November 8, 2017 – Holly Hoehner, Associate Editor, The Oklahoma 100 & Account Coordinator
It seems like content marketing is everywhere these days. It’s being utilized by everyone from large companies to startups, and its popularity appears to have exploded overnight—like the obsession with avocado toast or YouTube influencers. However, upon closer look, you can see the signs leading up to the newest, trendiest strategy in the marketing industry.
Content marketing is a continuation of timeless principles in the marketing profession: know your audience, produce high-quality content and have a plan. However, there are key differences between marketing and content marketing. Specifically, content marketing is a strategy that doesn’t outwardly sell a product. Instead, this strategy produces relevant and valuable information that individuals can interact with before, during and after purchase, in an editorial format that breaks through the clutter of traditional advertising.
More brands are embracing content marketing in their marketing strategies, just like more people are eating avocado toast and watching vlogs on YouTube. It’s becoming the new normal. So, if your brand is looking to improve and refresh its digital marketing strategy, read about these four benefits of content marketing to see if it will help you.
1. Engages audiences through highly visual and shareable content
What makes content marketing different is that you engage with your community around an idea instead of around a product. You centralize the ideas on a platform like a blog and then share it out across different social platforms. Essentially, it’s a wheel and spokes model for content marketing. For example, J. Crew could easily try to sell consumers their new scarves with traditional advertising. Instead, J. Crew implemented a blog on their website where they share the idea of three ways to tie a scarf for everyday life. The highly visual and educational content can be shared on Pinterest, Tumblr and YouTube by J. Crew and possible customers, which grows their reach and engages audiences across several platforms, while indiscreetly advertising products and the brand.
2. Grows brand awareness
Implementing a content marketing strategy involving highly visual and shareable content means that brand awareness will increase. By increasing the amount of content your brand posts across different platforms, you can raise your brand’s chances of mentions on social and traditional media. Just make sure all the content you are producing tells your brand’s message. By sticking to your messaging, you will reinforce your brand and increase awareness.
3. Shares instead of sells, pulls instead of pushes
Content marketing adds value to experience through sharing creative knowledge of ideas, information and resources. When the content accomplishes these goals, it will pull audiences in. Contrast that with traditional advertising and marketing, which tries to push viewers in. Marriott does a great job pulling their audience in with their Marriott Traveler blog. The blog features city food guides, travel tips and links to their social media, which shares their curated blog content on other platforms. The posts aren’t focused on the product, Marriott hotels, but the travel experience. Over time, the number of returning visitors to the blog grows because they are producing visual, educational and valuable content.
4. Generates website traffic and boosts SEO
At the end of the day, companies need to sell their products and services to survive, which means they need to drive traffic to their website. Content marketing can help drive traffic by including links to your brand’s website or links directly to the product or service being highlighted in the content. Not only does more traffic mean more opportunities to make a sale, but it also helps boost your website’s SEO. The more traffic to your website, the higher your website moves up on search results. Being on the first page or near the top of a search engine results page will drive more people to your website, leading to more potential sales. It’s like the marketing circle of life.
I bet you’re now thinking about a ton of different ways your organization can utilize content marketing, right? If you are, then you’ve proved my point. This post about content marketing illustrates the effectiveness of content marketing because it is content marketing. At Jones PR, we have our own content marketing platform called The Oklahoma 100 that helps organizations revive their digital media strategy. If you want to know more about The Oklahoma 100 and start telling your story, email me at Holly@Jones.PR.