When I decided to start Kalpana Marketing, a digital marketing agency, my first step was to connect with a small group of trusted colleagues for their input on the overall idea for Kalpana as well as what I envisioned would be its core services, one of which would be content marketing.
I was encouraged by and grateful for the enthusiasm I received around launching an agency focused on digital marketing strategies that increase an organization’s visibility and inbound leads, but I quickly learned that content marketing was not as well known or understood as I had assumed.
The good news is that when I shared my ideas about content marketing, I was met with excitement about its value as a business strategy.
Content Marketing Defined
So, what exactly is content marketing? Content marketing is about providing information your customers seek and want with the hope that they will, in turn, reward you with their business. And more often than not, they do.
It is about thinking more like a publisher and less like an advertiser.
For a more specific definition of content marketing, the Content Marketing Institute defines it as:
“Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”
For more content marketing defined, here is a great roundup of industry input compiled by marketing expert Heidi Cohen.
Content Marketing for Small Businesses – The Secret Sauce
Is content marketing for the small to mid-sized business? Yes, indeed!
I believe content marketing is the small business’ secret sauce.
Content marketing is not just for the big brands like Forrester, HubSpot, P&G, Red Bull and Stanford Business Graduate School, just to name a few of the brands currently rocking content marketing. Small to mid-sized companies that begin content marketing programs now will have a leg up on their competitors who are late to the game with this increasingly important marketing strategy.
Examples of Content Marketing
Content marketing can take a variety of forms. Here are a few examples:
Content created through a content marketing strategy can be distributed in a variety of ways, but is mostly distributed online. It is important to develop and follow a content editorial calendar. Popular channels for distributing content include social media networks, eNewsletters, conversion-driven email campaigns and blogs (including guest blogs).
Content Marketing Gains Momentum
Why is content marketing so hot right now? Marketing has changed in the last decade – a lot!
Big data and social media are major drivers of this change, making it possible for the marketer to continually narrow and segment their customers. In turn, customers’ expectations have changed: They want the products and services they consider purchasing to provide them with valuable information before they make a purchase. The more value they perceive a company offers, the more likely they will reward that company with their business.
This is true for B2B and B2C companies!
It’s also about trust.
When a company frequently provides valuable content to its customers, it builds trust, which fosters one of marketing’s holy grails – increasing the customer lifetime value (CLV), the financial value of a customer over their lifetime relationship with a product or service.
Advantages of Content Marketing
There are some big advantages to being early to the content marketing party:
- Search engines will reward companies who publish new content frequently to their websites in the form of blogs, white papers, eBooks, etc. with better search ranking.
- Content marketing provides valuable nuggets that can be generously repurposed across your social media networks.
- Others’ will link to valuable content and these links are crucial for search engine optimization.
- Your brand can continually be reinforced and built through strategic content marketing.
- Over time, customers will reward company’s that produce valuable content with their business.
Ready to Get Started? We’d love to chat!
This post was written by Brenda Bryan, MA, President of Kalpana Marketing.