If you are a marketer, then I’m sure, ‘content marketing’ will be familiar vocabulary – hopefully even territory – to you, as content marketing really IS everything that matters for marketing success.
The Content Marketing Institute states that “content marketing’s purpose is to attract and retain customers by consistently creating and curating relevant and valuable content with the intention of changing or enhancing consumer behaviour.”
“Marketing is impossible without great content.” ~Content Marketing Institute
But what is it that makes content marketing such a power(ful)-marketing strategy? I wanted to find out and thought I’d start off by asking ‘what is marketing?’
Marketing is everything
“Marketing is everything.” This was renowned technology marketing consultant and entrepreneur Regis McKenna’s conclusion already back in 1991 when he deliberated in his well-known article about the rise of technology and its impact on change, choice and on businesses’ ability to operate, innovate, and ultimately market.
“In a marketplace characterized by rapid change and potentially paralyzing choice”, he said, “credibility becomes the company’s sustaining value”, and credibility can no longer be achieved by a marketing function that’s projecting false images, manipulating, telling and selling.
I touched on the importance of credibility to attract and retain customers already in my last post, when I quoted Rachel Botsman, who said “trust is the currency of the new economy.”
Far beyond quality delivery and financial performance, the new measures of an organisation’s credibility are strong customer focus and service, genuine customer references, social responsibility, healthy company culture, open and honest communication and an overall committed and engaged workforce – from the CEO to the receptionist. Marketing is everything and everyone is a marketer. Whether as part of a big corporation, as an entrepreneur or small business owner, even if you are job seeker you are in the business of marketing.
“Marketing today is not a function; a new ad campaign or this month’s promotion; marketing today is an all-pervasive way of doing business.” ~Regis McKenna
Content is king
“Content is king” is another well-known idiom that has taken the marketing world by storm. And as a firm believer in the power of words I can only agree to it!
Our words, or our content, are our vehicle to transport our marketing message, this all-pervasive way of not just ‘doing’ business but of ‘being’, which lays this crucial foundation of trust. And which, in my opinion, not just opens the doors to winning and retaining customers, but potentially even more …
Your content is your key strategic marketing tool to
- Convey your expertise, passion and overall way of doing business
- Build a professional, trustworthy brand
- Establish yourself as a thought leader and authority in your industry
- Inform, educate and entertain your customers at the same time
- Build relationships and really connect with your customers
- Inform all your marketing tactics, especially social media, which all heavily rely on content
- Get on top of search results as search engines love quality content
- Enhance your brand’s visibility and increase your audience reach.
What’s more, focusing on your content, you may find, also helps you
- Advance your skills and knowledge and consequently grow your confidence
- Recognise your unique selling point even more and perhaps even realise unfulfilled potential
- Develop ideas and unleash opportunities that were perhaps not that obvious at first.
“Content feeds your marketing, and marketing is everything.”
Content marketing is everything
If marketing is everything and content is the messenger of everything, then surely content marketing must be a winning combination, however what exactly are those winning factors?
To conclude my ode to content marketing, here’s a list of fundamental key values and characteristics, which I believe make content marketing THE number one marketing strategy.
- Focus on quality content, that is relevant, compelling and adding value for its audience
- Done strategically, that is with purpose and intention, and embedded into an overall business strategy
- Beyond financial return, it is return on impact, that is the interactions, engagement and dialogue it is driving, that measures the success of content marketing
- Open, honest and authentic are not just buzzwords, but ingrained into the way of being and communicating
- Trust and authority are key to winning business, and building trust and authority is a long-term exercise
- Credibility is ultimately what attracts prospects and customers to you; without you having to constantly nudge them, or as the Content Marketing Institute puts it: “content marketing is the art of communicating with your customers and prospects without selling.”
“Content marketing is the only marketing left.” ~Seth Godin
Need help with your content strategy, communications planning or copywriting?
If you need help putting the heart (=excellence) back into the copy, content or communications of your business, cause or project, I will be delighted to work with you! I am Birgit Diggins, Content Strategist, Copywriter and Digital Project Manager, and Founder of Power-Words.com.