You’ve probably heard the term “content marketing.” The phrase has become extremely popular in recent years and gave rise to the much loved (and often overused) “content is king.” But the reality is: as often as the term is used, many don’t really know exactly what it is.

What is Content MarketingIs it a blog post? An ebook? The images you post to your Facebook, Twitter,  or Instagram accounts? Or is it something else?

According to The Content Marketing Institute, content marketing is defined 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.”

Whew!

Now that’s a mouthful.

Content Marketing is Education:

To put it more simply, content marketing is the practice of creating content: words (like your blogs and ebooks), pictures and infographics, videos (including both produced videos and live streaming video), and other communication that is designed to educate, entertain, persuade and drive consumer behaviors… all with the interest of creating more business and generating more profits.

Today, Content Marketing is an expectation:

Think about it, when you have a problem what do you do? Sure, you may pick up the phone and call a friend or family member. But more often than not, the first place you’ll turn is to Google or another search engine or perhaps a social media network to dig up the answers to your problem.

On these occasions, people fully EXPECT to find a rich foundation of content specific to the products or organizations they are considering as the solution for their problems.

In the past, people had to depend on advertisements to provide valuable information. Today, however, consumers are just as likely to learn about products and services from a blog post or a graphic posted to a social media platform. People expect companies to generate content around their products to help them make more informed decisions.

Watch this quick video below, that explains what content marketing is in visual pictures..

In this way, content marketing creates awareness like never seen before, especially with the help of the social networks we are almost always plugged into. Organizations don’t have to wait for consumers to come LOOKING for their products (as they do when they do a Google search and are shown ads). Social media and content marketing create awareness and even in many cases a need where the person didn’t know they had.

Content Marketing builds trust:

When is the last time you watched a commercial or even a lengthy infomercial (it’s probably been years since you watched one of those) and actually trusted everything you saw and heard? I’m going to go out on a limb and say, “never.”

However, in today’s world, trust is everything.

Getting someone to trust in the product or service as well as the organization is the ultimate goal. While trust is certainly established after successful transactions, the first line of trust is often formed based on the content that people find (or don’t find).

It’s critical that YOU take the time create value-based content about your own products and services, because content is being created online, regardless. Regular people are creating their own content for businesses in the form of reviews or conversations on social media about products and services. It’s important that businesses be there to contribute to the conversation online and share strong, valuable content.

That is “Content Marketing” in a nutshell!

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