Content marketing is the opposite of advertising. It’s about engaging consumers with the stuff they really want, in a way that serves your brand’s purposes and ideals, rather than just trying to jam your logo into their periphery. It’s reaching the exact consumers you want, instead of a vaguely defined demo. It’s helpfully providing an experience they want, instead of trying to distract them from the one they came for. In short, it is the very evolution of advertising itself into something more effective, more efficient, and much less odious (Keith Blanchard – Story Worldwide).
Why are companies using Content marketing?
These reasons are the same as in the case of any other marketing practice. It does not come as a surprise that practically every company aims at winning customers (or maintaining the existing ones) and, as a result, at increasing the sales of its products and services. All actions within marketing are focused on this very objective. Content marketing is no exception.
However, if we assume that generating income is the objective, we will easily come to the conclusion that this objective is too obvious and too general. In particular in the context of the budget of the marketing actions, you must be perfectly aware of what the money is spent on and what effect you can expect. Precisely defined objectives will come in handy. The major objectives of the marketers who decide to launch content marketing are as follows:
-Increasing brand awareness
-Converting leads into customers
-Building the image as the industry leader
Depending on the approach, the objectives can be defined more or less precisely. Some marketers agree that generating leads and converting them into customers are completely different actions. However there is a lot of truth in the opinions of those who simply reduce the objectives to three categories:
The essence of content marketing
As you already know, Content Marketing is a marketing technique using knowledge and experience of the company to promote its products or services. After lecture of chapter three you already know what the goals of content marketing are and what purpose it is for. In this chapter you will see what tools may be used to achieve these goals. Generally, each content marketing tactic has different objectives to achieve but basically we can indicate the following factors:
-To drive traffic on the social web and company’s website;
-To ensure quality and consistency;
-To have a holistic view of the marketing strategy you should apply;
-To answer the question how your content fulfills the expectations of your customer;
-To control and manage online content;
-To create, gather and distribute content.
Those tactics help to create a better content, and you must remember that the better content the more visible your product/service is. The importance of Content Marketing and its tools is confirmed by many researches. According to Content Marketing Institute 91% of B2B marketers use content marketing.
Future Use of Content Marketing Tools and Platforms
Many tools and platforms are being used by brands to engage their audience and share content. The following resources are very likely to consolidate their importance and become more popular among marketers in the future:
Social Media (SM) – According to two surveys carried out by the Content Marketing Institute in 2013, 88% of B2C and 87% of B2B marketers use social media other than blogs. Even in the future, SM will probably continue to dominate the world of content marketing and B2B and B2C businesses will also learn to use them more efficiently. Facebook and Twitter will continue to be the most used but LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, Slideshare and Youtube will continue gaining users.
Blogs – They are widely considered effective by marketers. In particular, WordPress seems to be the ruling publishing platform/CMS because of its wide range of customisation options. The number of sites using WordPress, which now amount to more than 70 million, will rise in the future.
Webinars and real time presentations – These tools can be considered highly effective because they allow real time interactions between marketers and the target audience, which will probably lead to an increase in their use. It must be borne in mind, however, that audiences are probably going to be more interested in short webinars and presentations that provide rich information in a short timeframe.
Infographics – The power of infographics, which can be incorporated into social media, blogs, and e-letters and therefore have the potential to go viral, lies in their particular format which allows the reader to easily understand information, while being entertained by the catchy, enjoyable way in which content is presented. Their popularity will surely increase more and more.
Google Analytics – Since brands will have to gauge the effectiveness of social media campaigns etc., the use of Google Analytics will grow, since it incorporates a series of analytic tools that can measure web traffic, conversion rates and a series of other metrics.
In addition to those mentioned above, a series of specific content marketing tools have been created during the last years, especially thanks to developments in digital technology. Such tools serve different purposes, which include content creation, curation, promotion, licensing, distribution and measurement of content’s effectiveness (NewsCred, Curata, Outbrain, Storify, Copify etc.). As a consequence of content marketing worldwide, use of dedicated software and platforms will probably rise.