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According to the Content Marketing Institute:
“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.”
Content marketing centres on the creation of blogs, white papers, social media posts, press releases, videos and infographics that are posted online. The aim of this content is not to sell directly to the customer but to inform their buying decisions and increase your brand exposure. It’s essential that content is not created simply for content’s sake. The content must be focused, relevant and answer prospective customers’ questions. It should also engage and encourage customer interaction and ultimately position your business as an authority in its field. Here are a few examples of content marketing in action.
How can content marketing help you?
Your customers are becoming increasingly tech-savvy, irrespective of the sector your startup is in. According to research conducted in 2014, 81 per cent of shoppers conduct online research before making a purchase. Competition online is fierce, so the likelihood of a customer going straight to your website is slim. But, if your business has a number of content resources online, each targeting a different internet search term, you greatly increase the likelihood of a click.
Increasing sales and profitability is the ultimate aim of almost every content marketing campaign. Content marketing can impact your bottom line by:
Building brand awareness
Creating quality content will not only make more prospective customers and clients aware of your brand, but it will also add equity and value by positioning your business as an industry expert.
Expanding your reach
Content marketing allows you to gain exposure to customers and clients not just across the country, but also around the world. This gives you the opportunity to grow your business well beyond your local area.
Improving customer relationships and increasing engagement
Content should add value to your audience, answer their questions and promote engagement. A brand that helps to solve its customers’ problems, rather than overtly selling to them, will benefit from improved customer relationships.
Providing a cost-effective alternative to traditional advertising
More traditional marketing methods like newspaper and television advertising can be expensive and difficult to measure. Startup businesses will rarely have the budget for offline advertising. Content marketing is extremely cost-effective as it’s not only affordable, but the content you post today will last forever.
As a startup, no one knows who you are and what you stand for. Creating engaging content that conveys your company culture, personality, industry knowledge and your ability to address your clients’ needs will help to build trust.