What is ‘content marketing’?

In the ever-evolving marketing industry, buzzwords come and go. However, no one can dispute that ‘content marketing’ looks here to stay. Unfortunately, many people seem to have got the wrong end of the stick about this approach.

Long-term benefits

In plain terms, content marketing changes tack from traditional methods. Instead, it relies on providing valuable information (or ‘content’) with the aim of either attracting new – or retaining existing – customers.

For decades, products have been relentlessly ‘pushed’ on consumers through tried-and-tested platforms. Then, the industry learned that people were simply getting fatigued by this onslaught. Worse was the feeling for some that they were being watched online… cue microphones being disabled on smartphones everywhere!

Content marketing aims to save people from this steady stream of ‘will it/won’t it work’ type of advertising by giving consumers relevant information based on their precise needs. It’s not a quick fix, but the long-term benefits are worth the effort. 

Engage with your audience

Here’s an example: imagine you’re buying a car. For many of us, it’s a headache whenever the time to buy rolls around. Although they’re wonderfully made, and some people enjoy watching them, do we really need to see car ads?

They’re flashy, but wouldn’t you rather learn some useful tips on how to save fuel, or watch a vlog on how to get the most from your existing vehicle? Now, take the content marketing method in which this latter approach is used in order to ‘engage’ with the consumer on their level.

If you’re good at what you do, there’s no need to shout at potential customers. Whisper valuable, useful and informative content to them over time in order to cultivate a loyal customer base. It’s also more likely that they will retain or share the information you’re creating.

This can take many forms: specialist interviews, webinars, podcasts, press releases, ‘how-to’ movies, original research, you name it! In fact, anything that promotes your company as having a genuine interest in solving your customers’ problems.

A journey of discovery

Many companies already have the building blocks in place to put a content marketing plan in place. Essentially, if you know your customers, their pain points and what drives them, you can take them on a new journey with you.

From the initial point of contact through to a sale and beyond (after-sales), you can tailor your content precisely. Remember the example of the car earlier? Guide your customer every step of the way and help them out by answering their questions i.e. “why is this car right for me?” and “how can I look after my car?”

A full range of services

At RED, one of our specialisms is content ‘harvesting’ – a vital part of any content marketing campaign. For example, we routinely visit our clients’ customers in order to gather, then create, a wide range of visual and editorial materials.

We then use these to develop exciting and captivating campaigns that are of long-lasting value for the intended audience. Obviously, there’s a great deal of information to process, but the rewards are worth it. Drop us a line to see how content marketing could work for you.