieved with positioning. By having excellent content, your brand is positioned well in search engines like Google and increases the chances of a buyer finding your website when looking for solutions to their problems and answers to their questions.
- Increase the preference of the brand. The content you develop will help position your brand; This will not only be for the good products you offer but also for the fact of exercising as experts and leaders in the field, which in turn strengthens the relationship with customers.
- It offers greater reach at a lower cost. It is necessary to take into account that content marketing is not a short-term strategy, but one that takes time, effort and money. However, in the long run, the profits generated by the large library of content that you will have, will far outweigh the initial costs of attracting buyers.
So, how to start generating content for marketing? First of all, it should be noted that although the apogee of this marketing technique seems to have arisen due to the internet, publishing things online is not the only way to carry out content marketing. If you wonder how that is possible, then let me tell you a story.
How was Content marketing before the Internet existed
When I was little, despite enjoying games and toys for children, I had my own collection of Barbie dolls. However, this collection was minimal compared to the huge stack of Barbie magazines I had in my room.
Every month, without fail, I asked my mom to buy me the magazine. And she did not do it precisely for the articles, crafts, posters and other things it offered, but for the photo books. Each number contained 4 to 6, in which several dolls were photographed in different places, with different outfits and accessories, carrying out various activities and communicating with dialogues shown in bubbles, as happens in a comic.
The stories were not exactly literary works, but the team in charge of its elaboration was clearly aware of the group to which they were directed and how they should get hooked. The stories were divided into 2 or 3 parts, which were continued in the following issues of the magazine, which guaranteed that people would keep buying it for their interest in knowing the end. They also included advances in the next story. Such a distribution meant that I wanted to buy the next issue of the magazine even after the story I was reading ended.
Being just one of the many people who bought this magazine, it can be concluded that this generated great income to Mattel. In fact, without counting the number of magazines sold, there were already the income generated by the dolls, accessories and products promoted by the magazine inside and outside the photo- books.
Today, Barbie magazine continues to be published and the brand has expanded to such a point that not only has magazines but also novels, movies, and video games -both mobile and console-; In addition to being today, the most recognized brand of dolls that exists in the world.
Therefore, it goes without saying that the Barbie magazine is a clear example of Content Marketing outside the Internet, and the benefits that this strategy provides. To this can be added other Mattel brands, such as Max Steel and Transformers, which had their own television series. Other examples are: Winnie Pooh – which began as a book that became a series of stories, and an animated series, or Garfield, which started as a comic strip in the newspapers, among others.
Now, the other side of the coin is the online content which includes – but is not limited to – blogs, Youtube videos, presentations, etc.
The Marketing of Internet content is a little different but closely related to what we discussed earlier history. The big difference is simply that the Internet offers greater scope at a lower cost.
Today, almost everyone has access to the Internet and has the opportunity to develop their own content without spending huge amounts of money; therefore, it is not surprising that Content Marketing has become so popular online.
However, the fact that the Internet offers a greater scope does not mean it is easier to acquire customers through Content Marketing, quite the opposite. Because virtually anyone is able to create their own content, competition is even greater online, and getting people’s interest becomes more difficult; therefore, for this technique to be effective, valuable, relevant and interesting content is required.
It is not valid to publish anything that comes to mind, it has to be something that draws the attention of potential clients, that is useful to them and is written in a clear and precise language and format. The most common form of Online Content Marketing are blogs and videos, as well as electronic books – Ebooks -, infographics, slides, etc.
Examples of Online Content Marketing
I have a dog named Luke; rather my brother has a dog, however at this point Luke has practically become the family pet, so it can be said that I have a dog.
Luke has made us look for information on pets – particularly puppies -; from questions like what can or can not eat? , even when should he bathe? and how to train him so that he does not do his needs inside the house? ; so, naturally, as first-time owners we have seen the need to go to acquaintances by advice and always reliable Internet.
And, although the advice given by friends has been very useful, my brother prefers to look for answers on blogs and online forums because they are easy and quick to access and the information seems reliable.
One of my brother’s favorite blogs is part of a chain of pet supplies that we had heard about, but we had no intention of visiting. Even so, the articles published by this one continued being of their interest and useful, so my brother subscribed to the fan page of the mentioned blog and began to follow them on Twitter, and other social media.
Finally, my brother came across an article on How to teach your dog to go to the bathroom? , or something similar; the content of the publication was very well written, it had useful advice and in the end, as if it were not relevant, it mentioned the commercial products that could facilitate the task: such as repellents removes stains and mats coaches. Same as the store has available both disposable and synthetic grass.
