Unlocking Content Marketing’s Massive Value

by | Jun 1, 2016

It’s finally time to demystify one of my favorite marketing methods – content marketing. Whether you are promoting a company, introducing a product, or building a brand, content marketing is a platform for delivering information in creative, findable, and memorable ways.

In case you aren’t familiar with it, here is the definition from the Content Marketing Institute: “Content marketing is the marketing and business process for 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.”

A bit of a mouthful, but I appreciate the thoroughness of the definition.

Here’s a quick list of strong examples of what good content marketing looks like:

  • IBM’s Big Data and Analytics Hub is a collection of articles, videos, podcasts, and more that deliver useful marketing data and insights in very consumable formats
  • Backcountry, a business that sells equipment for outdoor activities, tells the backstory of every product it sells with video, infographics, and articles
  • The Kraft recipe magazine you have received in the mail for years

Every Facebook post, every article, every web page, video, etc. is a piece of content that can and should be used for marketing.

But it’s not all about technology as a means of delivering a message.

The Kraft recipe magazine is a stroke of content marketing brilliance. It started as a fancier way to distribute coupons. Kraft knew that getting coupons into households boosted sales. So they conceived a strategy where they produced a magazine full of recipes that included Kraft products, and then tagged a coupon onto the bottom of each magazine page.

After 18 years this magazine, actually called Kraft Food & Family, is no longer free – because tens of thousands of people pay to subscribe. In fact, its circulation is higher than magazines you probably know, like Food & Wine.

Now, Kraft has a massively sophisticated approach to gathering customer insights and data that drive many of the content and overall marketing decisions made.

Even if you don’t have a massive budget or elaborate data-mining effort, content marketing is still a winning tactic.

Good content marketing extends the value of your advertising dollar. It positions your offers better, it expands your reach, and it enables a higher frequency of your promotional content.

It takes time to develop your story, and an investment to ensure it reaches your target audience. But its value is high, and it’s an essential part of a modern marketing mix.

This week, keep an eye out for examples of content marketing you see. Think about the approach that works for your business.

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