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What can content marketing do for your business?

May 22nd, 2012 · 7 Comments · Branding, Love Affair with Customers, Storytelling, Strategy

Content marketing.  It seems like everyone’s talking about it. But what exactly is it and what can it do for your business?

Odds are, if you’re doing any marketing at all — you’re at least accidentally dabbling in content marketing.

First — it goes by many names.  Some people call it custom publishing or branded content.  Other people slap the label of social or digital marketing on.  And all of those names are accurate.

Content marketing is a broad term for any marketing technique that creates and distributes valuable, helpful and relevant information that demonstrates that you know your stuff.  These tactics draw the attention of people who are already your customers or could be your customers and they consume, share, and value the content.

The ultimate goal of content marketing is to create a sense of trust and comfort that will lead to someone making an initial purchase, making an additional purchase or referring you to someone who’s ready to make a purchase.

There are other benefits as well.  It’s a powerful way to establish yourself as an expert, to shorten the sales cycle, to impact SEO results and depending on your business – to educate, entertain, and inspire your audience.

I found an infographic from Visual.ly that I think does an excellent job of not only demonstrating many of the different possibilities when it comes to content marketing — but also gives you a sense of which tactics deliver what outcomes.

Check it out! (click here to download larger version)

Browse more data visualizations.

With all those possibilities — are you confident that you’re doing all that you can to harness the potential and the power of content marketing?

Are you doing some things that you could be doing better?  More often?  More intentionally?

I want to challenge you a little — are you really leveraging this marketing strategy to the extent that you should?  If not…why not?

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7 Comments so far ↓

  • Anders Michael

    Thanks for the post, Drew! I’m currently working on some content marketing myself, and what I could be doing better is the the SEO keyword analysis. I believe there’s always a better word or way to express what you’re trying to say that’s custom to your target niche. The challenge is putting together the right words that relate to your audience and do just what you said in this article – educate, entertain, and inspire. It’s good to read this post, I liked your infographic from Visual.ly! Much appreciated.

    • Drew McLellan

      Anders,

      I think it is wise to always err on the side of your reader versus SEO. yes…the exact right key words are important. But if you can’t connect with your readers, then your page rank etc. suffers and your SEO isn’t going to be worth as much anyway.

      I’d much rather have more readers who keep coming back because the content and conversation is good, then hit it out of the park SEO wise.

      Drew

  • Howard Jones

    So is content marketing more like search engine optimization whereby the desire is to get your page ranked up higher on google and get more traffic or what is its main course?

    • Drew McLellan

      Howard,

      If you look at the infographic on this post, you’ll see some of the key reasons for content marketing. Positioning yourself as an expert, attracting potential customers by sharing information, persuading someone of something, educating your audience etc. So yes, SEO is one of the reasons to do it, but by itself, it’s probably not worth it.

      Drew

  • Fred

    Why am I not doing it? Because I have to get design work done. It’s hard work and very time consuming to do content marketing well. I guess a slow start is a start. That’s why I’m here.

    • Drew McLellan

      Fred,

      That’s the challenge isn’t it — how do I get my work done AND promote my business? I think for most business owners — they don’t have a clear plan in place and they aren’t accoutnable to anyone but themselves. That can be a dangerous combination!

      Drew

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