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What is Content Marketing?

Traditional marketing.  Digital marketing. Email marketing. Search engine marketing. Internet marketing.  And now content marketing?  It seems the entire category of marketing is being divided up and categorized and recategorized every time you turn around.  But content marketing is a very simple premise and one that has been around for a long time.  It’s the act of communicating with your customers by providing valuable content that is able to acquire, engage, or stimulate those customers to action.  It’s less sales-focused than traditional advertising because it brings information to your customer that is valuable on its own merits, rather than being product- or service-focused.  However, content marketing can convert leads to customers, customers to brand ambassadors, and has the potential to go viral.

For example, if you run a heating and air conditioning company and you create articles about saving money on your electric bill or how to check for HVAC issues before calling a repair company, you are providing valuable content to your customers.  You aren’t selling them on your merits as a heating and cooling company, you are just communicating with them in order to provide them with the information they didn’t have previously.  The positive effect of this, of course, is that the customer develops a sense of brand loyalty because of the benefits that they receive and the authority you engender.

Content marketing can take many forms – email newsletters, blogs, podcasts, video tutorials, ebooks, workshops, and more.  How are you using content to market to your customers?