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What is Content Marketing?

Sam2bw‘Content Marketing’ as a concept is nothing new, but it is a buzzword being used more and more due to the rise of blogging and social media use by business. Content has always existed – the copy in a newsletter, flyer or other marketing collateral is content – but the continued rise of social media platforms has changed how content is produced and shared.

‘Content’ can be considered to be many things. Some might post pictures of cute kittens to their Facebook feed, others might write a 300 word blog post every week, or post a how-to video to YouTube once a fortnight. Whatever content you choose to produce and share, it should demonstrate some aspect of your business and information about the industry you are a part of.

Content marketing is:

  • Showcasing yourself/your business as an expert in your industry.
  • Demonstrating that you know your products and services.
  • Creating content that people WANT to read / view / watch / share / comment on.

Content Marketing is not:

  • The hard sell.
  • Telling potential customers how good your business is or how your product is cheaper/faster/better than your competition – that is advertising.

If you work in hospitality, photos of your food, drinks and venue will share your product and hopefully entice hungry viewers to your café or restaurant. Obviously photos of food aren’t going to cut it if you’re an accountant – establishing a blog to comment on financial issues would be more in line with your business objectives.

What you are reading right now is the perfect example of content marketing: As a PR and communications consultant, I have produced this ‘content’ to showcase my expertise in this field. Sharing this content across my social media networks such as Twitter and Facebook is the ‘marketing’ aspect. You could say this is content marketing about content marketing.

The role of Social Media

Through social media, good content can reach a lot of people. If you create interesting content, chances are someone will see it, read it and want to share it with their networks. They might not become immediate customers, but they have just formed a relationship, however fleeting, with you and your brand. Develop enough of these relationships and you’ll find that people are talking online (read: sharing, liking, commenting) about your brand. When these people do need your particular product or service, they will more than likely become your customer because of this relationship.

Strategy: Before you jump in the deep end

Consider your Content:
What content are you going to produce? Images? Blog posts? Videos? Or a combination of these content types?
Choose your social media platforms wisely:
Know your product and know your customer. Is Facebook the way to go? Is Instagram or Pinterest better suited to your company’s visuals? Is Twitter’s 140 characters suited to sharing your story? Are potential customers on Facebook? Are they discussing issues on LinkedIn? Are they tweeting? What are the platforms being used by your target market?

It all comes down to what will help build your online community. It is better to invest in one or two platforms well rather than spreading yourself too thin. Ensuring you know what time your target market is most likely to be using the platform you have chosen will also help when sharing your content.

Update your content and social media regularly:

A photo on Instagram once a day, a blog post once a week, YouTube clips each month. Make sure you have the time and resources to create, curate and share content appropriately. There is nothing worse than a Facebook page or Twitter Feed showing the most recent update was 14 months ago.

Be authentic, create content regularly and be strategic – or don’t do it at all.

Cheers,

Sam

Inlumino Communications is a PR, content marketing, and Social Media consultancy servicing SME clients from a variety of industries.
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