If you’re a business owner, it’s safe to assume that you use some form of marketing. Whether it’s cold calling, strictly word of mouth, billboards, or park benches (à la Phil Dunphy), you’re doing something to get the word out about your business.
Content Marketing is everywhere lately – everyone has an opinion about it, and how to best use it. If you’re still not convinced by what you’ve heard or read thus far, let’s see if we can help.
What Exactly is Content Marketing?
We’ve all heard the term but perhaps it’s just that to some people – a term. Let’s break it down. First, what is content? Ian Laurie of Portent, Inc. wisely states that “Content isn’t ‘stuff we write to rank higher’ or ‘infographics’ or ‘long-form articles.’ Content is anything that communicates a message to the audience. Anything.”
Our friends at Moz go on to say “Content marketing is the use of that content—any of it—to help meet a marketing goal for your organization.”
Pretty simple. The great part about content marketing is that your business most likely has loads of content to use, and even re-purpose, to make the whole marketing process pretty simple.
Why You Should Use It
If you’re thinking that you should avoid content marketing because it’s a passing trend, I’d recommend that you think otherwise. Because just like scrunchies, great trends never really leave us. Content marketing is great for:
- Building brand awareness
- Showcasing your expertise on a subject
- Shareable content, especially on social platforms
- Increasing site traffic
- Search Engine Optimization
- Building an audience (once someone is intrigued by your content, they’ll come back for more)
- Avoiding traditional sales pitches that people easily tune out
- Building brand loyalty
What Kind of Content Works Best
According to Convince and Convert, 63% of respondents in a marketing study said video marketing works best. The great thing about video is that it is constantly at our fingertips. We can watch on our phones while at the gym, waiting in the dentist’s waiting room, or taking the subway home from work.
Want to take your video content to the next level? The best way to further maximize it, is to use captions. Think about it, you’re interested in what seems to be a super informative video, but you’re in the waiting room at the dentist. You don’t have headphones, so you save the video to watch later. How often do you truly go back and watch the video? Do you want your video to be forgotten like that? Of course not! Captions are a simple and effective way to make your video content more widely receivable.
Still not convinced that your video needs captions? Check out this quick read for more info on the need for captions.
Podcasts, E-books and More
Another stockpile of content that is just waiting to be re-purposed and shared – your podcasts. According to Podcast Insights, 44% of the entire United States population has listened to a podcast.
Find more great insight on Podcast numbers with this infographic from Musicoomph.
Podcasting is a great medium to use when reaching out to customers and consumers new and old alike. While 44% is a great number, think of how much higher it could be if the podcast was released in another form, such as a downloadable transcription.
We’ve previously discussed the importance of transcription for podcasts here. You’ll find that when you have multiple forms of the same content, your audience base has the ability to grow because there is more than one way to consume that content.
The beauty of re-purposed content is that you’re giving consumers options. This makes them feel more valued, more stimulated, and hopefully, more loyal. Such content can be read while a new dad is laying with his sleepy baby while he tries to catch up on some work related research. A video with captions can be watched while you’re carpooling with coworkers to an assembly 3 hours away. Having more options available shows that you’re thinking ahead and you’re thinking of them.
An e-book is another popular form of content that marketers, and consumers, go wild for. E-books may seem like a lot of work, but when done right, they’re more than worth it. Depending on the kind of podcasts, videos, audio files, and so on that you have, you more than likely already have an e-book near completion without even knowing it.
Other great options that do exceptionally well when paired with transcriptions –
- Webinars (check out our friends at Moz that have mastered this pairing)
- Interviews (our Record-A-Call feature makes this SO easy)
- Q & A Sessions
While this doesn’t even begin to adequately capture all of the benefits, uses and types of content marketing, I hope this is enough to get you started. After all, the more you put yourself out there, the more your business will grow. So keep on re-purposing!