Content Marketing: Why You Should Already Be Doing It
Prominent organizations, including industry leaders such as Moz, Forbes, and the Content Marketing Institute, may differ in individual practice, but all agree that content marketing is here to stay. These organizations and others prove that content marketing is essential for effectively growing inbound and outbound marketing strategy. Content marketing is less a buzzword you see popping up on social media and more an evolution of consumer habits and marketing practices.
What Is Content Marketing?
Whether you’re new to the idea of content marketing or could just use a refresher, a firm definition of content marketing is a great place to start. The Content Marketing Institute defines it as “a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience—and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action” (2017, par. 1).
Breaking down this definition, “valuable” rises to the surface as one of the most important pieces to content marketing. Modern marketing must provide value to its customers, whom Harvard Business Review’s Thaler and Turner (2013) describe as smarter, driven by data, and all around more informed in purchase decisions. With consumers turning to content to make decisions, relevance and consistency neatly follow in the content marketing definition by providing the criteria that makes content valuable. In order for content to be valuable to consumers, it must be relevant and consistent, delivered in a timely and dependable form.
The Core Function of Content Marketing
Author, entrepreneur, and frequent public speaker, Peter Shankman often speaks on the role of customer service in business today. “We are getting into the age where no one believes how great you are anymore,” says Shankman of traditional methods becoming vestiges of the past. “You just need to focus on creating a great experience for your customer and let them do your press work for you.” Content therefore becomes the vessel for delivering customer service and marketing.
Shankman asserts that when you create valuable content that helps—that is, provides customer service—to users, they are more likely to engage with and ultimately support your brand. Bill Davis, consultant and a Core Faculty member in the Forbes School of Business & Technology™, echoes Shankman’s philosophy on customer service-cum-marketing. Says Davis, “Delivering quality customer service and care is essential for brand awareness and reputation, while also ensuring good word-of-mouth advertising.”
At the heart of content, the elements of value, relevance, and consistency all work together within the marketing strategy to drive the traffic and prospects that a brand seeks. To learn more about developing core competencies and skills in content marketing, the Content Marketing Bootcamp helps you effectively build and execute emerging best practices in the field.
Written by Kelsey Bober, Content Manager for Bridgepoint Education.
Content Marketing Institute. (2017). Retrieved from: contentmarketinginstitute.com
Newlands, M. (2015). Peter Shankman Is Creating Zombie Loyalists By Delivering Excellent Customer Service. Retrieved from Forbes.com.
Thaler, R., & Tucker, W. (2013). Smarter Information, Smarter Consumers. Retrieved from: hbr.org