Suffice it to say that my brother was fascinated with the information and that a short time later he visited the store to buy a rug. During his visit, in addition to some coupons, he received a magazine that not only promotes products from the store but also has more relevant content for pet owners -all kinds of pets- from how to identify diseases, to how to make them sleep at night. , etc.
This is a very effective form of Online Content Marketing and a great example of how to combine this with Content Marketing off the Internet.
At this point, you have probably already noticed. Although you can perform Content Marketing independently on and off the Internet, it is very rare that these strategies work without backing one another.
Returning to the doll and Mattel example, the company also owns lines of Barbie dolls that have gained a lot of popularity: EverAfter High and Monster High.
The dolls of the EverAfter High line arose from the great acceptance that Monster High had, and have a Content Marketing that includes both online and printed material. EverAfter High not only has dolls and merchandise, it also has a series of books written by Shannon Hale and a series of webisodes originally broadcast only on its official EverAfter High page, which are now available on Netflix; as the series has become one more of the original Netflix series.
The line of dolls is inspired by the children of the characters in fairy tales, and although it is aimed at a young audience; the content of their stories is so well posed that there is a large number of adult and adolescent fans, which has boosted the sales of this product to the point of even surpassing its predecessor, Monster High .
Mattel, supporting EverAfter High , has created a brand that attracts customers of all ages with content simple and fun enough to attract little girls; at the same time that it has tried to leave features that make it interesting for a larger audience that deepens and analyzes. The success of EverAfter High is a clear example of how to use Content Marketing on and off the Internet; as well as the importance of a well-planned quality material.
Why is content marketing so effective?
Now, you are probably thinking that these are just coincidences, that the success of EverAfter High is only due to the support of Mattel , that it was probably just a coincidence that my brother found the blog of the pet store and this transformed him into a client; that there’s no way this strategy works all the time. And honestly, you would not be at all wrong.
The marketing method mentioned in previous lines, is not always successful or at least not if what is published is of little interest or usefulness for readers. They will not continue reading or visit your page again unless it is good.
On the other hand, the good content of a page, in addition to increasing the number of visitors it has; It also serves to position you in the search engines, not only as the most reliable source of information but as the leader in the market in which you compete.
This is the reason why Content Marketing has become so popular, as well as the improvement of websites and web pages through Search Engine Optimization ( SEO ).
Blogs are the most common form of Online Content Marketing; more are not the only ones since there are also tutorial videos, slides, infographics, e-books, podcasts, manuals and even publications in social media such as Twitter, Facebook, Intagram, among others.
In fact, despite the impression you may have, not all Content Marketing has to be serious and informative. It can also be funny and entertaining, as people often turn to the Internet to distract themselves and laugh for a while. Therefore the online content is also usually fun and funny.
But how do you know what kind of content you should publish? What are the articles that will attract the customers you are looking for? Or what is interesting and attractive?
Well, the answer is simple. You have to know your audience.
How should I write content to attract customers?
Simple, start by analyzing what kind of situation you are in. Ask yourself: what kind of company am I? What do I do? What is my competence? What do they do? and find out what your company’s current impression is. In short, what is said about you?
After having done this self-evaluation and analysis of your competence, it is necessary that you set goals. These can be multiple or individual; The point is to identify what your goal is and what you want to achieve: increase sales, improve your reputation, be more known, etc.
Subsequently, of course, this is the public. It is necessary to create people so that you can pose content that is attractive to these “people”. So ask yourself: Where do these people live? How old are you? What is it that catches your attention? What are you looking for? How can you help them? but above all: “how is it that you have received your content? Through Twitter ?, Facebook? …
Then, once your company and its competition are analyzed, as well as the public; It’s time to proceed with the content. So … ask yourself: what content do I have ?, and what is it that my clients seek?
Finally, once your content is developed, it only remains to determine how will you distribute it?
Resources and Articles Related to Content Marketing
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The last step: How do I choose a platform
You can have the best content in the world, but if you do not know how to take advantage of the means of dissemination that exist today to make it known, nothing will work. So diffuse it, either through social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc., paying for small advertising spaces or simply collaborating on other sites and blogs. The point is that your content comes to light and reaches the people you want to see; so use everything you’ve learned about your customers to determine which is the best means of dissemination and use it.
With this, you are ready to start in the world of Content Marketing ; So go ahead, do not be afraid of this strategy and start.