Content Marketing: What is it and How Does it Work

content marketing

The digital population on a global scale has increased to a whopping 4 billion people. Out of these 4 billion, 3.7 billion people are those who use internet on their mobiles.

Source: Optinmonster

If you look at the statistics above, you will realize what a digital world ours has become and how much we tend to rely on it. It comes as no surprise that because of this growth in digitalization, businesses have started to evolve too.

Regular marketing has become boring for most businesses while content marketing takes the lead.

Content marketing does the basic job of marketing that is to attract customers and increase sales. Since the Internet is the new source of information and communication, businesses also use it as a platform to market their products and services.

What is content marketing?

If you want a basic definition of content marketing, it is a marketing strategy that tends to provide high quality content to people. This content needs to be updated and relevant to the business in such a way that the target audience can form a long term relationship with the business.

Source: Business Linkedin

If you want to compare it to regular advertising and marketing techniques, it gives a more detailed outlook while showing customers that you care more than others.

With time, everyone has less time for each other; hence people crave more care and attention than usual. Content marketing, by taking this into account, provides the target audience with extra attention and detail to allure them as loyal customers.

Access to the internet means that people can now research products and services of various businesses at the same time. Naturally, businesses need to step up their game and attract people more strategically.

Content Marketing vs. Regular Marketing

Since content marketing is new in the arena of marketing strategies, we should take a look at how it differs from mainstream marketing.

Over the years, companies and businesses have used salesmen and marketing strategies to attract customers and sometimes even make a fool out of them. Content marketing puts a full stop there.

Source: LYFE Marketing

Let us take a look at some of the differences between the two marketing strategies:

1. Permissive vs. Interruptive

Many people consider traditional marketing to be interruptive due to its way of approach towards customers. While people usually receive promotions and advertisements when they least require it, the opposite happens for content marketing.

Content marketing is said to be a permissive marketing technique since the content is available to people when they search for it and wish to see it. Technically, they give the permission of marketing to the business.

If you look at telemarketing, half the time advertisements will pop up on your television screen without you wanting them there. This is interruptive behavior and an act of promoting the product rather than providing information about it.

On the other hand, if you search for a video on YouTube regarding a product, it is permissive since you allowed it to be marketed to you. This is a pretty significant difference between traditional and content marketing and one that really makes sense.

2. Costs

Every business’s concern is that it saves money since the goal is to achieve profits and see them increasing. When using marketing techniques, there is a gap between the costs attached to both strategies.

There are claims that traditional marketing costs more than content marketing but there are reasons behind such claims as well.

According to research, content marketing ends up costing 62% less than traditional marketing while also creating more than 3 times the leads than the regular way. This price difference is mainly due to the additional costs attached to traditional marketing.

If you put up an advertisement, it will only last for a certain period of time and will only be seen by a few people. If you want to advertise again, you’ll have to spend the money once again. However, in the case of content marketing, you will only be publishing your content online once, with people viewing it overtime and no additional costs attached.

Source: Agency Revolution

3. Different Mediums

While comparing the two marketing techniques, it is important to look at the main difference that separates the two. The mediums that both use are apart from one another considering that the strategies are different.

Traditional marketing relies on television, radio, direct mails, banners, billboards, brochures and newspaper or magazine advertisements. On the other hand, digital marketing uses the internet to post content on websites, blogs, infographics, email newsletters, podcasts and E-books.

Source: OkDork

If you look at the statistics above, you can see that blog posts and written pieces are one of the most shared content in digital marketing. 53% of marketers now keep blog content creation as a priority in their marketing strategy.

Since we talked about the costs varying for both strategies as well, we can see that how different the two mediums. Due to this change in platform for marketing, the content has also shifted accordingly.

A digital world requires something unique that can really catch the interest of people and turn them into loyal customers over time.

4. Monologue vs. Dialogue

In a world that is changing hard and fast, people are now inquiring and searching for answers. Traditional marketing has the basic concept of carrying out a one sided promotion of a product with the single purpose of selling it.

