Content Marketing 101: The Introduction

By Julian Karstel

The entire industry is fueled by great content. The greater the value perceived the greater the exposure, and ultimately the greater the profits. Want to get ahead in this game? It’s simple. Provide valuable content as frequently as possible. In fact the entire internet is evolving in favour of quality content, the most recent changes coming in the form of the latest HummingBird update by Google. Through this update emphasis is placed not only on fresh content, but specifically on good quality writing. The entire industry is evolving at an unstoppable pace, which means the demand for content is growing relentlessly.

Of course one of the best mediums for content delivery is your company blog. What sets a blog apart from a website is the supply of great content without marketing speak, which is exactly what people are looking for. Of course with every piece of published content you can expose readers to your services through call-to-actions, which in turn lead to optimized landing pages. Through these landing pages you exchange content for lead details, which is used to build and nurture relationships. Through these relationships you build trust, provide value and create new clients.

In the past, companies would have a single website with some basic company information. This has progressed to massive company sites with multiple related pages, microsites, business blogs, Facebook pages, Twitter accounts etc.

Digital vs. Traditional

The world of marketing is evolving from traditional to digital at an alarming rate.  Content marketing and the promotion thereof through social media has become the norm. The entire world is substituting traditional media for digital media (or they should be). You would think that everyone has got the picture, yet time and time again we experience agencies that simply see digital marketing as an alternative medium. It’s time to wake up!

Consumers are now empowered, engaging businesses through social media. Due to this surge in social media participation, consumers are becoming more and more connected.  The internet provides consumers with an infinite supply of information, meaning that the modern consumer probably knows more about your products than you do. Oh, and they’re sharing it with the rest of the online world!


To put things in perspective

If Facebook was a country it would be the fourth most populated country in the world. Oh, and in case you were wondering Twitter is only 3 places behind.

People generally hate advertising, why? Well, because most advertising is irrelevant and deeply intrusive. We especially hate billboards.


While this is what the billboard marketer wants consumers to see…


Levis.jpg


This is what they actually see:


Buy Our Product.jpg

Traditional advertising for the most part has run its course, to the point where advertising is used as a punitive measure. “Subscribe for a monthly fee to receive our service ad free”, sound familiar?

The scarcest resource in the knowledge economy we live in is attention, and the best way to get it is through relevance. Your typical ad is only relevant to a certain group of people, which means it’s completely irrelevant to everyone else.


Inbound vs. Outbound

Inbound marketing refers to optimising your content and marketing efforts in such a way that consumers may find your products without being advertised to. Outbound marketing is the exact opposite. The shift from outbound to inbound marketing goes hand-in-hand with a change in the consumer’s perception of marketing. Meaning that if you’re still strictly outbound you might find yourself losing market share, cause, well, people don’t like outbound that much.

It has been said time and time again that great advertising is the right message to the right person at the right time. With outbound marketing that is very difficult to achieve, yet with inbound marketing that is exactly your result every time.

Virgin Mobile Live

A great example of a content marketing success story comes in the form of one of the power brands of the world, Virgin. Virgin Mobile launched their social newsroom called Virgin Mobile Live. Through this medium they publish fresh content several times a day which is fanned out through social media. The site averages over a million unique visitors per month. What’s their secret weapon? Yup, you guessed it, fresh, well-planned content of the highest quality.

The Content Marketing conversation is a continuous one that is constantly changing and evolving as the industry matures. With that said, it’s not too late to join. So gather your troops and get chatting!

Next article in the series: Keyword Research Tactics

Have any digital marketing success/failure stories? Share them with me!

Julian Karstel is a Digital Marketing Consultant for Sound Idea Digital | @JulianKarstel | Julian@soundidea.co.za |
Sound Idea Digital is a full service digital agency | www.soundidea.co.za

 

 
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