Content marketing is a customer facing marketing technique that offers potential customers valuable information in exchange for their attention and/or contact information. This technique allows businesses to turn industry expertise into valuable informational products like blog posts, podcasts, videos, pictures, or e-books. Content marketing allows you to build a positive connection with your potential client by giving them something useful. This will cause them to see you (or your organization) as an expert resource, who they trust and want to do business with.
Here are a few examples to help you better spot content marketing:
- The How to Cook series from Whole Foods market is a high quality example of video content marketing.
Whole Foods knows that it sells exotic and unique foods which its customers might not be familiar with preparing. Instead of beating customers over the head with advertisements or discounts to get them to try unfamiliar produce, Whole Foods uses content marketing to allow shoppers to feel comfortable with new ingredients. These short, hyper-focused videos help potential Whole Foods customers solve a very specific problem in under one minute. They include the Whole Foods logo at the end, but offer no pitch or discount. The goal of the campaign is simply to educate the public about produce they may struggle with on their own.
- Anyone can access Facebook market research resources and ad management training with Facebook IQ and Facebook Blueprint
Facebook knows that marketers are nervous about investing in social media advertising. They also cannot hire enough sales people or account managers to get all of the businesses they want advertising on their platform. In-order to ensure marketers understand and utilize their platform Facebook offers free industry reports, articles, webinars, and even a certification program. These tools help Facebook reduce barriers to advertising on their platform, while also giving them a platform to cost effectively gauge their customers’ interests, concerns, and questions.
- The Container Store uses Pinterest to help potential clients get organized.
Most people struggle with keeping their homes and workplaces organized; a fact that The Container Store has built their business around. As part of their marketing efforts they have created and shared hundreds of pins on Pinterest that show potential customers how to organize their space. These pins offer inspiration for anyone struggling with clutter, and do not include any pressure to buy a particular project. The Container Store also shares tips, examples, and ideas from their customers, which gives buyers incentive to stay connected and share their purchases online.
Chances are you’ve engaged with content marketing when trying find answers online. When you Google search a question, the top results almost always include a form of content marketing, because some company has decided that answering your question is the best way to engage with its audience. While content marketing can come in the form of images, videos, podcast, blogs, or even sometimes books, the goal is always to educate the public so they will see you as a trusted source of information.