The Basics of Content Marketing and How to Integrate



Content is important. Not just the act of producing content, but its meaning and the way it is consumed. There are numerous ways to create content in this digital age, and blogs are one of the most powerful.


A staggering 55 percent of marketers say blog content creation is their top inbound marketing priority, according to a 2018 HubSpot report.


But why?


Consumers have changed. They want brands and products they can trust. Gone are the days when flashy, obnoxious advertisements ruled the landscape. This still happens, but often thought of as spammy.


Instead, consumers make decisions based on the story and memory it leaves behind.

Look at it from a consumer’s perspective. They’re walking down the street (or online) and solicited to buy a product. You walk a block (or go to a new site) and the same company is soliciting you to buy their product. The cycle continues. Eventually the consumer might buy the product – maybe to be left alone – but what does that convey about the company brand?


Pushy, aggressive, relentless come to mind. Is that how you want to associate your brand? This method might boost sales in the short-term but doesn’t support a long-term relationship.


Aggressive marketing might work for some businesses, but in most cases, this tactic isolates consumers. The better option is to support natural behavior by building a relationship.

“Content isn't stuff we write to rank higher. Content is anything that communicates a message to the audience. Anything.” — Ian Lurie, CEO, Portent, Inc.

Give consumers more than they expect. Make them feel ‘special’ for choosing your brand. QVC does this well. They offer exclusive products and unique packages that can only be bought through their company. They also provide numerous free things with a purchase. This tells the consumer, “hey, if you buy with us, we’ve got your back.”


I’ve experienced this firsthand. I bought a desktop computer December 2018 through QVC, and recently returned in March 2019 to purchase a laptop. Why? Because they educated me on the product I was about to purchase; made the sale easy; offered free shipping, handling, and a software package; gave me $20 off for my next purchase.


Buying the laptop reinforced my relationship with QVC. So much so, that I added Apple Air Pods at checkout because of their free financing.


Consumers want to be empowered; they want to be educated. The internet has allotted a wealth of resources in the click of a button, no matter where their location. In order to succeed in this climate, you’ve got to be willing to exchange a lot for a little.


There is proof in the statistics. Content marketing gets three times more leads than paid search advertising, according to a 2017 Content Marketing Institute report.


I know it sounds good, but you’re wondering: how do you integrate content marketing?


Here are six easy steps:


  1. Know your audience. Who do you want to buy your products or services? Do you know what inspires them? What are their pain points? https://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2018/02/28/pain-points

  2. Understand your brand. Why is your business special? Why should a consumer care?

  3. Decide on the kind of content you want to share. Blogs, videos, webinars, infographics – all effective if executed properly.

  4. Choose who will create your content. Do you have a content creator on staff, or are you interested in hiring a marketing agency? (link to about us)

  5. Understand your goals. What do you want consumers to do? For example: contact you, sign up for email updates, share content with friends.

  6. Be ready to measure your success. Marketing is somewhat predictable, but a whole lot of experiment! Track what works and what doesn’t so you can customize your plan accordingly.

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