What is Content Marketing?
Content Marketing is definitely a word that’s popping up on everybody’s radar, but you can’t really start to have a good conversation about content marketing without first understanding what content is. Believe it or not this is easier than it sounds and to prove it look at the earliest recorded form of content… cave paintings. If you understand content as anything you create and share to tell a story then cave paintings definitely qualify. If cavemen could grasp this concept then I’d say everyone else has a pretty good chance of wrapping their heads around it too. Content marketing is just an extension of the cave painting concept. From a business perspective it is telling a story and sharing it with a select group of people that will be attracted, engaged or persuaded by that story. Ok the caveman could create content that still engages people 40,000 years later using paint and a slab of rock. Imagine what we can do with Internet as our tool.
Why Content Marketing and Why Now?
Content marketing has got a lot of buzz around it right now. People are talking about it, because people are realizing how powerful and sustainable it is. If you’re sitting there right now thinking maybe this isn’t for you, and your customers aren’t online think again. Maybe a few years ago you could afford that mentality but right now it no longer applies. Everybody’s age group and demographic today has access to and will use the internet to look for products and solutions. If you’re not creating content to address their interests then you are missing an opportunity to engage with a large chunk of your market and falling behind your competition. Real valuable content speaks to people’s needs. Whether those needs are distraction and entertainment, supplying solutions to real problems or both. Every time you publish a piece of content you create an opportunity to answer a need, and establish your authority with those people and the search engines. So, yes, let’s talk about Google for a bit. Over the years Google has been refining their product. What is Google’s product? Quite simply they provide a channel by which internet users can find what they need. The product would be pretty useless otherwise. With that in mind Google has been steadily improving its product to attribute value to content the same way that we do, checking for quality, relevance and popularity. As the goals of the search engines and the people converge the value of quality content becomes apparent.
Over the next few years content marketing will spread throughout all organizations, at least the smart ones. It will start to become a key component to any companies marketing initiatives. With the ever changing algorithm and updates to Google, consistent creation of quality content allows you to cast a wide net of relevancy and activity. If you can manage to create consistent fresh and educational content with your readers in mind first then search engines, you’re on the path to establishing a good content marketing strategy.