The world of marketing has changed dramatically since advertisements first started to appear in newspapers in the 18th century. Today, marketers have a much larger range of tools at their disposal. Content Marketing is one such tool. Similar to a lever, once used correctly, it can have a massive impact on the success of any organisation.
What is Content Marketing?
The folks at The Content Marketing Institute define content marketing as follows
Put simply, this means creating content that your potential customers will find useful. At a basic level, imagine you are interested in buying something. Say, for instance, you want to buy a kayak, but you’re not sure which type is best for you. You might do a Google search for ‘best kayak for beginners’. A business selling kayaks might have a blog post describing various kayaks suitable for beginners. You read the article, you like the content, it answers your question. Now you are on the website of a business selling kayaks and are much more likely to buy from this business.
Let’s look at this in practice. Below is an example of this at work. On the first page of Google when searching for ‘best kayak for beginners Ireland’, Spirit Craft Kayaks and Canoes have an article explaining things you should know when buying a new kayak. Right beside the article is a picture of a kayak with a link to find out how you can ‘Beat the Brexit Price Rise’. Of course I’m going to click on that link and see what they have.
That is the simplified version of how content marketing works. You have created and distributed valuable, relevant content. However, it doesn’t just stop there. Your competition may also be publishing blog content to attract customers. Or indeed other types of content!
Types of Content Marketing
Blog posts are just one type of content. There is also video content, social media content, e-books, white papers, user generated content etc. Basically anything that provides useful information to people who may turn out to be your potential customers.
While the above example shows the success of having useful content, unfortunately that’s where it ends for that business. They don’t have any more blog content. Their success for that search term may be due to the age of the website. who.is shows it was first registered in 2008. Their last Facebook page post was in 2016 and the link to Google+, which was shut down in 2019 doesn’t work.
In comparison LakelandKayaks.ie, registered in 2020, has dozens of blog posts published weekly on average, which it shares across its Facebook and Instagram accounts. They also show up on the first page of Google for the same search term.
This is an example of content marketing in action. A site that is only one year old appearing on the same first page of Google as a 13 year old site.
So what are you waiting for? Start creating content today to reap the benefits tomorrow!
(This blog post was created as fulfillment of part of the Digital Marketing module in my BA (Hons) in Business, Social Enterprise, Leadership and Management that I am undertaking through Equal Ireland and AIT)