Content marketing is an umbrella term that refers to many marketing strategies in which you’re using content to build a relationship with your audience. You share helpful information with your target market and establish yourself as an expert. Then you start making useful offers.
How Content Marketing Works
First, choose a niche that you’re passionate about. Spend time getting to know people who are interested in that niche. Join forums and online groups so you can learn what they want, how they think, and how you can benefit them.
The quality of your content is all-important. If you can’t write content that’s high-quality, original and engaging, you can hire a ghostwriter to create it for you. The important thing to consider when it comes to content creation is that it must offer tremendous value, whether it’s information, problem-solving, or even entertainment.
The next question to ask is how you’re going to publish your content. You have a number of choices. These include blogging, social media, article syndication (where you put articles on other sites) and video marketing. Each publishing channel you use has a link that leads back to your main site.
Remember that content includes more than just written articles. It includes images, photos, videos, audio files and anything else that your audience can consume.
When to Use Content Marketing
Content marketing doesn’t get you quick sales. It builds a long-term relationship with your market. Gradually, they come to see you as a trusted expert. You become their go-to person for the information they need.
It works best for specific niches that are hungry for information and not already saturated. For example, it would require a mammoth effort to get anywhere with the weight loss niche. It would be much easier to choose a very specific group of people in the weight loss niche to market to. Go for small niches like snail farming, chakra meditation, fear of flying, getting over a breakup, or how to stop sweating. If you can find enough people desperate for information in small niches like these, then you have a potential target market for content.
The Benefits of Content Marketing
The greatest benefit of content marketing is that it builds trust. You brand yourself and your site as the place to go for answers. Once you’re a recognized source of the high quality information people need, your offerings basically sell themselves.
Content marketing is great for people who don’t consider themselves sales-oriented. There’s really no hard sell involved. This is an inbound marketing strategy where you put the content out there and it brings people to your offer.
The only real downside – and this can be quite a downside – is that creating content is not always easy or cheap. You have to become a true expert and create it yourself, which takes time, or you have to invest money in your expert writer. There are shortcuts to creating content, but the content has to be exceptional.
How to Succeed at Content Marketing
The key to success with content marketing is to approach it in the spirit of giving, not selling. Share your information with an audience that’s hungry for answers. Focus on communicating and building a relationship. The more value you give, the better you can expect your returns to be.