You may have heard the phrase ‘content marketing’ used on marketing websites and by marketing professionals, and you might have nodded and thought “I’m not 100% sure what this means, but its probably something to do with my website”, right?
The Content Marketing Institute describes content marketing as:
“Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”
Basically, content marketing is the giving of information not designed to sell (such as product information or offers) but to educate or inform about your industry, field or expertise. It can be done in any form, such as a newsletter, article or blog, for example, and should have the aim of providing useful information to your customers which gives them a sense of loyalty towards your business as you are giving them something they value.
Both businesses and marketing professionals now consider content marketing as a key way of communicating with and engaging customers so as to build loyalty for your brand, and many big businesses are now employing content marketers to focus solely on the information they are developing and distributing to their clients and customers.
So, how does this relate to marketing for your small business? Loyalty is important for all businesses, and customers now look for relationships which give them something back. By building content marketing into your marketing plans, you can give them knowledge and information relevant to your business, which not only provides added value but also cements your reputation as an expert in your field.
A business blog is probably is the most commonly used way of bringing content marketing into your marketing strategy, but you could also look at putting videos, case studies from other customers or Slideshare presentations onto your website for starters. Whatever you do, just remember to make sure that it provides quality information which is relevant and interesting for your customers.