Here are Content Marketing Definitions from 15 different thought leaders coming at the subject from their different angles. But see how they all focus on “how content marketing can serve your business goals”. When you look at the Content Marketing Basics, the definition of the concept can shape your trajectory for success.
What is content marketing all about? It is a form of marketing where you don’t use advertising to attract online customers. Instead, you create and spread “content” online (blogs, articles, social media) to attract people … because online target audiences want information. When people read your content, they may then decide they like your tone of expertise and authority, they may like to follow you and read more from you, they may begin to deeply trust you – and they may also buy whatever you recommend. This is the minimum content marketing should do for you … but it can do more depending on the expectations you set for it. Read on …
1. If it isn’t relevant and valuable, or doesn’t drive profitable customer action, it’s not content marketing, it’s informational garbage …
Content marketing 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. Specifically, there are three key reasons — and benefits — for enterprises that use content marketing: increased sales, cost savings, better customers who have more loyalty. Instead of pitching your products or services, you are providing truly relevant and useful content to your prospects and customers to help them solve their issues. Go back and read the content marketing definition one more time, but this time remove the relevant and valuable. That’s the difference between content marketing and the other informational garbage you get from companies trying to sell you “stuff.”
– Content Marketing Institute in “What Is Content Marketing?”
2. The ultimate goal of content marketing is to grow your business. But again, you can’t do that unless your content marketing first attracts paying customers …
Content marketing is a long-term strategy that focuses on building a strong relationship with your target audience by giving them high-quality content that is very relevant to them on a consistent basis. Eventually, when customers make a purchase decision, their loyalty already lies with you. They will purchase your product and prefer it over competitors’ options. In contrast to one-off advertising, content marketing shows that you actually care about your customers. Today, more than ever before, people want to feel like you care about them. The world is louder and noisier than ever before, and attention is our most valuable resource. The ultimate goal of content marketing, of course, is to grow your business. But again, you can’t do that unless you first attract paying customers.
– Neil Patel in “Content Marketing Made Simple: A Step-by-Step Guide”
3. Content marketing is information sharing to promote your brand, attract more qualified leads, and nurture customer relationships …
Content marketing is about information. In other words, it’s the marketing of a business or brand through the sharing of educational, entertaining, or insightful information that will ultimately help readers improve their lives. This may be in the form of a change in personal behavior or, as most marketers hope, it could be in the form of a purchase decision. It’s not about forcing a sales pitch at people, but helping them move towards the best course of action (that just may be buying from you). Few businesses doubt the power of content marketing, but sadly, only a few are executing it with the skill and expertise truly needed to make an impact, to successfully promote your brand, attract more qualified leads, and nurture customer relationships through content marketing.
– Bob Ruffolo in “What is Content Marketing (& Why is it So Important)?”
4. Your business success depends on how your content marketing is received with hunger to consume by each individual who is exposed to it …
The key word about content marketing is “valuable.” It’s what changes this definition from one that could describe almost any form of advertising or marketing. You can tell if a piece of content is the sort that could be part of a content marketing campaign if people seek it out, if people want to consume it, rather than avoiding it. Your business success depends on how your content is received by each individual who is exposed to it. Of course the goal is to provide as much value from your content marketing to as much of your target audience as possible.
– Brian Clark in “Content Marketing”
5. Content marketing is the best way to achieve what advertising is supposed to achieve, but doesn’t do so well online — to get people to trust your brand …
Content marketing is being used by 86% of businesses today. But effective content marketing? Not so easy to find. When you utilize proven copywriting techniques to create your online content, you’ll find readers will subscribe to your content and share it with others. Repeat this many times over and you’ll have a loyal audience for your digital business. There’s a big audience out there for almost every topic under the sun. But there’s an equal amount of companies and brands competing for them. You need the right formula to stand out, stay on top, and keep growing your base. Content is the best way to achieve what advertising is supposed to achieve, but doesn’t do so well online — to get people to know, like, and trust your brand.
