Unlike traditional advertising which interrupts customers to get noticed, content marketing provides content that customers want in exchange for permission to market a product or service.
If you’ve never heard of this concept, that’s ok. This article provides a complete introduction to content marketing by discussing the following points:
- The fatal flaws of traditional advertising
- An in-depth introduction to content marketing
- The advantages that content marketing provides over traditional advertising
- Tips on the best practices that will make your content marketing more effective
If you’d like to learn how you can benefit from content marketing, continue reading.
The Fatal Flaws of Traditional Advertising
First, let’s consider the fatal flaws of traditional advertising.
With traditional ads, companies create ad content that interrupts customers in the form of billboards, magazine ads, T.V. commercials, radio ads, etc. Each of these advertisements interrupts customers as they’re doing something else, such as watching a T.V. show or driving down the street.
The ads don’t provide any value to customers, and they don’t offer any inherent reason for customers to view them.
Instead, they interrupt customers at a time when hopefully they won’t be able to get up and do something else. An ad on a subway capitalizes on the fact that passengers can’t go anywhere, and companies hope people will read them while waiting for the next stop. A billboard interrupts drivers hoping they’ll pay attention long enough to get the message, without losing focus of the road.
Traditional ads rely on good placement, clever wording, and exceptional creativity to capture customers attention for a brief period of time. The goal is for the ads to be clever enough to capture a few seconds of attention that will hopefully be enough time to communicate the brands message.
It’s a difficult proposition that leads to three fatal flaws for traditional advertising:
- Ads only capture customers’ attention for a brief period of time, if that.
- Ads interrupt customers instead of providing something of value.
- Ads end up being very expensive, especially if the campaigns are unsuccessful.
So is there an alternative? Is there a way to reach customers without interrupting them? Is there a way to engage people so that they want to hear your message instead of doing everything they can to avoid it?
Yes, and it’s called content marketing.
An Introduction to Content Marketing
Content marketing provides media-type content that customers want in exchange for permission to market a product or service to them. Here’s how it works:
With content marketing, instead of developing ads that interrupt customers, companies create content such as:
- Blog posts
- Podcast recordings (.mp3s)
- White papers & downloadable guides
- Youtube videos that benefit customers and provide value
This value can be provided in two ways: as educational content and as entertainment content. In either case, customers have free access to content that provides value.
To give an idea of what this looks like, here are some examples of businesses that currently use content marketing very successfully:
Copyblogger is considered the premier example of successful content marketing. They provide daily, world-class internet marketing tips for customers via their blog. Instead of grabbing customers’ attention with ads, they create blog content that is valuable to their audience, in exchange for attention and the opportunity to market products at opportune times.
One of the things that Copyblogger does very well is mostly providing valuable content and occasionally offering direct pitches for their products. They also include ads for their products above and below every blog post. The valuable content comes first and the sales pitch comes second.
Copyblogger also recently started offering a Thursday podcast series as another way to provide value to customers. Copyblogger has used all of this content to become a multi-million dollar per year company that spends 0% of their budget on advertising. 100% of their marketing comes from content.
River Pools and Spas
River Pools and Spas is based in Ashburn, VA, and went from having no internet presence to becoming one of the top online resources in its industry. They rank in the top 5% of inground pool companies in the country, and they owe a lot of their success to the industry-leading blog they created. Leer más “The Beginner’s Guide To Content Marketing”