CONTENT MARKETING 101: Understanding this modern marketing tactic [Part 1]

Posted by Melissa Brown on April 11, 2018

04_18Content Marketing Facebook

It’s annoying, and we’ve all been there.

You’re scrolling through your Facebook feed, enjoying your friends’ pictures and laughing at some recently uploaded Saturday Night Live videos. Suddenly, your enjoyment is interrupted by an ad for a new mattress cover that’s supposed to improve your sleep or the latest line of dresses at a local retailer.

These ads are interrupting your News Feed, and that’s why it’s called interruptive marketing. Other examples of interruptive marketing include traditional forms of advertising like television, radio and print ads.

interruptive ads

Interruptive Marketing Ads

Because interruptive marketing is so, well, interruptive, only a few will read the ads, much less click on it and buy what people are selling. As consumers get more savvy at avoiding ads, marketers must shift their focus to meet their consumer’s needs, not simply their own. 

Content marketing (also known as “permission marketing” or “inbound marketing”) does just that. It’s the opposite of interruptive marketing, because people are seeking the information you present, rather than being annoyed by ads pushed in front of them when they don’t want them.

What is content marketing?

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.”

In other words, instead of posting and distributing sales-pitch-style ads, you’re attracting an audience by providing them with useful information (content) that solves their problems.

Moz.com describes it as “shortening the distance” between your potential customer and your product, making it more likely they’ll purchase from you at a later date.

And it’s not something to ignore.

A recent Express Writer’s infographic reported that average marketers spend around 29 percent of their total marketing budgets on creating and distributing content. It also reported that content marketing will be a $300-billion industry by 2019, meaning this isn’t a fleeting trend.

Here’s how it works

If you’ve been on social media lately, you may have come across recipe how-to videos by Tasty, a company that sells cooking supplies and cookbooks. However, instead of seeing salesy posts about their products, you’re more likely to see their helpful how-to videos shared among your friends on social media.

contentmarketing adsContent Marketing Ad

This post (see photo above), for example, provides a quick video on how to make macarons with a link to the full recipe. This post has garnered 64,000 shares, 39 million views and more than 9,000 comments.

As consumers see Tasty’s posts over and over again (because their friends are sharing the content over and over again), they’re developing a top-of-mind awareness of Tasty. And their impression of Tasty is positive, because they perceive the company as providing content that is useful. Furthermore, if people like their videos enough, the hope is they will either click to become regular followers or visit Tasty’s profile, where they can learn more about the company’s offerings and even purchase their products.

The great thing is, this model can work for any industry. A realtor could provide an educational blog post, featuring “Top 10 questions to ask realtors before hiring them.” An accountant could provide a downloadable, printable infographic with all the important tax deadlines a business should know for the year. A not-for-profit organization could provide a fact sheet about recent laws that were made or share media coverage about an issue people care about.

How can you apply content marketing to your business or organization? Consider:

  • Blogs
  • Infographics
  • Guides
  • Webinars
  • Ready-to-present PowerPoint decks
  • Templates
  • Videos
  • Frequently asked questions/answers
  • White papers
  • And more
(What other content have you shared with your audience? Let us know in the comments!)

By providing this type of content to your target audience, you’re more likely to develop a loyal following of people who will now consider you an industry expert and a trustworthy place to go the next time they need your product.

Ready to get started?

The idea of beginning to create content for this type of marketing can sometimes be overwhelming. We can help! Our team is keeping up with content-marketing trends and best practices and is ready to jump in and support your organization. Contact us to get started with content marketing!

See also:

Topics: social media, content marketing, inbound marketing, permission marketing, interruptive marketing, writing, communications, marketing

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