A brief introduction to content marketing

The popularity of content marketing has increased over the last decade as search engines have increasingly prioritised quality content, and it’s now seen as a cost-effective alternative to traditional advertising. While many people, perhaps including your competitors, have already been using content marketing for years, not everyone is yet familiar with it, so here is a quick guide to the basics:

Basic aim

The underlying aim is to grow and cultivate an audience by providing content that people value. This could be practical information, but it could also be light-hearted entertainment. While this can have the effect of attracting and retaining traffic to your website, the overriding aim is to build up respect with your audience, so when someone looks to make a purchasing decision, they will already have a high opinion of your brand.

This often means avoiding traditional marketing techniques like calls to action and elevator pitches, but many people have grown immune to the hard sell anyway. While content costs money, such as by outsourcing to a website content writer, it generally costs less than traditional paid advertising, and it can continue to generate value in the long term. It also fits in well with digital strategies, such as search engine optimisation and social media and email marketing.

How do you get started?

Content marketing involves more than merely establishing a pipeline for content and opening the valve. You should start by identifying the audience you wish to attract, because this will drive your content strategy. You then need to find a niche that will appeal to this audience, preferably one that isn’t already saturated by your competitors. Finally, make it clear what you want to achieve from content marketing, or it will be impossible to gauge success.

With these in mind, you can then approach a content agency about providing and promoting content for your organisation.

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