February 23, 2021 (Updated: November 9, 2023)
The term content marketing gets thrown around a lot in marketing strategy sessions, during SEO targeting, and throughout today’s business world. But what is it? Content marketing has grown and evolved exponentially over the past few decades as more and more companies focus their marketing on the internet and social media. Businesses no longer simply use newspaper ads, television commercials, or flyers to generate traffic. Using content marketing strategies, a company can reach its ideal audience and customer base online, even if it’s primarily a brick-and-mortar business.
Content marketing is the practice of creating and distributing content online for a targeted audience to drive interaction with consumers that leads to business growth and profit. This isn’t about just throwing random content and information out there. Good content marketing engages a particular audience for a particular business. Content needs to be helpful, clear, concise, trustworthy, and easily accessible.
Image via Flickr by deepakiqlect
Companies such as CopyPress work to provide high-quality content and help businesses learn to use such content effectively with content promotion strategies. Content syndication or promotion is an aspect of content marketing that helps make sure that the content created will show up in searches and grab reader attention. With an ROI focus, the best content marketing ensures that content is reaching its target audience and gaining brand recognition.
Content marketing is very important in today’s society and today’s market because of the many businesses out there vying for the attention and business of the billions of humans in the world. Typically, even with a very specific company offering a unique product or service, several businesses — or even hundreds or thousands — offer something similar.
So, how does a business owner or marketing strategist set their company apart from the crowd? Content marketing is a strong start. This type of marketing drives traffic to the business website, builds a relationship between consumer and business, and facilitates interactions that create trust.
When consumers are regularly visiting a business’s site for information and are being met with helpful content that’s easy to understand and answers their questions, they begin to trust that site and therefore the business. Even if the site is offering information about topics outside of the services or products it specifically provides, the traffic is coming in and trust is building.
For example, if a consumer is wondering where to go in their city for a fun time with family or friends, they might search for recommendations. A local car dealership has blog content on its website listing the best spots in said city for family-friendly activities. The consumer reads this article, visits some of the places recommended, has an enjoyable time, and remembers where they got that helpful information.
Next time that consumer is looking to purchase a new vehicle, they’ve already established a relationship with the local car dealership that helped them find fun experiences in their area. When they’re ready to shop, they are likely to start with the dealership’s site that they found helpful in the past.
This is a basic overview of the importance and effect of content marketing, but it’s where things start. As company representatives learn more and more about the practice, they will find many ways to continue to create content for consumer engagement and ultimately business growth.
Several types of content marketing are available to businesses hoping to drive traffic to their websites, including:
There’s much more to content marketing than this short list of types. It’s a practice that’s been part of running businesses since the beginning of commerce. Business owners and sales associates have always looked for ways to bring in new customers and clients, keep those they have happy and coming back for more, and simply get their business name out there. The best marketing success examples always include strong content.
As we discuss what content marketing is and why it’s important, we need to look at some concrete examples of high-quality content marketing in action. Again, this practice has been a part of the business world since the beginning, so we’ve got a large pool of examples to choose from.
We see the most value in strong content marketing that shows an even balance between utility and design. The content’s information must be useful and true, but it also has to be easy to take in and remember. When content is well-designed, readers can get what they want from a blog post, infographic, etc., without feeling like they’re wading through filler to get there. The more aesthetically pleasing the content, the more memorable it is.
Here are some of the best examples of content marketing we’ve come across.
Rip Curl, deemed the “ultimate surfing company,” is an example of stellar content marketing. Here’s why. Sure, Rip Curl sells high-quality products and runs a well-designed website, but it also has some of the strongest creative content marketing out there. Its collection of videos called “The Search” features video content from surfers around the world searching for the perfect waves. This online publication generates loads of traffic to the site as consumers interested in surfing look for exciting videos and share them with friends.
Videos can be found through Rip Curl’s social media accounts, on YouTube, and on the website. That’s a lot of accessibility. Every time one of “The Search” videos is viewed, that’s a point for brand awareness. As surfers show videos to others and talk about the content, the consumers are basically doing the advertising for Rip Curl.
The quality of this particular content is important as well. Videos shared on “The Search” are well-made, featuring beautiful places and highly skilled surfers. Sure, anybody can go out to the ocean and get some pretty videos and pictures, but by creating this publication, Rip Curl has professional surfers creating engaging content for them. This provides authenticity and builds trust with the consumer.
