What Is Content Marketing?
It's writing and sharing information via articles or similar long forms of content. Is it "Article Marketing"? Yes. "Is it Blogging?" Yes.
These are two of the many tactics to get your content distributed but the important thing to understand about content marketing is why it's effective. Here are some factoids about content marketing that explain what it is and why it works.
- It's the stuff you read when you read the newspaper; online or off.
- It's the article you read in the doctor's office waiting room
- It's the How To Get Fit or How To Stay Fit tips you click on when browsing practically any site (because don't they all offer that headline now?)
- It's the analysis of last night's game you read on your smartphone in the elevator to avoid talking to your neighbors or coworkers
- It's often a 300 to 1300-word or longer article
- Maybe it can be video, Tweets and FB posts, but here we're talking more about long-form articles. Let's call that other stuff Social Media. It's rather a different animal.
- It can be discreetly placed up for adoption in article directories or aggressively pimped out to ezine owners (jarring juxtaposition of metaphors, I realize). Either way it ends up in new places.
- It helps you make new friends with other site owners, potential customers, advertisers and advertising vehicles
Why Is Content Marketing Effective?
- People like to read stuff. Seriously! It's what the 'net is made of, stuff to read.
- There are endless topics of interest and almost all topics are ever-changing
- You can add your bio or call to action via links back to your site at the end of the article which drives traffic to your site
- It informs in a non-salesy way, and is therefore more trustworthy
- Fresh, informative well-written content on every topic is almost always in demand because there endless online sites and blogs and ezines and newsletters. And you know what one thing they all always need more of? Content. Why? Because it's easy to be a "publisher" by setting up a site, but writing good, long content takes time. Site owners love to outsource the creation of this material.
Case Study of How To Do Content Marketing Right?
Sears, Content Marketing and Forbes Magazine
So what's this about Sears and Forbes? Little old 119 year old Sears is apparently working it in the Content Marketing arena! And for what product? Fitness?
If you remember the old NordicTrack commercial or think the fitness equipment category is relegated to late night infomercials, you're totally dumb (just seeing if you're still paying attention!) then you might be surprised, as we were, to read how Sears is lining up fitness fanatics with their publishing prowess.
Check out the Forbes on Sears article here, Sears Explains Its Success In Content Marketing
So if Sears can do it, anyone can. And if Forbes is writing about it, then it must be good business. Ah, life is so easy when you take an extremely simplistic view of things. :-)