– Josh Steimle in “What Is Content Marketing?”
6. Content marketing is what we say to our audiences. The use of that content — any of it — must help meet a planned marketing goal for your business …
Content isn’t ‘stuff we write to rank higher’ or ‘infographics’ or ‘long-form articles.’ Content is anything that communicates a message to the audience. Anything. Content is the heart of what we do as marketers; we talk to our customers, our clients, and our readers, and what we say to them — regardless of what form it takes — is our content. So what is content marketing, then? Well, it’s pretty simple. Content marketing is the use of that content — any of it — to help meet a marketing goal for your business. That could be acquisition of potential customers, retention of existing ones, making more people aware of your brand or your products, or really anything else.
– Moz.com in “Is Content Marketing Right For My Business?”
7. Content marketing exists to help you serve prospects and customers with the most relevant, memorable and maximized experience they can find on the web …
Content marketing is a conversation with your target audience. It humanizes your brand, adds authority to your market perception and provides business intelligence you can act on. Every image or perception attached to your brand, whether true or false, holds value. In a digitized world, it’s every company’s job to maximize positive user experiences and reduce customer pain points online. Content is the mechanism for doing just that. Through the publication and distribution of authentic, informative marketing assets like blogs, videos, white papers or infographics, you multiply digital touchpoints across every stage of the buyer journey: If someone has a question, they come to you. That’s why content marketing exists – to serve prospects and customers the most relevant and memorable experience they can find on the web. It’s not easy, but it works.
– Brafton.com in “What Is Content Marketing?”
8. Content marketing helps promote brands through the publication or diffusion of information, ideas and entertainment that is valued by the consumer …
Nine out of ten companies work with content marketing – which is, they go beyond traditional sales techniques and instead they promote brands through the publication or diffusion of information, ideas and entertainment that is valued by the consumer. Content marketing benefits? It’s the best way to reach your target audience by offering relevant and quality content to them. t’s the perfect technique for improving your content, website and commercial proposals’ web positioning. It enables you to transmit your brand’s values. It helps you attract and retain potential clients on social networks. Creating articles and content that are relevant to your audience makes it possible for you to utilize SEO techniques , which help to favor your appearance in the first few results on Google searches.
9. Content marketing is permission-based marketing rather than intrusive marketing, and it allows consumers to choose when they want to be marketed to …
A great article can market your product or service in a way that the consumer is not interrupted. You are using that article to educate your consumer and create an awareness of information that is important to them. This makes your potential buyer more intelligent. A successful content marketing strategy will deliver consistent valuable information to your target market when this strategy works you turn the consumers you have targeted into buyers. Look, it’s no secret that consumers are tired of traditional marketing. This is why you see a rush to social media and permission based marketing rather than intrusive marketing that doesn’t allow consumers to make the choice of when they want to be marketed to. Why do you think consumers skip commercials, tear out magazine advertisements, and turn on online ad blockers? Because they are taking back control and they will decide when they want to be marketed to.
– Laura Lake in “Learn About Content Marketing”
10. Content marketing is the glue and trigger of emotional interactions created by brands to deepen their customer-centric marketing …
What is new with content marketing, though, is the way of looking at the role of content in a more strategic, planned, integrated, intelligent and customer-centric way. Content revolves around emotions and experiences: brand experiences, user experiences, all highly emotional in nature, even when ‘a piece’ of content is “just” an informative answer to a question. Content is the glue and trigger of interaction in a customer-centric marketing view with relevance, consistency and mutual/connected value for audiences and brand at the center. By offering value to pre-defined groups of people, content creates value for the customer in the broadest sense, in tune with brand and business objectives, and leading to value for the organization.
