Why Content Marketing?

There are various Digital Marketing Channels such as Website, Social Media, SEO, Display Advertisement. Content is an integral part of all of these and is being consumed by digital consumers. We can reach audiences across different channels: website, social media, search engines, and display advertisements, and the key performance indicators (KPIs) that are used in these channels. Hence Content Marketing is just not a stand-alone marketing channel, it is an integral part of all of your marketing efforts. In this blog, we will discuss content marketing, which works across all these channels. In our daily lives, we consume a great deal of content on the internet or from hoardings when we are stuck in traffic. Content has many forms: blogs, posts, articles, soap operas, movies you watch on Netflix, also comic books. But all of this just forms the tip of the iceberg. There are various content forms available in the market. As a marketer, you turn from a consumer of a vast variety of content to a producer. Of course, the content that you produce should be in alignment with the business goals of your brand: which type of content you use, which channel do you utilize, how to measure the success of your efforts etc.

The expression ‘Content is King’ often does the rounds in digital marketing circles. But what exactly does content mean? And what makes it so important for a digital marketer? Content is anything and everything that communicates a message to an audience. When you speak specifically of digital marketing, content is the foundation on which a campaign is built. Content is the entity that connects a campaign across the digital channels. According to Joe Pulizzi – Godfather of Content Marketing, content marketing is a technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire and engage a clearly defined target audience with the object of driving profitable customer action. Selling your product can’t always be the intent behind your content marketing campaigns. In fact, most content marketing campaigns are aimed at building awareness or spreading a message around the product offering. Often, content marketing is used by brands to communicate their brand philosophy or to educate consumers about their product category, rather than simply communicating the USPs of their product offerings.

In the current environment, a brand has to put out content that is far beyond advertisements, PR, and information about the product’s features alone. The content has to be educational and not just promotional. Hence, to establish a strong presence and build credibility, a brand has to build authority and thought leadership in its domain. It has to address the pain points and possible solutions for the consumer. The rising reason for content marketing which makes their case very strong. Advertisements are generally losing credibility day by day. This is due to the heavy bombardment of Ads through multimedia channels. Ads are instrumental in certain situations but they necessarily connect with the audience. Advertisements make people aware but they are consistently failing to generate interest. On the other hand, Content marketing has the potential to resonate better with your customers compared to advertisements because it is carefully customized to their needs and interests. Content Marketing conveys your brand’s offerings without being promotional which can go a long way towards building brand trust.

For instance, Airtel, with its open network initiative,  allowed customers to see the strength of its network anywhere across India. This was the first time such information was made public. Such endeavours build a lot of trust and credibility. Besides, quality content unlike paid ads which is sales-oriented and short-termed can achieve business objectives better in the long run. Another reason is the rise of content marketing is quality content distributed regularly helps the brand establish quality in the industry. This in turn will help you build trust. And trust is a big factor in the customer’s purchasing decision. Content creates trust in your brand by giving it a personality, by making the effort to serve your customers with the information opinion that will help them solve their problem. Another factor in favour of content marketing is the ineffectiveness of short term paid campaigns. Short term marketing approach stimulates a spike of interest or sales but if it is a backbone of the entire Marketing Strategy the company will miss out on many opportunities to build a brand. Short term marketing focuses more on transactional sales, long term approach such as content marketing concentrates on RELATIONSHIP SALES. Short Term Campaigns are not sustainable and cost more in the long run. Whereas in a content campaign may need a fair amount of time to gain interaction but once they start to happen you need to retain the momentum by publishing consistently. Content can take a long real-life and in turn, can repeat visits and up-selling and own a period of time this translates into trust and as said before people do business with people they trust.

In addition to the faltering credibility of advertising, another reason why your business needs content marketing is to boost your online search efforts. ”Writing effective content is a key aspect of search engine optimization because Google reads the text on your website and ranks it according to relevancy”. If you are visible in Organic Search Result you can attract a lot of traffic, engage visitors and convert them into customers. And all the traffic from Google search results is actually free. The essential concept behind effective content marketing then might eventually end up becoming a customer of your business thus creating an SEO driving content strategy we see that it leads to conversion. And lastly, content marketing also helps in creating an engaging social media feed. Social media is the mode of communication and distribution of interesting stories which is content online. Readers share the content they like and identify with. 
It is a proven fact ”A well thought out content strategy consistently engages, attracts and retains the target audience”. Content Marketing’s two clear benefits here are direct communications with the perception of your brand.
Customizable: Resonates will customers. 
Not promotional: Help in building brand trust.
Quality content: Help in achieving business objectives in the long run.
Distribution of content: Help in establishing brand authority. 
Engaging in social media feed.
Helps in direct communication. 
Influence brand perception. 
In my blog, I have discussed how advertisements have lost credibility with time & how content marketing campaigns achieve better results. There are different benefits that a content marketing campaign offers like establishing brand authority and trust, achieving long term brand objectives and securing better discoverability on the internet. However, even after realizing the importance of a content marketing campaign, your campaign won’t be successful if you don’t plan it carefully. In my future blogs, I will cover topics associated with how to build a content strategy and how it improves your chances of a successful campaign.