Content Marketing is the latest buzzword in marketing (I say buzzword because it’s one of those things that everyone is talking about but few people are actually doing).
Fred Wilson had a post yesterday about the growing market for content marketing. He’s a VC so he’s writing about it because of the potential market opportunity in the space, but I think while doing so, he nailed the definition in a simple and straight forward way:
“I like to think of [of content marketing] as moving the message from a banner to your brand and changing the engagement from a view to a conversation.”
The future of online marketing is not impressions, its conversations. Consumers are more likely to buy from the brands they have relationships with (link here with some research we did at Constant Contact to back this up). That’s where content marketing comes in.
Here’s a real-life example:
I have a friend Josh.
There’s this software company.
They post a ton of interesting content that Josh gets through a subscription to their blog, Twitter and Facebook. Josh is a big fan of their content and looks forward to getting it every day.
The company makes marketing software, Josh is a marketer, and he looks at this company as a thought leader in the space. They tell him what’s important, and they help him be a better marketer – but at the time, Josh had no reason to buy their product.
After a few months Josh transitioned to a new role, and as part of a new initiative, Josh and his team were looking for a software vendor to help out with some landing pages, sign-up forms and a few other things.
When it came time to pick a vendor, the decision was pretty easy. This company was able to stay top of mind with Josh without hammering him with advertisements or phone calls from pesky sales reps. They used content to reel him in – before he was truly even a prospect – and kept him interested until he was ready to make a purchase.
That’s how content should be used, and when it’s explained this way, I think it’s easy to see how it can be used for any business, big or small, to acquire new customers.