It is often difficult to explain to a layperson why use content marketing to promote one’s business. What is the main objective of content marketing? Why is it better than conventional advertising and marketing? Most importantly, why spend money on it?
The problem with content marketing is that it is relatively new field as far as the common level of awareness goes. Otherwise, one of the oldest instances of content marketing can be found in this post that talks about two brothers who invented a usable hose pipe to douse fires. One of the brothers used an educational booklet to explain people how this invention could be used. He also used to give presentations. He used visuals. He also provided consulting services (on how to use the hose pipe). All these methods are nothing but content marketing.
Another good example of content marketing is a village fair. Why do most of the people go to a village fair? 70% of the people have no intention of purchasing stuff. They mostly go because of the entertainment available at the fair. There are shows. There are mythology storytelling sessions where folk singers use colloquial language to tell awe-inspiring stories. There are giant wheels and merry-go-rounds for kids and adults. The basic draw is the entertainment. This is content. This content draws people to the village fair site and this in turn benefits all those merchants and shopkeepers who want to sell at the fair.
Hence, the most important objective of content marketing is to create a platform for you where people regularly come to consume your valuable content and then become familiar with your product or service.
Most of the established content marketers insist that content marketing is basically educating your prospective customers and clients. It’s providing them solutions. It’s solving their problems. It’s being there when they need you.
The marketing part comes where you make it easier for people to find you. No matter how great and valuable and useful your content is, unless people know about it, it is of no use. This is why, once you have published content, you have to market it, you have to promote it in such a manner that people are able to find it and then they can benefit from it.
Aside from this, the 3 most important objectives of content marketing are:
- Lead generation
- Brand awareness
- Thought leadership
This may sound like a business jargon, but these 3 objectives make it very easy to explain it to someone how content marketing can help a business.
Content marketing for lead generation
Every business needs to generate leads because these leads eventually turn into sales. So, if your content marketing efforts are generating leads, then it is a successful campaign.
The statistics in this Slideshare presentation say that businesses that blog regularly generate 88% more leads compared to those who don’t publish a blog post regularly.
It’s obvious. The more content you have all over the Internet, the better are the chances of your links being found by your prospects, provided you are focusing on the right kind of content.
If I want to attract an audience who would like to hire my content writing and content marketing services‘s, then obviously I should be writing content around these topics, whether I publish it on my own website or somewhere else (on Medium, for example).
Content marketing for brand awareness
Brand awareness, as the term speaks for itself, means, more people know about your brand and are aware of what it stands for. This sort of content marketing may not get you business directly (but indirectly, it certainly does) it makes your brand visible. People repeatedly come across interesting content by you and they become familiar to your presence.
The best way of creating brand awareness through content marketing that comes to my mind is guest blogging and publishing informative articles on other websites.
By publishing guest blog post on other blogs and websites you immediately put your brand in front of a completely new audience. If I want to put Credible Content in front of my prospects, I can submit blog posts to various websites like LinkedIn, Entrepreneur, web design blogs (to encourage them to hire my content writing services) and other business niche websites where people would be looking for a content writer.
You can also publish lots of educational material and simply let it be known that it’s your brand that’s publishing the material.
Content marketing for thought leadership
This is to establish your authority as an expert, or as a niche product or service provider. For thought leadership you need to publish lots of insightful content that helps people in real-world situations. You are considered a thought leader when your wisdom solves actual problems rather than dabbling with vague topics
Anyway, the objective of this blog post is not to talk about how to develop a strong thought leadership. It is to talk about the most important objectives of content marketing: lead generation, brand awareness and thought leadership. These are the basic, fundamental objectives and then it spreads into various branches and sub-branches.