What is content marketing? It seems such a simple question, but an answer cannot be given entirely unilaterally. That first word, content, is a collective term. Affiliate marketing, too, by the way. With content marketing, I managed to attract 25,000 visitors a month to this website. Every month and I don’t have to pay for that. Not to mention the turnover that all those people generate. In this article, I discuss what content marketing is and how you apply it successfully.
What is content marketing?
So let’s break down the concept into content and marketing. Content can be a web text, article, infographic, video, vlog, case study, blog, e-book, webinar, statistics, review, or news story.
If you thought that content marketing always comes out in the form of a blog article, then you are wrong. The word ‘marketing’ means that we use the content for marketing a product or service. We, therefore, use the content instead of, or in addition to, advertisements.
In practice, content marketing comes down to a blog on someone’s website or a YouTube channel full of instructional videos. In almost all cases, it concerns free, accessible content to reach as many people as possible. The goal is to help, advise, and bind the potential customer by providing free content.
Content marketing example
If we had to put content marketing in a marketing funnel, it would be somewhere at the beginning. To explain that, I give you an example below.
“Imagine you sell hairbrushes. Then your content marketing strategy could look like this. You have an article or a video explaining how to get tangles out of the hair. In it, you give all the useful free tips. When a potential customer suffers from tangles, they search on Google ‘How do I get tangles out of my hair?’.
Your article or video on how to remove tangles will then be found. The potential customer reads the article or watches the video and finds the tips useful. Then he finds out that you not only have good content but also sells brushes (gosh, what a coincidence!). Because the potential customer is grateful for your tips and feels connected by reading or watching, they decide to buy from you.”
The above example is how content marketing is applied in most cases. That is also the case on this website. I provide all the free information that I know is valuable to my website visitors. If they then want to know more, they can proceed to purchase a product or register on my mailing list.
For whom is content marketing (not) interesting?
Not every company can apply content marketing. But for 99% of the cases, content marketing is applicable and effective. With content marketing, you can show in an accessible way that you are the expert in what you do. In many cases, setting up is relatively cheap, and not applying it is, therefore, a shame. Many entrepreneurs find it difficult to figure out how content marketing can be applied within their company. Therefore, below are four specific examples of how this can be done.
Example 1: From funeral chapel to dormer
A company that sells dormer windows offers an e-book on its website called: “How do you ensure that your dormer window does not become a funeral chapel?”. Website visitors can download this e-book free of charge in exchange for their email address. After reading the e-book, they will be followed up by email. Super smart because, in this way, you split a big decision (buying a dormer) into small steps. The e-book also helps to inform the potential customer, who most likely has no understanding of dormer windows.
Example 2: Flower arrangement videos
A company that sells flowers has a YouTube channel with a weekly video about flower arranging. Those interested will find these videos and become connected with the woman who gives the free flower arrangement tutorial videos. They then no longer buy their flowers from the local florist, but from ‘the woman they know from the videos’.
Example 3: Blogs about depression in the workplace
A company that offers to coach employees struggling with depression has blogs online with topics such as “Ten Ways to Deal With Depression in the Workplace”. Employers find these blogs in their search via Google. They find the information useful and then turn to this coach to help them further.
Example 4: Press release about birth announcements
A company that sells birth announcements makes a press release about the most common baby names of that year. They send this press release to newspapers and are published with their name—a good way for such a company to build brand awareness without having to pay for it.
Don’t forget the call-to-action
Depending on your business, you can see which content marketing strategy fits best. If you want to start with content marketing yourself, you must include the ‘Return On Investment ‘. When I looked back at how I started with content marketing, I saw that I got a lot of website visitors, and only a single customer came out. I was then able to learn that, no matter how much you give away for free, you do well to ask people if you can help them further actively.
You do this by placing calls-to-actions. You can do this by asking if someone wants more information if they want to subscribe to your mailing list or directly refer this person to your sales page. In any case, always make sure that there is the next step around your content. This naturally leads to a higher return.
Why content marketing has so many benefits
Besides the fact that content marketing is free or relatively cheap compared to advertisements, there are even more advantages. Of course, by sharing free content, you will come across as an authority in your field to your potential customer. But not only your potential customer will see you as an authority. Google does that too. And that has the significant advantage that when you share more content, Google will place your entire website higher in Google (including your sales pages). Content marketing is, therefore, the best way to work on your SEO / ranking.
Outsource content marketing
Now that you have a clear idea of what content marketing content is, you can get started. If you don’t like it yourself, you can also outsource your content marketing. Self blog I for multiple companies, and get massive results there (often 1000% more website visitors).
Content marketing is downright trendy, and that sometimes requires creative solutions. What works great in one market won’t work elsewhere. Do you have no idea where to start? Read more posts on our blog.