Explaining and defining content marketing is a never-ending battle since it’s quite different from the traditional sales and promotional aspects of marketing.
It focuses more on guidance and information for users using blogs, eBooks, articles, videos, and webinars. Providing people with specific answers to specific questions. Providing your target audience with something unique they can’t find elsewhere.
A quick trip through the history
Content marketing isn’t a modern concept but has been around for centuries. Although it wasn’t literally named “content marketing” back in the day.
The first example of content marketing can be traced back to 1732 when Benjamin Franklin in his publication named poor Richard’s Almanack – where he published content his audience would want to read increasing his local printing business awareness.
In the 1900’s Michelin the famous tire company began publishing to its 3000 automobile owners guides to Parisian attractions. A few years later, Jell-o, the famous confectionery brand went door-to-door handing out pamphlets on how one could use Jell-O to whip up different desserts.
In the ’50s. Kellogg’s. the yummy corn-based cereal redesigned its packaging graphics to attract kids and in turn, sold more cereal.
Let’s list the benefits that come with content marketing
- Cheaper conversations
- Decreases hurdle to market entry
- Reduced marketing and sales overheads
- Measurable and actionable results
- More traffic
- Stronger leads generation and qualification
- Higher search engine ranking
- Email list building
- Reputation management
- Increased sales
Wouldn’t it be great if your sales and marketing team worked together as a unified unit? Well, content marketing ensures just that. Let’s look at it this way: the marketing department could easily pull insights gathered from customer feedback and sales calls while the sales department could accolade their hunting by distributing marketing collaterals.
It’s always a good idea to take a step back in order to get some perspective. It also happens to be the best way to look at the benefits you could reap from content marketing by answering one simple question: what does your company want to achieve exactly? From there you can employ specific content marketing goals and objectives to tailor your needs.
A few content marketing examples for you
Since we have already established the fact that content marketers can expand to a number of different models and speak to just as many different personalities, the possibility of what a single section of content could look like is boundless.
Here are 5 of the many formats I’d like you to consider while planning your marketing campaign!
#1 User-generated campaign (UGC)
In my opinion, is quite a lethal weapon you should consider being part of your marketing arsenal. It’s a self-explanatory marketing method involving real people that is super cost-effective, unique, and utterly creative.
For example in 2014, the coffee giant Starbucks introduced a challenge encouraging users to doodle on their white cups and hashtagged it #whitecupchallenge and promoted it by offering the best design to be used as a limited edition template for their cups in the future. The campaign was an immediate success within three weeks receiving about 4000 designs sent to them by customers.
Creating blog posts is quite an advantageous path to your content marketing endeavors. This space can be used as your personal spotlight to position yourself as a thought leader to discuss prevalent industry subjects, rationalize how your product works and the issues that might potentially crop and attract new clientele. Blog content can also be reused on social media pages, eBooks, along with visuals.
Just like reading a review on a newly launched movie before watching it or going to a fancy restaurant.
Quite a few brands use testimonials written by real users and post them on their websites along with their products to enhance the legitimacy of their products. It gives potential users an exclusive look at what they’re about to invest their time and money into.
#4 Case studies
Case studies illustrate a genuine incident with a real consumer and how it was dealt with. It’s in a detailed step-by-step section of what challenges your product faced and how did you overcome the obstacle.
It’s always pleasing to hear a story of a satisfied customer and works wonders on converting potential customers into regulars.
#5 Explainer videos
Explainer videos take all your other marketing hard work and boost them into a compact space of information that discusses the benefits of your product, and how to overcome any of the issues you might oversee.
For example, when Spotify launched its explainer video, they came up with a creative out of the box way to do it along with music, animation, and actual people all hustling in and out of the frame while telling you how it tailor-made just for you and your needs making it an ideal composition for all age groups.