To best understand what content marketing is, it might be wise to look at its recent history as its total explosion in popularity is intimately related to the unique marketing benefits it offers. It is all related to the popularity of content itself. But what do we mean by “internet content”.
Internet content is the type of material that is intimately related to the internet and how it is used. In other words, we are talking about online media, smartphone videos, YouTube tutorials, blogs, vlogs, podcasts, and anything that offers something distinct from pure advertising material.
The reason this is a phenomenon particular to the internet is that the internet has allowed users a never-before seen ability to select what they view. Online, you always have the opportunity to click away (from anything).
Accordingly, content marketing is that which offers something useful or entertaining – which has value in and of itself –and then combines that with marketing material.That is the essence of content marketing – content with the marketing added in.
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People Don’t Like Ads
Sacramento SEO company Peak Design say that the internet is, for better or worse, a place of short concentration spans. Many people find ads at the start of YouTube videos irritating, and they invest in ad blockers to do something about this. They can also “scroll on past” and, as mentioned, they can always click away.
Consequently, adding some valuable content to your marketing is often the only way to have the marketing itself noticed. This is why content marketing is a unique phenomenon of the internet age.
There is also the matter of trust in ads. An ad – on Facebook, Google, or wherever – is one that just shows the marketing material, your brand, and place for the user to click through to your online outlet. The only problem is that trust in ads is relatively low, and you might find that even if you manage to get your ad seen, there’s still the question of getting it trusted.
This is much easier to do if the marketing material is coupled with content. Internet users are much more likely to be convinced by an ad if the ad incudes something like a tutorial video featuring the product or a podcast that mentions it. Product-related content shows your product in a realistic context, meaning that it is more likely to be trusted.
Tips and Strategies for Content Marketing
Pay Attention to Content Distribution Channels
There are four types of content distribution channels – earned, shared, owned, and paid. Each of these describes your relationship to the content. Earned content is that which is created by others about your company or product; shared content is your own content but shared around and used by others; owned content is that under your direct control and located on your website; paid content is that which you have paid to have distributed.
What Type of Content?
The content itself can also be subdivided into different kinds that work better in different contexts. There is educational content, entertaining content, and socially valuable content. For each of these, make sure your content is educational, entertaining, or shareable.
Make Your Content Relevant to Your Products (But not Overly)
Your content should feature your products, but it shouldn’t be exclusively about those products (that would be simply ad marketing). For content marketing, it’s far better to have your product and service feature as a part of something that is attractive for other reasons.
Content marketing ultimately offers more to the internet user than simple information about your brand. The most important thing, therefore, is to ensure it can stand on its own.