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What Exactly Is Content Marketing?

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A team discussing content marketing strategies

Oftentimes, it seems like there is no limit to the ever-evolving terminology used in the field of Marketing. Referral Marketing, Diversity Marketing, Cause Marketing, and even Guerrilla Marketing are all common terms used in today’s business world. Add any random noun before the word “marketing” and you’ll likely come up with a term that’s been coined before.

So, what exactly is “Content Marketing?” Based upon the name alone, we can deduce that it involves using content to market our products and services. However, we need to keep in mind that simply producing content is just one variable in the equation. Content Marketing is an entire marketing strategy that revolves around the use of content to move prospects through the sales funnel.

Let’s take a look at the official definition according to the Content Marketing Institute:

“Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”

-Content Marketing Institute

According to this definition, the goal of Content Marketing is to both attract and retain a clearly defined audience. You’re not simply pushing your products or shoving advertisements in your target market’s face, you’re creating content that draws them in and keeps them engaged up until the point where they finally make a purchase.

Your methods of distribution should also be just as targeted as the content itself. 

Why Use Content Marketing?

Research shows that many of the top companies in the world use Content Marketing to promote their brands and generate more sales. Microsoft, John Deere, P&G, and Cisco all use this strategy on a regular basis and have been for decades. Why do these large corporations all use Content Marketing? Because it simply works.

Check out this video with some great examples of how Content Marketing is done:

Increase Your Sales

Rather than simply say, “it works” we should probably explain what exactly Content Marketing can do for your business. First of all, a great Content Marketing campaign will increase your overall sales. Targeted, quality content at each stage of the sales funnel helps you both attract and retain your customers, resulting in more people making it to the POP (Point of Purchase).

Reduce Your Expenses

Second, you’ll reduce your expenses by a substantial amount, due to the cost-effective nature of content marketing—at least on the web. Although ad space on the internet is no longer free, promoting your content online is still much more affordable and has a better return on investment (ROI) than traditional forms of media. Television, Radio, Billboards, and other traditional advertising media are just too expensive and inaccessible for the average small business.

Find More Loyal Customers

Finally, Content Marketing helps you identify and nurture more loyal customers. Potential leads that have made it all the way through the sales funnel and have engaged with your content are much more likely to make additional purchases in the future. This is because once a prospect has engaged with your brand’s content and interacted with it on a regular basis, they’re more likely to identify with it.

Content Isn’t Going Anywhere, Anytime Soon.

As traditional marketing media fade into obscurity and the internet continues to grow, Content Marketing can only be expected to grow with it. However, with record numbers of internet users and content on the web, you’ll have to be much more strategic with your content creation and distribution efforts. The only real difference between “spam” and “non-spam” is how the recipient views the value of the content.

If you receive a pop-up ad or email about something that you don’t care about, you’ll most likely delete it. If you see content that catches your eye and creates interest, on the other hand, you’ll have a completely different reaction. Therefore, creating targeted content and distributing it through the channels that your audience uses is what determines the success of your Content Marketing efforts.

Content Marketing Is Just a Piece of the Puzzle

Unfortunately, Content Marketing by itself isn’t enough to generate leads and create customers. You need to accompany it with effective SEO, Inbound Marketing, Social Media Marketing, and Content Strategy. Keeping an eye on your PPC (Pay per Click) will also make a big impact on the effectiveness of your advertising dollars.

You also need to consider what kind of Marketing Technology you’re using to identify, nurture, and generate leads. Without the right technology and the right setup, you could be producing great content without using the right tools to optimize and monitor your efforts.

At Sales Buddy, we generate B2B leads for your business by creating high-quality content, building you a custom Marketing Technology stack, and distributing your content through social media and our exclusive B2B network.

By combining these three elements, we give you a Lead Generation Trifecta that does all the hard work for you. While you sit back and relax, hot leads will come to your CRM/Inbox for your sales team to close. You can also monitor your campaign and measure important metrics like PPC on your own dashboard from any device.

To learn more about Sales Buddy and how we can generate more leads for your business, schedule a chat with Corey, today.

About the Author Michael Edgar

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