What Content Marketing Is (And Why You Should Care)

If you’ve been trying to keep up with recent trends in digital advertising, chances are you’ve probably heard the term “content marketing.” This popular strategy for reaching and engaging target audiences can be extremely effective.

For business owners who want to improve brand awareness and increase customer conversion rates, it’s critical to understand what you’re doing.

This article will offer an in-depth overview of what content marketing is and how you can use it to your advantage. If you’re new to the field, this is where you can begin to get caught up.

What Is It?

Content marketing will allow you to increase your business’s visibility online and win over more loyal customers. But what is content marketing, exactly?

Content marketing is the creation, publishing, and distribution of targeted blog articles, videos, social media posts, infographics, and other forms of digital content.

However, it’s not enough just to generate filler. The content you create has to offer unique value to your customers. Otherwise, you’re just wasting your customers’ valuable time and they won’t stick around for that.

So…Does It Really Work?

Is content creation and distribution really enough to boost your sales? That depends on how you use it.

If you use it in conjunction with related techniques like search engine optimization, content marketing has a proven track record of success. That’s why a lot of heavy hitters have been using this strategy for years.

Microsoft’s “Stores” campaign hit all the sweet spots of content marketing. It spanned multiple media outlets, took a personalized approach, and encouraged loyal customers to share their own experience. Their strategy combined in-house content, agency  content, and organic consumer-generated content to create a unified campaign.

Types of Content Marketing

There are many ways that business owners can go about leveraging content to increase traffic to their sites and improve their customer conversion rates.

Don’t be afraid to get creative! Variety is key when it comes to keeping visitors engaged, so try a few of the following options.

Social Media Content

Over 3.2 billion people across the globe use social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, which makes these sites fantastic platforms for sharing content and connecting with audiences.

Set up business accounts on each of these platforms and post frequently. It’s best to create diverse content, including photos, live or pre-recorded videos, and text. That way, you can ensure that you’re reaching the broadest possible audience.

Keep in mind, however, that different audiences use different platforms, so it’s useful to know your target audience and target them on the right platform.

Infographic Content

One of the great things about this content form is that it combines text and pictures, which makes it easier to distill complex topics down to their most important elements.

Better still, infographics are a fun, engaging way to present complex topics, encouraging your viewers to come back for more.

With that in mind, focus on making the infographics as accessible as possible. Avoid jargon unless you can clearly define it and pair it with an image. The goal is to make the entire infographic dynamic yet digestible. Think statistics and fast facts put in context.

Blog Content

Unless they’ve been living in a cave, most business owners know that regularly updated blogs are essential for both reaching customers and boosting search engine rankings.

Try to create new content for the blog at least three times per week and focus on relevant topics that your audience will find interesting. Share the blog posts across social media sites and partner blogs for maximum reach.

If you’re having trouble coming up with ideas for blog posts, try to diversify your posts by including more generalized educational and instructional content.

Podcast Content

Millions of people listen to podcasts in the United States alone. After all, listeners can tune in any time of the day or night, while they’re relaxing or while they’re on the go.

So why not create a podcast to engage your customers?

You can increase brand awareness, promote products or services, and build relationships with their customers. The best thing about podcasts is that they involve real people talking directly to the listener, which is a fantastic way to humanize your brand.

Video Content

Did you know that 64% of customers are more likely to buy a product after watching a video about it?

If you’re not already using video, now is the time to start.

Much like podcasts, videos give you a chance to talk directly to your customers. It’s also a great way to humanize your brand or make complicated information digestible.

You can also take time to educate your customers (in ways that benefit your brand). If you sell a product, for example, you can release a how-to video to help customers get the most out of their product experience.

It’s fine to create videos that touch on the same points as your blog posts or social media posts because they often appeal to different audiences. You can (and should) use videos all across your content platforms.

Just make sure that the video you post is targeted toward the audience on that specific page.

Paid Ad Content

Creating original content and sharing it across multiple platforms can undoubtedly help with driving traffic to your site but don’t rule out paid ad content marketing completely.

Paid ads can still help you reach broader audiences and increase brand awareness. The benefit of paid advertising over organic content marketing is that it allows you to target customers who have never encountered your business before and show them how you can fulfill a need for them.

The key with paid advertising is to strike a balance. All paid advertising won’t get you all the results you want, just like 100% free advertising.

Also, make sure to balance relationship-building with pitching–customers know you’re selling them something, but they don’t like to be reminded you’re selling them something.

The Bottom Line

Content marketing is the buzzword of the year for digital advertisers in 2019. The reason is simple: content marketing works.

It offers business owners a proven means of increasing traffic to their sites, improving their customer conversion rates, and keeping customers engaged and interested.

Having trouble coming up with ideas for new content? Want to find out more about how you can leverage the power of your company’s blog, social media pages, videos, and more to improve its performance?

You’ve come to the right place. Get in touch today to learn how.

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