Content Marketing: What it is, and Why it Works

You’ve probably heard the term “content marketing” used from time to time. But just to review, here’s the widely cited definition:

Content marketing is “a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”

In other words, content marketing means creating content that is valuable and relevant to your target market. And it means using that content to engage your market and ultimately convert them into clients.

This differs from a more traditional approach to advertising and sales because you’re not just screaming at your audience to purchase from you. Instead, you’re educating them and helping them to decide for themselves whether you are a good fit for their needs.

Content marketing has emerged as a successful approach because the marketplace has drastically changed with the advent of the internet. Consumers have more choice than ever before. So it’s important to engage them, educate them, and to demonstrate your expertise in the process.

Below are three “types” of content that work well for this purpose:

How-to reports. Giving your audience specific guidance which helps them solve a problem or plot a course of action is very valuable. It positions you and your business as an expert on the subject, and it should dovetail perfectly into your services. For instance, a retirement adviser could create a report entitled “Seven Steps to Planning a Secure Retirement”. Chances are, the reader isn’t going to have the time or the expertise to actually create the plan themselves, but they will appreciate the information—and if you can get their email address in exchange for their download of the report, you can continue to market to them until they’re ready to hire a professional… hopefully you.

New & analysis: Every consumer wants to feel secure that whoever they hire is operating on the “cutting edge” of their marketplace. One way to prove that you’re doing so is to pay attention to news that impacts your market. Highlight important developments and break down their implications to your marketplace. Again, a retirement adviser could notify his or her readers of recent changes to the tax code while explaining what they mean to the average retiree.

Introductory information: This type of content is aimed at “new arrivals” to your marketplace who may not know where to begin. A realtor could target first-time homebuyers with a Special Report or a series of blog posts entitled “Buying Your First Home? Here’s Where to Begin.” Not only is this obviously helpful information, but when you are the source of the information, you become the expert. And you dramatically increase the chances that the consumer will think of you first when he’s ready for help.

Stay tuned for more on this subject in the weeks to come!

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Spotlight Branding

Spotlight Branding is an internet marketing and branding firm for lawyers. Our goal is to help our clients create an online presence that positions them as a credible expert in their field, keeps them connected with their network in order to stay top of mind and increase referrals, and to become more visible online so prospects can find them!