While customers will understand what your product is, they will not be able to form a long term bond with the brand or hold any association with it. Traditional marketing does not give them a platform to ask questions and receive answers.

Before making any purchase, people now conduct a thorough research where they look for certain answers. Content marketing provides customers with an interactive base where businesses have the opportunity to initiate a dialogue with customers and provide them with detailed information rather than a monotonous promotion.

5. General vs. Personal

Traditional marketing is meant to promote and advertise a product to a large group of people. Hence, the methods are designed in such a way that a bigger audience can be attracted to buy the product.

You don’t expect businesses to create separate newspaper advertisements for each and everyone out there do you? Of course not.

Digital marketing is again different in this aspect. The aim of this technique is not to promote a product but to gain the trust of a group of people.

Content marketing focuses on creating meaningful content that can be valuable to a smaller group of people. Rather than creating one type of content that covers all audiences, businesses create separate content for different groups to provide necessary information.

How to Use Content Marketing to Increase Sales

Being a part of the competitive business industry, you really need to make sure that not only are people aware about you but also find you unique. This is where content marketing will play its role to bring the qualities in the limelight.

To make digital marketing a part of your business, you first need to focus on your audience. The purpose of this marketing is to tailor the content according to the audience so they not only find it meaningful but also find a bond with the business.

Source: MSS Articles

Secondly, you need to find the right strategy for your business. This means carrying out research and seeing what marketing channel will suit your business and also see how much audience is attracted by it.

63% of the businesses are unable to document their content strategy since they lack detailed knowledge of content marketing.

You can choose from Search Engine Optimization (SEO), blog posts, audio and podcasts, video posts and website pages to name a few. Whichever channel of marketing you end up choosing, you need to make sure that it remains updated so people can follow it on a regular basis.

Lastly, the content you create should be interesting and eye catching. If you choose to post blogs for beginner chefs, your tone should be consistent and friendly to make it sound more like a conversation

Even though digital marketing is different from traditional marketing, the aim is to keep customers attentive and focused towards the business. So you need to continue to produce unique content that can really influence people.

Source: Optinmonster

According to the statistics, 65% of the marketers find it difficult to produce engaging content for their business. While 60% of them claim that they are unable to produce consistent content.

These show that content marketing can be challenging and you really need to invest your time and creativity towards it to produce great results. It’s not impossible but it does require commitment and effort.

Benefits of Digital Marketing

If you’re looking at the bigger picture to see the benefits that a business can reap from digital marketing, the main thing is that it really works. A study conducted showed that video content marketing gave a 60% returning customer rate to a business.

Moreover, statistics have also shown that content marketing means lesser costs which it makes more appropriate for businesses, especially those that are new in the industry.

Source: LYFE Marketing

The image above shows how easy calculating the results is with the help of digital marketing. Measuring variables to see how customers react and which channel suits better is a major concern for businesses. Moreover, it is the perfect way to check which strategy works best and earns most revenue.

Let us not forget that customer engagement is important in marketing and digital marketing provides just that. Creating a long lasting relationship with customers and increasing their loyalty is exactly what it ends up doing.

Content marketing is not just about promotions of products but about providing valuable, meaningful and detailed information to customers about businesses to increase brand awareness and indirectly promote products.

Conclusion

After looking at the main differences between traditional marketing and digital marketing, it is not difficult to comprehend which one helps a business more.

As a society evolves, the ways change as well. Since people have now moved on to a digital world, the communication methods have also shifted accordingly.

Costs are a major factor in deciding the marketing strategy and with lowers expenses attached to content marketing, many businesses have started to adapt themselves accordingly.

Promotion is not the aim of content marketing. The content in this marketing strategy stands for valuable information that does not hide anything from customers but provides them with full details about a topic.

Digital marketing is relatively new but a large population has started using it since access to the internet has become common. Now people can search for anything, anywhere to find the best results.

Similarly, businesses need to take a step ahead and ensure that they also remain updated. People want answers and that is what content marketing aims to provide.

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