What is Content Marketing?

Content Marketing is a method
of turning strangers into customers and promoters
by giving them valuable content they like.

These are the five stages an ideal consumer of Content Marketing goes through.
Starting out as a first-time visitor to your website, they come back because they like your content. Using popups and forms, you capture their contact details. You nurture the relationship through email marketing until they become customers and trust you so much that they promote you to their friends.
With Content Marketing, many become promoters before having become customers – because of the quality of your content.

The problem with most advertising? It’s interruptive

The problem with most advertising? It’s interruptive

Companies pay money to interrupt people when they are doing something fun.
It’s pretty crazy on the face of it: You want to convince someone to spend money on your product by preventing them from doing something enjoyable. It’s hardly a good way to build a positive relationship with a customer.
Companies pay money to interrupt people when they are doing something fun.
It’s pretty crazy on the face of it: You want to convince someone to spend money on your product by preventing them from doing something enjoyable. It’s hardly a good way to build a positive relationship with a customer.
Most people associate negative feelings to commercial communication, seeing it as a necessary evil.
There is a better way of staying front of mind.

Enter Content Marketing

Content marketing is the process of a company…
  • identifying what content an audience of customers and prospects could be interested in,
  • producing that content,
  • distributing it to the audience,
  • … and leading them on a path towards conversion.
Each of these points is worth exploring.

Enter Content Marketing

Content marketing is the process of a company…
  • identifying what content an audience of customers and prospects could be interested in,
  • producing that content,
  • distributing it to the audience,
  • … and leading them on a path towards conversion.
Each of these points is worth exploring.

Content Strategy and Production

There are no fixed rules around what the content can be about. It can range from scientific articles to mouse cartoons. The main intention must be genuinely generous – add value to the reader, without expecting an immediate transaction in return.
Many companies maintain a blog with content about themselves. The reason why these blogs usually don’t go anywhere is that no one has asked: Is this really useful to our customers?
This is bad Content Marketing

click to enlarge

There are no fixed rules around what the content can be about. It can range from scientific articles to mouse cartoons. The main intention must be genuinely generous – add value to the reader, without expecting an immediate transaction in return.
Many companies maintain a blog with content about themselves. The reason why these blogs usually don’t go anywhere is that no one has asked: Is this really useful to our customers?
This is bad Content Marketing:
This is the unpleasant truth:

Your customers don’t care about you, your products or services.

They care about themselves and their own needs.

(Joe Pulizzi)

This looks like bad news.
But in reality, it is liberating because you can write about a range of topics your audience will find interesting.
It is the task of good Content Marketing strategy to identify what kind of content to create.
This is the unpleasant truth:

Your customers don’t care about you, your products or services.

They care about themselves and their own needs.

(Joe Pulizzi)

This looks like bad news.
But in reality, it is liberating because you can write about a range of topics your audience will find interesting.
It is the task of good Content Marketing strategy to identify what kind of content to create.

Distributing Content

Creating great content is not enough. You have to promote it. These are the most important forms of content distribution:

1. SEO – Your audience is looking for information online. If you learn what they are looking for and create outstanding content, they will find you.

2. Paid Promotion – Unless you are a leader in a very unique niche, spending money on content promotion is unavoidable.

3. Social Media & Email – You’ve created your content in a way that makes it easily shareable. Your headlines invite clicks. Your fan base grows.

4. Third party platforms – Guest blogging, cross posting, re-purposing of content into different media are only some of the ways to find new audiences.

Leading towards Conversion

The last piece in the puzzle is the methodology through which you turn a first-time visitor into a promoter of your business.
This involves tools and methods such as:
  • Popups, dedicated landing pages and forms to download whitepapers to capture visitors’ email addresses
  • Refined segmentation over time where you notice what kind of content people respond to and give them more of it
  • A constantly evolving and improving email cadence to these segments – pure content emails alternate with salesy ones
  • Incentives for customers to share content with others and refer customers
The last piece in the puzzle is the methodology through which you turn a first-time visitor into a promoter of your business.
This involves tools and methods such as:
  • Popups, dedicated landing pages and forms to download whitepapers to capture visitors’ email addresses
  • Refined segmentation over time where you notice what kind of content people respond to and give them more of it
  • A constantly evolving and improving email cadence to these segments – pure content emails alternate with salesy ones
  • Incentives for customers to share content with others and refer customers

Putting It All Together

These are the four building blocks of Content Marketing.
Do them right and you have made a significant step towards steady or even explosive customer growth.

Bonus: A slightly unorthodox description of Content Marketing

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