Content Marketing 101 Series, Part 1

There is a lot of confusion out there about the fairly new phrase “content marketing” – and for good reason. Even those of us that work as Content Marketers grapple with delivering this service in a way that effectively grows businesses. So what is Content Marketing? And how does it apply to your small business?

If you were to research content marketing online, you’d be taken down a rather steep rabbit hole of definitions that may or may not resemble one another.

what is content marketing

On this post, I want to explain what content marketing is in the simplest terms possible. Let’s start from the beginning.

While the term “content marketing” hasn’t been coined for too long, the concept and practice of using content as a long-term marketing tactic is age-old.

Content Marketing Institute‘s Joe Pulizzi recently published a blog on the history of content marketing.

His research dates the first use of content marketing to the 1700s. It was then that Benjamin Franklin published the first Poor Richard’s Almanack. (Yep, it was spelled with a “k” back then). The goal of this publication was to promote his printing business.

Since then, Pulizzi’s infographic shows there has been a fun list of ways content marketing has evolved.

The nineties saw a huge surge in the use of content marketing in digital form with the dawn of the internet. Thus the term “content marketing” was born.

So, what IS content marketing?

Here is the definition I use to explain it simply:

Content marketing is the use of various forms of self-published content to provide readers and viewers in your market with valuable information through various content channels. Doing so builds audience trust over time and relationships with potential clients resulting in future sales to customers. 

                                                                                                        -Rena Chiovelli, P.ink Content Solutions

Other definitions I really like:

Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.

                                                                                                                            – Content Marketing Institute

CONTENT MARKETING means creating and sharing valuable free content to attract and convert prospects into customers, and customers into repeat buyers. The type of content you share is closely related to what you sell; in other words, you’re educating people so that they know, like, and trust you enough to do business with you.

                                                                                                                                                           – Copyblogger

Not only has Content Marketing become a thing, it has become the fastest growing form of marketing on the planet. This is not a trendy fad, folks. Content marketing is here to stay, and here are just a few of the bazillion stats on its use and its growth:

  • 75% of marketers are increasing investment in content marketing as one of the most important marketing strategies in their arsenal. Point Visible

  • Content marketing has become an almost universal tactic, with almost 90% of companies using it in 2016, and even more utilizing it in 2017. Smart Insights

  • 80% of business decision makers prefer to get company information in a series of articles versus an advertisement. Snapapp

I could go on (and on)…instead I’m going to share the mother of all infographics on content marketing trends by Martina Stricak of Point Visible. This girl knows her sh#t.

Side note: Point Visible is an authority in digital marketing. She created a killer blog post on content marketing statistics that includes a free infographic for other businesses (like moi) to use.

See what she did there???

Content Marketing Statistics And Trends – 2017 Edition [INFOGRAPHIC]
Content Marketing Statistics Infographic is provided by Point Visible

Are you now completely pumped and ready to take on the content marketing world by storm?

Not so fast.

It’s not all rainbows and butterflies when implementing content marketing.

In fact, only 22% of professional marketers feel “extremely” or “very” successful with their content marketing efforts. (Point Visible)

And get this: Brands spend 25%-43% of their marketing budget on content. However, only 23% of CMOs feel they are producing the right information for the right audience, and delivering it at the right time and correct format. (Business2Community)

As I mentioned already, digital content marketing is a very young marketing form. And while it’s been around since the mid-nineties, it’s really only started to take off as a mainstream strategic effort for businesses since 2011.

So how do you successfully implement it in YOUR business?

Stay tuned for Part 2 of my blog series on Content Marketing – How to Get Started with Content Marketing in YOUR Business.

If you’d like help creating a content marketing strategy for your business, connect with me here to find out more about my Louder Than Words Content Marketing VIP service, or send me a message directly.

What Is Content Marketing