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Content marketing is a marketing tool which reflects today’s B2B buying behavior and our online culture. The internet offers dynamic, interactive content which informs and entertains. Marketing, in order to have an online presence, has adopted these very characteristics: It has become content-driven, dynamic, and reciprocal.
Content marketing fundamentally shifts the marketing approach from product and business-oriented to a customer-oriented approach. Instead of looking at the product and who it may appeal to, and widely advertising it to market, the product in itself has a minimal role. Through research and analysis of online data from sources such as social media and search engine results, marketers can now use a highly targeted approach to address a particular segment of the population and offer them content tailored to their interests or needs.
Tailoring content to particular customers can be done using widely varied approaches. Content may be created or curated. Content can be informative, helpful, and/or entertaining. It can also tell a story which appeals to emotion, or a customer’s value system and self-image. The content may only be loosely connected with the product. The medium to share this content may be blogs, stories, case studies, articles, presentations, videos, podcasts, and more.
The strategy here is to achieve sales through inspiring customer engagement and activity.
People generally ignore advertising that doesn’t offer anything of value. Content offering the customer something of value encourages reciprocity from the initial meeting between the brand and the customer. The customer receives something, typically at no cost, with the goal being to engage customer interest in a product or service.
There are many benefits of using an effective content marketing strategy. You can convey your brand image, while increasing its trust, credibility, and likeability – all of which help to attract, gain, and retain customers. Content marketing is a relatively low-cost method to gain greater exposure, and puts the customer in the center by letting them choose the content they find interesting and engaging. Successful content marketing aligns the needs of the customer with the goals of the business.
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