Consumers no longer want to be sold something; they want to buy it. They want to engage, explore and reach an informed opinion, not be told of one. This nuance describes both the value of content marketing and why it’s a healthy habit to help businesses prosper.
What Is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is a strategic approach designed to create and distribute valuable, relevant and consistent content to a certain audience. Content represents media related to the brand of a business or its products and services, and such content enables a positive change in consumer behavior.
Traditional marketing organizes content as ubiquitous to reach a general audience. Content marketing organizes content differently. The content is valuable, or rich in the information it provides; the content is relevant, and therefore may not be broad as to be uninteresting; and delivery of content is consistent, even proactive. This creates loyalty and trust between the consumer and business, and builds a relationship.
Content marketing is about drawing in and securing a crowd. Content marketing is also nothing new.
Why Break Tradition?
John Deere’s 1931 The Furrow is often credited as the first corporate example of content marketing; the magazine elaborates on how farmers could be more successful business owners with growing technology. Traditional marketing would dictate a magazine about Deere’s farming equipment as the growing technology and why a consumer should believe in that quality.
One of the limitations of traditional marketing is its delivery. We see it every day with 30 second commercial spots on television; the message may or may not be helpful and either way, it was never searched for. The ad may even serve as a distraction from other content, which is why people like ad blockers when consuming content online.
The two marketing approaches are not mutually exclusive because they have the same goal. Fred Flintstone may write a story on a cave wall to illustrate the benefits of hunting or have a conversation with Barney; either way, Barney may be convinced to hunt with him. However, content marketing becomes more relevant by the day.
The beauty of content marketing today is its accessibility, and this is thanks to technology. The Internet provides a platform where anyone may communicate with anyone about anything at any time. This means anyone may publish content of their choosing, be taken seriously and provide their content to almost anyone in the world.
A transparency exists today that simply wasn’t around 20-30 years ago, and that transparency may act as a tool.
Content marketing helps businesses by building relationships and making business more visible to prospects. By building trust and loyalty, businesses may have their own audience to engage on a regular basis, and consumers share what they like or feel is reliable. This creates more potential business by spreading the word of the good content, products or services provided. Consumers, in a sense, become incorporated into the marketing strategy, which isn’t too different from traditional marketing hopes.
Why Is Content Marketing Valuable & Healthy?
Content marketing is valuable because of its focus on quality content and healthy for businesses because of the kind of relationship it can build with a consumer, particularly given the technological world we live in today. Content marketing lacks perfection and has its own limitations but with proper planning, budgeting and vision, it is a viable tool for a business to aid its economic objectives but also engage its audience in unprecedented ways. Consumers want to buy, not be sold, and content marketing is great for treating this more tech savvy, aware consumer how they expect: with respect.
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