You’ve probably heard the term thrown around, but what exactly does content marketing mean? Put simply, content marketing is about winning customers over through valuable and relevant content that connects them with your brand.

In an increasingly saturated market, consumers are switching off when confronted with traditional advertising. That’s why clever marketers are working harder to connect with consumers in more genuine ways. That’s where content marketing comes in.

Purpose-made content with strategic goals

Content marketing uses blogs, video, social media, eBooks and even podcasts to communicate with an audience. Compared with snappy headlines and spammy emails, content has the ability to be a lot more informative and valuable to your audience.

The trick with content marketing is to provide content that’s truly valuable to your audience. If you’re a financial advisor, hosting a free webinar about managing personal finances can be a great way to build your reputation and inspire trust in your audience. Plus, it gives you an opportunity to open a conversation with that audience and – hopefully – convert them into customers.

Social media posts designed to build and engage

A lot of content marketing happens on social media. From Instagram posts to Facebook updates to LinkedIn articles, there are many ways to engage your target audience through social media content. Depending on your brand, different types of content will be more or less effective. Facebook videos might work well for a gym, whereas maintaining a beautiful Instagram feed might be the best way to advertise your cupcakes.

Good content marketing rarely operates in one location alone, so try planning your content marketing through a two-or-more-pronged approach. For example, your Facebook post may link to a recipe on your blog. Not only does integrating your content look good to search engines, but it also makes you appear more credible to your audience.

Marketing that is of value to your audience

The number one rule of content marketing is that it has to be of value to your audience. While content marketing usually includes a soft sell or simple call to action, your audience won’t engage with it if they don’t care about the content.

To be an excellent content marketer, you have to know what kind of content your customers care about. Whether that’s an informative blog, an eBook or an instructional video, you need to provide content that is meaningful to them. Once you start posting content regularly, you’ll begin to get an idea of which topics and formats resonate with your audience, and which posts quickly stagnate.

Content that drives traffic and leads

The good news is that valuable content creates its own traction. If you post high-quality content regularly, you’re likely to be shared by your audience, grow organic traction, and be regarded highly by your customers. However, doing this requires a lot of work. Providing consistent, high-quality content is no mean feat. Luckily, the payoff is often worth it.

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