In simple terms, content marketing is a business telling stories to attract and retain customers. These stories help showcase the expertise of a company or its benefits and unique selling propositions that a product or service provides. Content marketing has been around for a long time. Prior to the digital era,
companies would produce magazines or use public relations strategists to elicit articles or sponsored stories from print publications to promote stories about their brands.
Content Marketing is Now Available to the Masses
With the rise of the internet and blogging, the barriers of entry for content marketing that previously faced companies has slowly dissipated. Technological advances have made it possible for businesses to publish content quickly, easily and with low costs. You don’t have to be a high-profile publisher or media company for customers to accept and engage in your content. Today, blogs, featured articles on websites, e-newsletters, social posts, videos, case studies and white papers are among the most common forms of content that companies use to tell their stories.
Foundation of a Marketing Campaign Strategy
Content marketing should not just be a story here and there. An effective content marketing strategy uses specific topics that are compelling, unique and interesting to the target audience and are then promoted across multiple channels.
At b. Branded we develop editorial calendars to help plan the content topics that will be promoted during a specific quarter or month. The editorial calendar details the messages and specific benefits to feature. A blog, article, white paper or infographic may serve as the foundation. These pieces provide the stories that detail the benefits to potential customers. Then we use an integrated, multi-channel approach to promote the content.
A Real World Example
A pharmaceutical company launches a new product, a small prenatal vitamin with highly-absorbable ingredients. The company wants to increase awareness and sales of the product.
To achieve this, b. Branded developed a series of content pieces for several weeks or months, including blogs, articles and infographics about common pain-points the small prenatal vitamin solves. The content explained the unique ingredients that make the prenatal vitamin a better nutritional option for moms and babies. The blogs, articles and infographics were published on the website or branded blog.
We then used a multi-channel approach to distribute and promote the content. Social media posts helped promote the content to fans and followers. Their interactions are seen in their feed, exposing the brand to new audiences. Social media ads, like sponsored posts on Facebook and promoted pins on Pinterest were used to get additional exposure to previously untapped audience. We also featured the content in recurring email marketing campaigns sent to current and prospective patients. In addition, these posts were optimized for key phrases (think: “easy to swallow prenatal vitamins”). Eventually they began to appear on search engines, like Google or Yahoo. The beauty of this medium is that the shelf life of the content never ends. Blogs and articles from months or years prior, if optimized, can remain at the top of search engines for a very long time.
When women start to search the web for a small, easy-to-swallow prenatal vitamin, the new product will appear in their search results. Similarly, when they are on Facebook or Pinterest browsing for pregnancy related information, the content we created will be served to them. Two years down the road, the mom who is ready to have another child after using the small prenatal vitamin, will receive an email campaign about the product. This will bring the product top-of-mind and spur her to purchase again in light of the new addition to the family.
An effective content marketing strategy can yield both short-term and long-term benefits. It can be used to bring customers in, help position companies as thought leaders, showcase expertise and drive profits.
If you’d like to learn more about how we can help with content marketing strategies or execution, drop us a line at 910.681.0548 or send us an email.