What does content marketing actually mean?

Content marketing is one of the most popular buzz words these days on the Internet and surprisingly, it gets more traction than content creation, without which content marketing has no purpose to exist.

So what is content marketing?

It basically means promoting the right kind of content in front of the right kind of audience. Content is king is a clich├ęd expression but it has never been truer. Whether it’s the search engines or the social media websites, they survive and thrive on content: whatever format the content has. But is content marketing as easy as this?

Hardly. To create a solid content marketing strategy, you need to clearly define your audience, and have a lucid perception of what sort of content would tickle their buying buds. Whom do you want to target? Customers, clients, subscribers, advertisers or visitors who devote a fair amount of their attention upon your advertisers? Then you start creating content accordingly. If you are a web design company you want to attract prospective clients who would be interested in buying your services. If you are a content writer or an online copywriter (like yours truly) you would like to attract people who would want to hire you as a freelance writer.

In the early 2000s for nearly two years my website came on the first spot on Google for the word "web designing" because I had generated lots of content around this phrase. The problem was, my website mostly attracted people who wanted to learn web designing rather than hire me for their web design projects. The targeting was all wrong.

So when I started creating content for this website it was constantly on my mind that I shouldn’t end up attracting just "aspiring" content writers and work-at-home people who wanted to do something in their spare time. My content should attract prospective clients. Well-orchestrated content marketing can achieve this for you.

Once you have identified your audience and have created a significant number of blog posts or web pages, you must start promoting and marketing your content using the following methods:

  • Opt-in email marketing: This is one of the oldest, and still one of the best ways of getting your word around. When people are on your website or blog encourage them to subscribe to your email updates so that they can receive the content you publish without interruption.
  • RSS feeds: Encourage people to subscribe to your RSS feed by prominently displaying the RSS button on your website or blog.
  • Social media, networking and bookmarking websites: Such websites can bring you tons of traffic. These websites include FaceBook, Twitter, Digg, Delicious, StumbleUpon, etc. They may seem to be bringing lots of random traffic (and increasing your bandwidth costs in the process) without generating much business but they certainly increase your visibility and help you strengthen your brand presence.
  • Online forums: Yes, they’re still popular and get lots of traffic from search engines.
  • Guest posting and commenting on other blogs: Find blogs in your niche. Write guest blog posts for them (something I have never been able to do actually) and participate in their comments section. Again, this may not bring you direct customers but it does generate buzz and this leads to customers and clients.
  • Search engine optimization: Some people believe in SEO and some don’t. The most logical thing to do is, produce highly relevant content using keywords your prospective customers and clients would use as search terms on search engines. This can draw lots of relevant traffic to your blog or website.

Content marketing is an ongoing process simply because there are always people competing with you. Ignore it for a few months and you’ll realize you almost have to start it from the beginning, unless you’re a celebrity.

6 thoughts on “What does content marketing actually mean?

  1. Beth Hrusch

    Yes, targeting your audience is key when you are content marketing. If you’re trying to rank for a keyphrase that is not as competitive, you run the risk of missing the mark. However, it’s a risk worth taking. First, you have a better chance of ranking and second, some of those people who come to your site looking for something slightly different than what you offer just may end up recommending you to someone else. Or, they may someday need your services. If your site contains useful, relevant content they will remember this.

    The balance between an achievable keyword and targeted traffic is tricky, but great content is a non-negotiable feature of any site, regardless of what keywords you’re using. Thanks for the info!

  2. Pingback: What is content marketing?

  3. Pingback: Content strategy before social media strategy

  4. web design

    Thanks a lot, I am actually thinking about doing facebook marketing and I really like your post.
    It make me realize that I MUST think about what my customers will like to see as contents.
    I am now searching for many informations that they will like and fun stuff for them before creating any fan page.

Leave a Reply