Content is King: So, What is Content Marketing?

Content Marketing
Content Marketing

Marketing is always changing—there is always something new and shiny. It can be hard to stay on top of every trend and fad, especially when you’re a small business owner. Over the last few years, content marketing has been growing in popularity with brands big and small. In the first of our series on the topic, let’s take a closer look at this trend, and see what it can offer your organization.

A Definition

According to the Content Marketing Institute, content marketing is “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.”1 We can sense your eyeroll right now because yes, it means more work. However, content marketing is a worthwhile endeavour. It can lead to increased sales, cost savings and greater customer loyalty—all things that are music to an entrepreneur’s ears.

Breaking it Down

The idea behind content marketing is simple. Instead of the straight-up traditional pitch to your target market, you offer ‘content’ that gets attention from your target market. The content is helpful to your prospects, and over time, the content you offer should create trust between you and your prospects. As your content engages prospects, it should drive prospects to recognize your company as trustworthy and want to do business with you. Your content should move buyers into your sales funnel, and create long-term loyalty.

Some Examples

Now that we know what content marketing is, and how it works, let’s examine at what content marketing looks like. Infographics are one of the most common forms of content marketing. All the rage a few years ago, they are still a creative way to communicate information to leads in an engaging way. A classic example of a well-executed infographic is one created by REI, the American outdoor and sporting goods company. REI created an infographic that shows the ‘art and science’ of the perfect s’more, including the history of the campfire treat and how to make them. Included is the lightest mention of REI’s roasting sticks and matches, but the overall infographic is designed to entertain and inform. Shareable on social media and the company’s website, the content resonated with its loyal customers and its prospects. Does your organization have information it can share with customers and leads that could be communicated in a visual way? Infographics are a great way to dip your toe into the content marketing world.

Kraft Foods has also been a long-time content marketer, well before the trend took off. Kraft offered a free magazine to households in the U.S. and Canada, featuring recipes made with their range of food products. Still offered today and successful converted to paid subscription, the magazine was in one in 10 homes in the U.S.2 The company also hosts a massively popular recipes website, which sees more than 100 million visitors annually. Both offerings promote the company’s products in a way that is useful to its customers—through recipes that feature Kraft products.3 The content is helpful and relevant to users, and promotes Kraft in a way that is unobtrusive, yet very effective. Does your organization sell products that customers may need assistance to use? Something as simple as a blog or social media post with a recipe can convert a lead into a customer.

Looking Ahead

Content marketing and how to execute it successfully can’t be covered in just one article. Stay tuned for our next issue, where we discuss further how content marketing can work for your business.

1What Is Content Marketing?, https://contentmarketinginstitute.com/what-is-content-marketing/
2,3How Kraft Uses Content to Drive Its Broader Marketing Effort, https://adage.com/article/best-practices-and-howto/kraft-content-drive-broader-marketing-effort/294892