On a wintry day in January 1996, more than 20 years ago, the software king relinquished his title and announced to the world that he had developed the past while the future was out of his hands. That night, Bill Gates declared that “Content is [THE] King.”
Bill Gates predicted that the age of content had begun over two decades ago, and he was never wrong. Today, your business needs content marketing to reach its target audience; it is the most effective low-cost marketing technique to retain your existing customers and attract potential ones.
Let’s dive deep and better understand what content marketing is, why it’s important, and what the best content marketing strategies are.
What is Content Marketing?
The year was 1996 (a big year for content, apparently!) when a spur-of-the-moment discussion between John F. Oppedahl and journalists at the American Society for Newspaper Editors led to the birth of one of the most important terms in marketing, the famous “Content Marketing.”
That’s when the term was coined, but the act of producing content marketing dates back to 1895, when John Deere began printing its quarterly magazine “The Furrow,” which signaled the early days of connecting the brand with customers. Before that, almost all advertising was focused on selling a product rather than connecting with clients.
The Furrow was the first piece of corporate content that wasn’t a catalog or product sales-oriented but had pages filled with articles and tips offered to the reader, mixed in with a few ads for John Deere products. It was so successful that it reached a readership of four million by 1912 and eventually made many companies embrace the idea of using marketing to create brand awareness and bond with customers.
“In short, instead of pitching your products or services, you are delivering information that makes your buyer more intelligent.”Content Marketing Institute.
Content marketing is the creative process of creating and sharing valuable and meaningful content to attract, acquire and engage your target audience.
This marketing strategy builds brand expertise, increases brand awareness, and keeps your business high in the forefront of your customers’ minds.
Content marketing comes in the form of articles, videos, podcasts, blog posts, newsletters, white papers, social media posts, and emails. At its most effective, this content builds and maintains relationships with potential and existing customers and transmits your company’s identity and values.
Why Content Marketing?
“Content is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the internet, just as it was in broadcasting.”Bill Gates
Content marketing is the best possible strategy for any business, whether it is a business-to-business (B2B) or a business-to-consumer (B2C) company, to improve its search engine optimization page (SERP) ranking and reach its target audience.
This marketing strategy will help you attract and retain potential customers, build a relationship and connection with them, and provide information about the benefits of your products and services, which will create a loyal community for your brand and ultimately drive sales.
Statistics show that 88% of B2B companies and 90% of B2C companies have implemented content marketing as part of their marketing strategy and that on average, content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and brings in 3 times more leads!
Best Content Marketing Strategies:
It is commonly acknowledged that any content marketing strategy is divided into three distinct stages with different types of content:
1 – Build brand awareness
- through social media posts, advertisements, blogs and Vlogs, press releases, and informative web pages.
2 – Educate and attract attention
- through eBooks, email campaigns, newsletters, webinars, and infographics.
3 – Convert
- through testimonials, case studies, reviews, and email campaigns.
“The essence of this content strategy is the belief that if we, as businesses, deliver consistent, ongoing valuable information to buyers, they ultimately reward us with their business and loyalty”Content Marketing Institute.
With that being mentioned, let’s take a look at the top three content marketing strategies.
Social Media Marketing Strategy:
This is most likely the leading form of content marketing. It is very popular and commonly used by all ages, making it the best place to connect with your target audience and provide the most tailored and relevant content.
Email Marketing Strategy:
With 333 billion emails sent and received every day in 2022, email marketing is indeed one of the most effective and least expensive marketing strategies, allowing you to reach your target audience in a highly customized way, improve engagement and drive sales.
Video Marketing Strategy:
TikTok, Reels, Stories, Shorts, and all forms of video on the web are a great and very powerful tool to increase your audience engagement dramatically, attract potential customers, and communicate your brand values; for example, video landing pages can significantly raise conversion rates by up to 80%.