Traditional marketing loses its power every day and new marketing methods are replaced by social media. Content marketing is one of the most effective and up-to-date marketing practices that many leading brands including P&G, Microsoft, and Cisco use. Content marketing has a lot of definitions, but the Content Marketing Association has one of the most comprehensive and precise definitions: “Content marketing is 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”. Though content marketing has been used in Iran as a marketing tool for some few years and its history in the world comes back to 2 decades’ age, but it has a long history.
Content marketing is older than what you think
Traditional marketers have long used content to disseminate information about a brand and build a brand’s reputation. Taking advantage of technological advances in transportation and communication, business owners started to apply content marketing techniques in the late 19th century. They also attempted to build connections with their customers.
During the golden age of TV, between the 1940s and 1950s, advertising took over the media. Companies focused on sales rather than connecting with the public. There were few ventures into content marketing and not many prominent campaigns.
During the baby boom era, Kellogg’s began selling sugary cereal to children. With this change in business model came sociable animal mascots, lively animated commercials and the back of the cereal box as a form of targeted content marketing. Infographics were born in this era. This represented a new approach to make a brand memorable with the audience.
In the 1990s, everything changed for marketers. The arrival of computers and the Internet made websites and blogs flourish, and corporations found content marketing opportunities through email. E-commerce adaptations and digital distribution became the foundation of marketing strategy.
Internet also helped content marketing become a mainstream form of marketing. Traditional media such as newspapers, magazines, radio and TV started to lose their power in the marketplace. Companies started to promote and sell their products digitally.
By the late 2000s, when social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube were born, online content marketing was accessible, shareable and on-demand anytime worldwide.
By 2014, Forbes Magazine’s website had written about the seven most popular ways companies use content marketing. In it, the columnist points out that by 2013, use of content marketing had jumped across corporations from 60% a year or so before, to 93% as part of their overall marketing strategy. Despite the fact that 70% of organizations are creating more content, only 21% of marketers think they are successful at tracking return on investment.
Today, content marketing has become a powerful model for marketers. Storytelling is part of it, and they must convey the companies’ messages or goal to their desired audience without pushing them to just buy the product or service.
Content marketing is one of the newest marketing practices
Content marketing is a form of marketing focused on creating, publishing, and distributing content for a targeted audience online. It is often used by businesses in order to:
- Attract attention and generate leads
- Expand their customer base
- Generate or increase online sales
- Increase brand awareness or credibility
- Engage an online community of users
Content marketing attracts prospects and transforms prospects into customers by creating and sharing valuable free content. Content marketing helps companies create sustainable brand loyalty, provides valuable information to consumers, and creates a willingness to purchase products from the company in the future. This relatively new form of marketing does not involve direct sales. Instead, it builds trust and rapport with the audience.
Unlike other forms of online marketing, content marketing relies on anticipating and meeting an existing customer need for information, as opposed to creating demand for a new need. As James O’Brien of Contently wrote on Mashable, “The idea central to content marketing is that a brand must give something valuable to get something valuable in return. Instead of the commercial, be the show. Instead of the banner ad, be the feature story.” Content marketing requires continuous delivery of large amounts of content, preferably within a content marketing strategy.
When businesses pursue content marketing, the main focus should be the needs of the prospect or customer. Once a business has identified the customer’s need, information can be presented in a variety of formats, including news, video, white papers, e-books, infographics, email newsletters, case studies, podcasts, how-to guides, question and answer articles, photos, blogs, etc. Most of these formats belong to the digital channel.
Digital content marketing is a management process that uses electronic channels to identify, forecast, and satisfy the content requirements of a particular audience. It must be consistently updated and added to in order to influence the behavior of customers.
Source: contentmarketinginstitute/ wikipedia