According to Content Marketing Institute (CMI), “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.”
The key terms here are “strategic marketing approach” and “a clearly-defined audience” (also known as an ideal client avatar), important tools in marketing research.
Digital Marketer (DM) takes a more explicit approach. Their slogan is “Forget Theory….This Stuff Actually Works.” In its own business, DM racks up millions of dollars of profits and it teaches its methods to over a 140,000 students (including me). Content can be used to:
- Attract traffic: This is the starting point. If no one can find you on the web, you can have the best product, the most competitive price, incredible service, and still have limited sales.
- Increase engagement: There are many ways to measure customer engagement, but how long one stays on your website increases the likelihood of purchase. Internet shoppers are like heat-seeking missiles. If they don’t find what they’re searching for within two-to-six seconds, they’re likely to zoom off, never to return.
- Build brand awareness: Content is the most practical way to help your ideal clients “know, like, and trust” you. And we all like to do business with those we “know, like, and trust.”
- Grow a proprietary list of email addresses: Building your own list of self-qualified leads if your own pot of gold at the rainbows end and this is always preferable to renting or purchasing a list for the purposes of cold-calling.
- Increase conversions: A conversion occurs when an ideal client obeys a call-to-action, such as providing an email address in exchange for an irresistible free offer or lead magnet. Obtaining an email address adds this self-qualified lead to your sales funnel, which moves the customer from awareness to evaluation to purchase.