What is content based marketing?

Written on Dec 07 2011

Interruption marketing is quickly becoming more irrelevant. People skip commercials and direct advertising as they have become aggressive towards being interrupted and sold. Instead, people want to be educated about solutions to their problems.

Content marketing to the rescue

In a nutshell, content marketing refers to the act of creating original content and freely distributing it to an interested audience. The most important aspect is to provide as much value as possible, even without endorsing your brand or your products. If you provide valuable content, people start trusting your brand more and they become interested in what you have to sell naturally. Let’s be honest: nobody likes to hear somebody talking about themselves all night long.

Moving to social media content sharing

People will naturally share content they find to be of high value and of interest, either for themselves or if they think a friend would benefit from a piece of content. When it comes to Facebook, the amount of shared content has steadily increased over time, so they had to improve their selection software in order to filter out irrelevant content from their users’ News Feeds. As a brand owner, you want to make sure your content gets a chance to show up in people’s News Feeds, or otherwise it goes by unnoticed. To do this, you must win “The Edge Rank”, which means that the more engaging your content is, the more it will show up in people’s News Feeds over time. Engaging means that viewers have to interact with the content you share, either by liking it, commenting on it, or sharing it further with their friends. And the more they do, the more Facebook sees your content as being valuable and makes sure it shows up in people’s Feeds.

Relating all of this to closing the sale

The process looks something like:

  1. People browse about what’s new in their areas of interest (including the content their friends have shared).
  2. They realize they have a need for a solution to one of their problems.
  3. They research different vendors for a solution and evaluate different products.
  4. Then they filter out irrelevant products and services. They seek the help of their friends to decide.
  5. Finally they make up their mind and purchase a product/service.

Hopefully you now see the value of gaining trust and authority as a brand. People will naturally favor you if you offered them value before (i.e. education, fun, value through meaningful content shared before).

Your turn

Start early, share the best of all you know about your field of business, without fear. Dividends will start to pay back soon in terms of sales, leads and referrals. This definitely means more effort on your side, but it will prove worthy over time. Only image the prospect of people commenting on your content and giving their valuable views and aspirations about the solutions they need. This is market research without asking for it. In the end, it might seem like a lot of time to put in at once, but start small and sketch a few ideas for a publishing calendar. Think of something to say every week or two, and soon enough you will see people joining the conversation and sharing your content with their peers.

Still, where to start

Think about the question you are most often asked by your customers and address that question with a solution.

Further reading

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