Chapter One: What is content marketing, anyway?

CHAPTER 1: What is content marketing, anyway?

Content marketing. 

Content is king. 

Buzzphrases are for capturing something’s essence, for getting some form of message ‘out there’ in a format that’s digestible.

What it doesn’t do is give the full picture, tell the whole story. One has to go beneath the surface to get to the nitty-gritty.

That’s my intention with this chapter.

To go beneath the surface and give you a useful introduction into what this whole content marketing thing is all about. I hope to remove any confusion you might have about it, and give you a very clear understanding about what content marketing actually is.

So, let’s get started.

The definition

Simply put, content is using content in order to market, right? Duh. Yeah, I know, just bear with me here.

Aka, you are using words to attract interest, to demonstrate expertise and build trust when it comes to your company, your product/service and you. (Sometimes, you and your company are the same thing; in fact, this is often the case for independent mortgage advisers).

Some would argue that content marketing is as direct as trying to get customers to buy your thing. You can see that there’s a big overlap with sales here, can’t you?

Side note: paid ads, whether old-school (on TV/radio) or new-school (Facebook/Instagram ads) are still very much a thing, and you can make money this way. 

Every business, though, should have content as its bedrock… after all, before you then go out and tell the world about you, which is what ads are essentially doing, it's imperative that your shop window is all in order.

What many people don’t realise is that content both sets up your stand with your best foot forward and tells the world about you. In other words, it impresses your (desired) visitors that land on your website, and sends them your way in the first place. That’s the beauty of it.

PS. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) also plays a key role in the distribution/reach of your content, more on that later in this Guide.

Why content marketing is so important

Here’s why this ‘content marketing’ lark is so important…

Online, there is no single better way to organically build a relationship with your customer than through content marketing. There just isn’t.

And the core, the bedrock, the foundation stone of all your content is your blog.

See also -> 11 Reasons Why Your Business Needs An Active Blog

What better way to get to know you, to get a feel and a flavour for you, to engage with you, than through the knowledge and personality you can demonstrate through your blog?

Yes, you have a great service or a product to offer. You know what you provide is hugely valuable. Your (prospective) customer has a need. Maybe they’ll hop right onto your website and go straight to that buy or book a demo button. 

But, the chances are very high that this won’t happen. Seeing as 92% of the traffic coming to your page is from customers not intending to buy anything on that 1st visit, those that do are in a tiny majority.

See also -> 92% of Consumers Visiting a Retailer's Website for the First Time Aren't There to Buy

This is why it is so important for you to build that connection and develop a relationship with them. Or, to use another analogy that I’m particularly partial to, to lead them down your garden path.

These words are so important, that I'm going to repeat them, this time in bold text:

What better way to get to know you, to get a feel and a flavour for you, to engage with you, than through the knowledge and personality you can demonstrate through your blog?

And content marketing is the way in which you can do that. It is the best way in which you can do that. Whether it’s content in the forms of words, or audio, or video, there is magic in it.

In summary

Content shows your customers who you are, the value you can bring, and gives you the opportunity to build trust and connection with them, to get those warm and fuzzy feelings inside. To ultimately take them from visitor -> engaged -> paying customer.

Or, arguably even better than a paying customer… a loyal fan. One who’ll shout about you and your offering to others IRL (in real life) and online, without you even asking to. 

This is where the companies that consciously cultivate engaged customer communities will be the ones that reach the moon.  

For an example of a company that's done this really well, check out Monzo and their Community Forum over here.

That’s what content marketing is, and that’s why you should care about it.

What did you think?
Let me know if you have any comments or questions about this article, by commenting below or email me: jas@honestcontent.net. I respond to every email I receive.

Want to read more?
This article forms Chapter 1 of an ‘Introduction to Content Marketing’ e-book, which outlines step-by-step, how to:

  • Take your website visitors -> customers

  • How to get started with content marketing, if you’re starting from zero

  • What your next step(s) should be, for your website & blog

👉🏼 Get the full free e-book by clicking here.