Content Marketing – how can you tame the beast and be effective

What is content marketing and why should you care?

We bet that when most of you encounter the term content marketing, you immediately think of Twitter, Facebook, blogs and the videos that go viral on YouTube. We advocate that content marketing has been around a lot longer than even the internet.

Why would we say that? We say that as content marketing is all about telling stories, and humans have been telling stories since they started to speak. Great stories will always continue to capture our attention.

A lot of things have changed now and what worked in the 1980’s may not necessarily work now. However, with the arrival of marketing channels such as social media, and more coming up almost daily, there is an opportunity knocking on the door.

Content marketing is a long-term strategy which is focused on developing a strong bonding with the audience you are targeting by providing them with content of high quality which is very relevant for them and doing it on an ongoing basis.

When customers make the eventual buying decision, they already have their loyalty towards you. They will prefer your product over the competition and they will buy your product. When compared to the usual one off advertising, the practice of content marketing portrays that you do care for your customers.

Nowadays, people want a feeling that you care for them. The world is getting louder and noisier more than ever before, and attention seems to be our most precious resource.

An overview of Content marketing

You may already begin to see that since the act of storytelling and creating high quality content has been around for a long time, content marketing has been around for a longer time than the term itself.

There is a ton to learn from all those initial offline activities around content marketing that happened long before the advent of the internet itself. However, any given successful campaign for marketing today cannot afford not to have an online part.

Since the act of telling stories has been changing over all these years, and the kind of attention span of people has stretched to more places than the gone years, the marketers now need to ensure that they are telling stories matching the year we now live in.

Well, since you have now gained an idea about what content marketing as a term is all about, you may ask, “How can I be successful with content creation?” You can place content marketing activities in three major buckets nowadays: offline, online and hybrids.

Content marketing – strategy

There are many strategies around content marketing in existence today. In the very early days of content marketing arena, that was not the case. The marketers used to have very limited options. All they had was magazines, bandit signs and newspaper advertisements.

However, still they used to have a variety to pick from. They had a chance to play with words in their ads, the kind of pictures they wanted to show, the placement of the content, and also the CTA. So, they may have had very few methods for marketing content, their options were still amazingly vast. Today we have more mediums for content marketing and more methods are in existence there ever used to be.

This also means that the strategies that you can adopt for content marketing are also much greater. One of the most respected publications suggests the use of a 3D content model, for example. This basically has three steps as a process. First is mapping the content to the pain points. The second is using the right kind of content to address that problem.

And lastly, mapping of the content with the ‘cycle of buying’ for the people that you are targeting.

This strategy aims at moving the focus away from the marketing people to the consumer who the marketing people are trying to reach out to. This, indeed, is an amazingly important stage to get to while you are framing the strategy for your content marketing.

Your content marketing activities are all for nothing if it is not directed towards getting your product to the right people who have the right problem. You definitely would want to tune this strategy to fit your own theories of marketing and your own target audience.

No matter what path you choose, you should surely be starting with your own audience. You must be creating content targeted to that audience. Only then you will be able to draw the attention from the right people.

The New World

In this new world of design tools that are free, there is limitless internet space, there is social media, there are self-publishing companies, and the kind of strategies that you can adopt is very vast in number. Businesses and individuals alike have long tried to draw attention by using cheap or free content.

Your target will be engaging with you, helping in spreading your message and even buying from you if you produce content that is free and helpful for them. The methods used for content marketing may have changed now, but the basic formula for creating content that is great has stayed more or less the same.

It is still the same old formula to get people into buying your products. Just push the pain point of the person. Try agitating that pain. And then get into solving their problem.

In today’s world, anyone can employ the tools provided by content management as an advantage over their competition. There is more and more noise in the world every day. You will have to employ content marketing to remain successful. The ones who will win the long run are the ones who are spending their energy to tell a good story, irrespective of which context or platform.

Shouting louder will not help your case anymore. Only shouting better channelized and focused things will.

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