Another example of one of the most creative content campaigns is Coke’s “Share a Coke” campaign. This ingenious campaign made content marketing super-personal to the consumer and showed an interest in human relationships. Nothing builds brand trust like personalization. Coke figured out how to engage its customers by name.
The campaign started out by printing 150 of the most common names in Australia on the sides of Coke bottles. This engaged consumers in two ways. They could search for their own names or order a personalized bottle online, or they could give a bottle as a thoughtful gift for a friend or family member. Personalization is proven to improve customer engagement, but many businesses don’t give it a try. It doesn’t have to be a name on the side of a bottle — there are many ways to personalize content and connect emotionally with a target audience.
Glossier offers us one of the best examples of content marketing 2021. It’s hitting all the marks when it comes to successful content creation, publishing, and distributing. How does Glossier do all this? Social media. Glossier taps into its own followers on Twitter and Instagram and uses that content for marketing. So, a consumer purchases some Glossier products and posts about them on Instagram. Then Glossier features that post on its own social media accounts. This builds strong relationships with customers, appeals to Glossier’s target audience, and even shows some customer appreciation.
Active participants on social media love recognition. That’s what it’s all about. So, when Glossier features its customers’ posts, it taps into that desire for recognition, encouraging the people to come back for more. They’ll likely buy more products and create more content trying to get more “air time” on Glossier’s accounts. Taking advantage of user-generated content not only gains free content for Glossier but also drives sales.
Glossier also offers marketing content writing examples with its “Into the Gloss” online publication. This style blog features stories focused on self-care, beauty, dermatology, style, and other similar topics. Many of the featured stories reference Glossier products and provide purchasing links. This company is on fire with its content marketing strategies.
One of the most successful content marketing campaigns in video marketing, Old Spice commercials are making consumers laugh with the fresh take on humorous advertising. Thanks to social media and YouTube, the commercials aren’t confined to cable TV in between breaks in a professional football game or during popular television shows. If a company can nail a hilarious commercial, it’s hit the jackpot for reachability. Consumers will share links to funny videos on their social media accounts, send them to friends, and even make their own parodies.
LinkedIn uses its service to meet the needs and wants of its customers while also providing helpful content every time they visit the site. If a consumer is engaging with LinkedIn’s website, they likely have an interest in building their career, networking, and selling their skill set for greater opportunities. LinkedIn keeps its customers coming back for more by providing loads of information through video content, infographics, written materials, eBooks, and more.
It’s made itself the place to go for career growth and networking, as well as the place to go to learn more about career growth and networking. What a brilliant way to tap into the interests of their target audience.
Because LinkedIn is set up like a social media site, it can also tap into the power of user-generated content. Users share stories, news articles, and more with their peers via LinkedIn. This drives traffic to the site and keeps users coming back for more interactions, responses, and shares. LinkedIn’s algorithm also works well to offer content that’s relevant to each of its individual users. If a LinkedIn account user connects primarily with others in the accounting field and shows interest in accounting careers through their use of the site, the algorithm will show them content related to that field.
Finally, Charmin’s Sit or Squat app is another brilliant form of content marketing that we have to talk about. The app enables users to find nearby bathrooms and make their choice based on the reviews of other users. Go into a public bathroom, check out the situation, and then provide a rating on the app. Would you sit or squat when using this restroom? It’s like the Waze app for toilets. We don’t have to explain why this is relevant to Charmin’s target audience.
This form of content marketing helps the consumer, provides a little humor, and has brand recognition all over it. The app is free, so there’s no reason for consumers not to download and use it. Plus, users see the Charmin logo every time they open the app and may even form loyalty to the brand after being saved from gross toilet experiences.
So, what’s the takeaway? Effective content marketing doesn’t interrupt what the consumer is doing to try to sell them a product the way basic advertising does. Think of how many millions of dollars are spent on TV commercials targeted toward an audience of people who get up to go to the bathroom, grab a snack, or look at their phone until the content they wanted to view comes back.
Content marketing uses information the consumer is already searching for to drive sales. It provides the consumer with content that entertains, informs, and interests them. Then, once the consumer is engaged and has their questions answered or curiosities met, the brand is already in their mind and the relationship has started. This is the future of marketing, especially as social media grows and consumerism continues to evolve. CopyPress is here to get businesses in the game.
More from the author: