What is Content Marketing?
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What is Content Marketing?

01/08/2016

You may have heard this term “content marketing” being used a lot on business sites and in marketing tips articles. So what exactly is it? Read ahead to find out.

It’s a Form of Online Marketing

You may have realised that content marketing has something to do with advertising online. It does. The formal content marketing definition is quite a hefty one. In a nutshell, content marketing is a strategy to engage and retain an audience by delivering valuable and consistent content that is in line with what the audience expects.

Basically, what this definition implies is that when a business publishes various materials online with the intention of gaining new customers or retaining old ones, it is called content marketing. The idea is to attract customers by not directly offering them a product. Content produced for marketing purposes does not appear as traditional forms of advertisements. Conventional advertising can avert online users, who largely prefer the internet to be ad-free. Therefore, content marketing can “strategically” create material to promote products among web users without actually appearing to sell a product.

What is “Content”?

Indeed, what exactly is this “content” that can sway buyers without them even realising it? Content can mean various types of media published on the web. For example, web articles are a form of content. Those “top 10” lists, how-to articles, and even some blog posts you read on a daily basis online are all content. Some of it is actually produced by advertising agencies to push a product. Web articles are the most popular and widespread form of content. In recent times, videos have also emerged as a highly effective form of web content. Consumers, in general, have short attention spans and a preference for graphics. Therefore, video is also a popular form of content.

Is Content Marketing Just like Native Advertising?

Content marketing promotes products subtly, which may sound a lot like native advertising. But the two are distinctly different forms of advertising. The sponsored content, advertorials, and infomercials you see on the web are native advertising strategies. They are generally paid to be hosted on a certain site, like a news website. Native advertising is usually labelled as such with tags like “sponsored”. Also, native ads are tailored to certain audiences and platforms.

Content marketing is not sponsored in this manner. Content is created uniquely to fit concepts and consumers, not necessarily a specific audience. When it comes to content marketing vs. native advertising, what’s best will depend on what the business requires.

How Do Advertisers Use Content?

Advertisers use content to drive traffic, attract new customers, keep old ones coming back, and to create brand awareness. Content marketing is often only one part of a larger marketing campaign. Advertisers can use content as a social media marketing strategy, SEO boosting strategy, or in a public relations campaign.

Content can be published anywhere on the web, such as blogs, social media profiles, and even in e-mail newsletters. Quality matters more for content than quantity. The best content is easy to read and short, and has the right amount of eye-catching graphics. For the best results, content should be optimised for different search engines. Any business can significantly improve an existing promotional plan by adding a content marketing component to it.

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