Content Marketing 101: The Power of a Story For Business

The appearance of the Internet has changed marketing and advertising forever; it is now easier, faster, and larger than ever.

 

Content marketing is a strategy that is usually associated with the internet and digital marketing, however, this is not accurate as globalisation has tremendously affected the marketing industry. Content marketing was there before the internet and was making huge numbers already.

Where Did Content Marketing Come From?

The need for content marketing was created when the general public grew tired of advertising. Wherever you go, you would find someone asking you to buy something. On the radio, on the telephone, at the supermarket, on TV, and on social media channels, there is always something to be bought. Audiences then began to try to avoid direct advertising from businesses online and offline and this is when the need for content marketing developed. Content marketing rose above many of the limitations of direct marketing, disseminating branded messages and information in a way which has never been achieved before.

Content Marketing

What Is Content Marketing?

If you aren’t experienced with it and want to use it to improve your business, you need to ensure you understand the content marketing definition. Content marketing is a long term strategy whose function is to create relevant and valuable material that speaks to the audience, and ultimately makes them your customers.

According to Oxford’s definition, “content word” means a word whose main function is to express meaning. This is very much related to anyone looking to define content marketing.

What’s the Difference Between Content Marketing and Advertising?

In the loud world of marketing today, audiences appreciate it if you are kind enough to engage with them and let them know that you care about them as much as you care about your product. As more businesses have moved online to grow with their audiences, digital marketing became oversaturated with businesses following a direct marketing strategy and customers did not feel valued by their favourite brands and businesses.  Content marketing is showing your customer they are valued by sharing content that they will benefit from and strengthen the relationship between them and the business. This can be content that will entertain, support them and engage them to know more about your business.

This is where having a content marketing strategy saves the day. You may also find it beneficial to take on an internal or external content marketing manager to oversee all your content and ensure it meets business requirements.

The Power of a Story

Humans have been fond of stories since the beginning of time. From children to seniors, everyone loves hearing a story; it is in our nature. We love to communicate; that is the reason why we created language, books, movies, radios, and telephones. If you disagree, take a look at popular social media channels like Facebook, Snapchat, or Instagram; they are all about “stories.” There are many psychological reasons why people love stories. One of them is that they can relate to the story.

Even if the theme of the story is science fiction, people would still find something to relate to upon hearing a story. Another reason is that they find some value in a story. A classic example would be children’s stories and how they always include something useful that they can learn and apply to their life. Relevant and valuable, does that ring a bell? These two keywords are what distinguish content marketing from advertising. People will avoid you if you “sell” them your product, but give that product a good story and they will buy it.

Examples and Different Forms of Content Marketing

Content marketing comes in all shapes and sizes. The marketing platforms your business decides to use should be curated to what works best for you and your audience. Content marketing examples could be visual like info-graphics, videos, games, books, or images to audible examples like podcasts.

Almost all content marketing forms involve some writing. You can easily find many different types of content marketing; therefore, this article will introduce some tips from a different perspective.

How to Write Useful Content?

Useful means that your audience will find value in your content and look forward to receiving your content; they will not run away from you. If you are a car retailer, and you provide your viewers with How-to articles, which give tips about how to make their car parts last longer, they will be eager to visit your website. They will feel that your business cares about their problems, as much as it cares about making sales. They may even search your website for more articles to help them, which will eventually lead them to you when they consider buying a car.

How to Write Relevant Content?

To create relevant content, you should focus on connecting with your audience on a personal level and give them insight into becoming part of your business story. By giving your product a story, your viewers can relate to your business and will feel encouraged to support the business. Make them say this while watching your video or reading your article: “This is me.” People tend to react with a one-person-story more than they relate to big numbers. Your goal should be to create a relationship between your audience and your product and let your product sell itself.

content marketing - story for a business- magazines

Top 3 Things to Avoid in Content Marketing

Limiting Yourself

Be versatile. Do not stick to one form of content marketing even if it is successful. You are trying to create as many lead customers as possible and expand the range of your viewers to the maximum, so you should make use of all styles and forms. If you are only addressing your current viewers, you are not going the right way. Include noteworthy ideas, and make sure they stand out.

Sharing Content at the Wrong Time.

Sharing your content once is not enough. You need to share the same post more often since you need to make sure that it reached as much audience as possible. Make sure that the time interval between sharing your posts is reasonable. Do not slam your viewers all at once, and then disappear for a few days. Moreover, choose when to share your content wisely; pick the time when most of your viewers are active. Consistency is key with content marketing to ensure the relationship you develop with your audience does not grow stale.

Putting Quantity Before Quality

Although it is positive to always be in touch with your audience, be careful not to put quantity before quality. Again, content marketing is valuable marketing. Creating content with no additional information just for the sake of posting frequently looks like boring advertising. Content marketing is about having a story to tell, and a good storyteller knows that every word counts. A good content marketer should know so too. There is a wide range of content marketing tools available to support the creation of high-quality content.

In Summary

Content marketing has proved itself to be the most successful form of marketing over the past number of years and will continue to do so as more businesses move online. Studies suggest that 73% of companies have content marketing strategies already in place. To sum it up, content marketing is the evolution of advertising. Instead of pushing people into buying products, the marketing industry has headed towards a different approach. Let your audience realize that they need your business on their own, by giving them valuable and relevant content. It is all about making your audience feel appreciated instead of making them feel like they are being poached for sales.

 

Do you need a content marketing agency to ensure you have the best content for your business?

At ProfileTree, we offer a range of content marketing services to allow your business to grow and expand its online presence.

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