Content marketing is changing the rules

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Consumers have turned their backs on the traditional world of marketing; and smart marketers are turning their hands to creating something new.

Enter content marketing.

Content marketing’s purpose if to attract and retain your customers by constantly creating valuable and relevant content they can engage and interact with. It’s an ongoing process that focuses on the ownership of media rather than the rental; and has the intention of changing or enhancing your consumer’s behavior and raising brand awareness.

It’s all about helping, entertaining and educating your audience to build their trust. And that’s important for two reasons:

1. It gives value to your brand, and builds your credibility
Most consumers search online for information about a brand, product or service before ever making a purchase. And one of then ways they’ll find your brand is if you boost your online presence through the creation of online content. The traditional advertising with banner ads and other direct advertising is, on the most part, being ignored.

But when you develop your social media strategy but lack in the content department, what on earth are you supposed to post?

If you create your own content, it will improve your online presence and the engagement with your target demographic. The aim is to have people seek out and share the content you have created.

2. It gives consumers a reason to like you, and to buy from you
Whether you write a blog post or create a video, your audience will gain value from the content you create and share with them. When they’re engaged in your content, they’ll see that you’re not just interested in making a sale but that you’re also interested in bettering their lives, entertain and/or educate them. Once this happens your brand will be looked upon as the ‘entertainer’ or ‘expert’ and your consumers will think of you next time they want to buy the products or services you offer, simply because your brand will be in front of their mind.

With that in mind it’s vital that you ensure your content is of the highest quality. And there’s no cutting corners – articles must be well written, infographics must be designed well and videos must be of professional quality. If you decide to develop a drama series, it has to have great writing and high production values. People are used to top quality on all platforms these days so you can’t skimp on that. If you can’t afford it, you are better off not doing it at all. Bad or ‘try hard’ content will do immeasurable damage to a brand.

But be sure not to make your content self-promotional, your audience is looking for two-way communication with brands. Your audience is incredibly savvy and will spot a sales pitch from miles away. They will make up their own mind if they like your brand or not and it’s more then likely going to be through using social media. They will ask their friends and family and read online reviews – so it’s imperative that your social media  and online presence is impeccable.

So, why should you create great content?

You have to see the bigger picture. You shouldn’t do content marketing just to increase your website traffic, it may not have a direct ROI or other traditional and measurable marketing goals. It’s about building trust with your consumers, increasing their loyalty and developing a positive brand image. All the other things will follow suit if you have done it right.

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