The Content Marketing Institute defines content marketing as: “A strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience – and ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
Content, as used for digital marketing purposes, could encompass, among other formats:
- Blog posts
- White papers
- Case studies
Taken together, these content pieces can be used to support a number of marketing goals:
- Educating your ideal customer on how your company can help them
- Getting your brand in front of people who haven’t heard of you yet
- Positioning your company as a thought leader in your industry
- Building an email database through the deployment of gated lead magnet content pieces (such as downloadable eBooks or other resources)
- Helping your organic SEO efforts by educating search engines on the products and/or services you sell.
Essentially, using content marketing gets you in front of new top-of-the-funnel audiences and continually engages them with new content as they move through your sales process to an eventual conversion. Achieving these goals requires the creation and implementation of a defined content marketing plan.
Time to see results:
In general, content marketing can take up to six months to start driving results, depending on your goals.
When to use it:
Use content marketing when you have access to talented content creators in-house, or when it’s important to your brand to build up the perceived thought leadership that comes from releasing high-value content. Content marketing can also be used as a natural compliment to SEO, as publishing great content supports the search engines’ explicit goal of prioritizing useful results.