Content Marketing: What, Why and How To

06 Jun 2013  |  eMarketing Social
Content marketing engages your customer

In an age where we are bombarded with advertising from every direction it’s becoming increasingly difficult to get your message heard. Content marketing takes a different approach to conventional advertising by providing a useful resource that customers willingly seek out, rather than an unwanted interruption or annoyance to be avoided.

Let’s face it, we’ve all skipped the adverts in magazines, grabbed a drink during the ad-breaks on TV and zoned out during that radio ad we’ve heard three times in the last hour. With so many people trying to sell us so many things, it’s not easy to make an impression, which is why Content Marketing is becoming an increasingly powerful tool.

The theory of Content Marketing is simple: by providing valuable and informative content that your customers actually want to read, and making it easily available for them to find and use voluntarily, you increase not only visibility and trust in your brand, but also the loyalty of customers who appreciate the expertise and value you have added.

Case Study: Deere and Co.

One of the pioneers of Content Marketing in the early 1900s was John Deere, founder of Deere & Co. His company built agricultural equipment, so to add value to his offering, he launched “The Furrow” magazine, aimed at helping farmers increase their profitability.

Not only is the “The Furrow” still published today (in 12 different languages, across 40 different countries), but Deere & Company is now the leading manufacturer of agricultural machinery worldwide, and a trusted name in farming communities everywhere.

With its roots in print, radio and TV, there’s plenty of evidence that Content Marketing works, but it’s online that it’s really blossoming.

Online Content Marketing: What makes it so effective?

Online users are becoming increasingly immune to the banners, buttons and popups that litter the internet these days. Very few are actually paying attention to what those ads say, and some even block them from showing up at all.

Content Marketing provides companies with a way to shift the emphasis from “speaking at” consumers (and often being ignored), to focus on engaging them voluntarily, instead. Because the consumers are actively seeking the information you provide, they are more likely to:

Content marketing strategy

How to implement an Online Content Marketing strategy

There are 4 main steps to implementing an Online Content Marketing strategy.

  1. Identify the interests of your target market that relate directly to your product/service.
  2. Create content around those interests that is accurate and engaging. Consider content that answers common questions, gives new perspective or insight, or raises issues that encourage consumers to participate in discussions.
  3. Optimise your content so that it’s easily found by search engines.
  4. Link your content clearly, and directly, to the products and services it relates to – when your customers are won over by your content, it needs to be easy for them to make a purchase or enquiry.

Case Study: Wolf Brothers Online Jewellery Store

Step 1: Refresh Creative Media conducted a study for Wolf Brothers Jewellers in order to formulate a content marketing strategy for their online presence. We identified that the market was interested in education around diamond rings, engagement rings, and jewellery, and that an education resource around this content would add genuine value to Wolf Brothers’ offering.

Step 2 and 3: We created this resource and then optimized it for search engines, ensuring it was not only informative, but also easy for customers to find online.

Step 4: All of the content links back to products sold by Wolf Brothers, so once a customer has learned about engagement rings, it’s a simple step to make a purchase.

Tips and tricks for getting the most out of your content

If you follow the four steps above, you’ll be well on your way to an effective Content Marketing strategy, but the following tips will ensure it remains valuable in the long-term.

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