Content marketing is about sharing your expertise so you can gain and maintain the trust of customers. Once they see you as an authority who has their best interests in mind, they will remain loyal to your brand. In the case of trendsetting or lifestyle companies, content marketing demonstrates a shared aesthetic and world outlook that drives sales from your target demographic. Regardless of your audience, content marketing is a proven way to keep your business at the forefront of your customers' minds.
What Is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is the use of online platforms to increase customer interest and engagement. Companies use blog posts, guest articles, podcasts, how-to videos, tutorials, infographics and similar types of media. The content does not contain a direct "sales pitch," but merely elevates the brand's stature as a thought leader or trend-setter. Effective content is useful, entertaining, educational, well-researched and features high production values. Since developing a regular audience contributes to content's impact, the most successful marketers publish new content on a regular schedule.
For example, ubiquitous coffee chain Starbucks has a blog 1912Pike, which contains recipes and informational articles on topics such as "What are green coffee beans?"
Content is positioned to appeal to both prospective and existing customers. This form of marketing is ideal since brand-associated topics will continue to be of interest regardless of how long clients have been buying from the company. For example, a yoga wear business could post blogs and articles that appeal to all customers, such as how to find time for yoga classes on a busy schedule, setting up a home practice, common yoga mistakes, and the benefits of yoga for different age groups. This positions the company as one that knows its customers and is sensitive to their particular pain points. Yoga wear company Lululemon has a page on its website dedicated to yoga terms and links to instructional videos - consistently branding the company as an expert in their field.
Content marketing is one of the best ways to increase brand mindshare. Brand mindshare is how much a particular brand stands out in the eyes of customers compared with competitors. As a result of valuable, authoritative information, customers know they can trust a company and their loyalty is enhanced. Content marketing also illuminates the company's ability to provide unique information or established information in unique formats.
Content marketing is just one aspect of a company's overall engagement strategy. A simple "Thank you for shopping with us," and giveaways remain excellent ways to increase sales volume. But with content marketing, a company has access to several new avenues of potential brand impact.