11. Content marketing is the savvy marketer’s response to the new, relationship-based, buyer-driven, digital marketplace …
Today, the buyer is the expert and the one proactively reaching out to brands and businesses for help. For example: The average buyer guides themselves through 60% to 90% of the traditional sales funnel before ever contacting a brand or salesperson. 81% of shoppers research online before setting foot in a store. Consumers spend an average of 79 days conducting online research before buying. There is an answer to this buyer-driven environment: Content. Content marketing is the process of creating high-quality, valuable content to attract, inform, and engage an audience, while also promoting the brand itself. Buyers and consumers are already searching the web for answers that your brand is uniquely positioned to offer. Content marketing is the savvy marketer’s response to the new, relationship-based, buyer-driven, digital marketplace.
– Marketo.com in “What is Content Marketing?”
12. The effectiveness of content marketing should be measured using metrics tied to business success: conversion rates, lifetime value, revenue generated …
Basically, content marketing is designed to acquire and convert a very specific target market with a clear, direct, single action. You shouldn’t do this because it’s sexy, because it’s cool, or because BuzzFeed is doing it. The only reason you should use content marketing is to make a meaningful, measurable impact on your business. Content marketing is a modern concept and it’s about the merging of content and advertising. Content marketing should utilize great copywriting and copywriting should be part of a content marketing strategy. These two are not the same thing, but they both work synergistically. The effectiveness of content marketing should be measured using metrics that tie to the success of the business: conversion rates, lifetime value, revenue generated, are just a few examples.
– Tommy Griffith in “What Is Content Marketing? 3 Important Tips For 2019”
13. Content marketing can be used to accomplish all sorts of objectives, from driving consumption to creating a loyal customer base …
Effective content marketing is fundamentally about attracting and retaining customers. It can be used to accomplish all sorts of objectives, from driving awareness and consumption at the top of the sales funnel, to creating brand ambassadors and a loyal customer base at the bottom. With every piece or series of content that you produce, it’s important to have clearly defined objectives for what you want you to achieve. This will not only help to steer content ideation but also enable you to properly track and measure success. Do you want to: Build your reputation? Grow your social community? Generate new leads? Increase email sign ups? Communicate your brand identity? Keep customers coming back? Reach a niche audience?
– BuiltVisible in “An Introductory Guide To Content Marketing”
14. In content marketing it can be hard to keep the momentum going, but not engaging your visitors means losing money …
Content marketing is all about using content to attract and retain visitors, and eventually turn them into customers. And most people who use it know it’s effective. There’s just one problem: content marketing can be seriously hard work. According to Zazzle Media, 60% of companies struggle to produce content consistently, and 65% find it a challenge to produce engaging content. And not engaging your visitors means you’re losing money. If you’re running content marketing campaigns, day in, day out, it can be hard to consistently come up with new ideas and keep the momentum going. Find new ways to get creative, and create your own inspirational content marketing to win leads and sales.
– Sharon Hurley Hall in “25 Clever Content Marketing Examples with Amazing Results”
15. Content marketing is a plan to tell a story to your customers with an intent to guiding them along on a buying journey with you. …
You want to be real with people, seem accessible and down to earth in your marketing. Telling approachable stories will help you better engage your audience. And stories will lead to sales. Gone are the days of stringing keywords together in a 500-word article and achieving results. Content marketing has changed, and the experts say it is all about the story. You must rethink the way you craft your content. Establish and illustrate your company’s values and worldview while delivering value to your readers. The value will help them form a positive association with you as an authority. Being seen as an authority helps create a loyal customer base who will purchase or consume your content. Here are a few simple ways you can modify your current content marketing plan to tell a story to your customers. You are guiding them along on a journey with you.
– Sarah Johnson in “Content Marketing Is Dead: 2018 Is All About Storytelling”
So what are your thoughts on this topic? Do share!
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Other articles in our series “Content Marketing Basics”:
- What Is Valuable Content? Well, It Depends On Who Is Reading It!
- Your Content Marketing Business Model … The Choices You Have!
- 10 Skills You Need To Become A Top Solopreneur Content Marketer!
- Content Marketing And Solopreneurs Are Just Made For Each Other!
- 4 Classic Mistakes Most Content Marketers Make – And Their Fixes!
- How To 16X Your Content Marketing Goals – And Your Business Results!