Content marketing is a method of marketing i.e. reaching people who may be interested in your business, your products or services through the creation of content. Content can be in the form of a story, a blog post, a video, an audio, such as an interview, a comment on someone else’s story, or a social media post.
A story usually informs the reader about something they want to know about. It might be a general knowledge story that introduces your reader to something new (to them). It might be an instructive “how-to” story that passes on your knowledge gained from your research or an experiment. It could also be your opinion of an event or a story from another person or organization.
A curated blog post is a short reference to one or more other stories or blog posts that refer to your industry or competitors or partners. For example, the lawyer marketing website, 1stcounsel.com curates content from other legal websites, including the Supreme Court and the U.S. Department of Justice.
Video content is a fast-growing trend. Video content can be used in conjunction with text or it can stand alone – but it still needs a text title and description. The video can be created by someone else – for example a youtube video created by CSPAN reporting on a congressional hearing. It could also be a recording you create in a studio with a video camera or even a phone. It could also be an animated or sketch video with or without subtitles, on-screen text or voice-over.
Audio content is less popular than video, but it is a good way to communicate thoughts and ideas to people who react better to sounds than to the written word. An audio can be used to interview someone, such as a celebrity, an expert, or anyone with information to impart. It could also be used like text or video, to educate and inform.
Posting a series of audio files or reports is referred to as “podcasting.”
Story or Blog Commenting
In story or blog commenting, you can impart your knowledge by visiting the content of others, and leaving a thoughtful comment that passes on value. Be very careful when ding this, though, because there are ways to ruin, rather than enhance your reputation.
Social Commenting and Interaction
There is a huge number of social websites. The key to using these is to find the ones that can help you reach your desired audience. Some may cater to your perfect target market or they may be more general, but popular enough to support many different audiences. Not all social sites have value.
The most useful general websites are probably Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram. Twitter has a 140 character limit, but allows attached images and video and has the most useful way to get you close to your prospect.
Wikipedia defines Content Marketing as “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.”
Your focus, as a content marketer, is your prospect or customer. Provide value, and you will attract the people who want or need your products and services.