In a data centric world, the internet has become an integral part of our lives and content marketing is very much dependent on it. You see, the internet is a vast empowering force that has enabled and granted you and I the opportunity to do extraordinary things. It is only our imaginations that limit the extent to which we can unearth our truest potentials.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, Content Marketing is the marketing and business process for creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action. With this definition, I have no doubt that some of us would require to re-read it again in order to fathom what it actually means. Thus, let us endeavor to further simplify it, especially for artists and creatives who dislike the idea of sales and anything corporate.
The words marketing or business in the definition simply convey the message to us that you need to market your business to see it thrive, as an entrepreneur. The process simply means you need a system that works well for you. Creating and distributing puts emphasis on how your efforts to create and publish content is required. Obviously, the content must be relevant & valuable to your audience because such content must provide value and be relevant to them. Attract, acquire and engage is a pivotal aspect because only excellent content can meet these requirements. Defined and understood target audience; you need to know your ideal fan, customer and collector. Lastly, profitable customer action – what this action is, depends on your business needs and strategy.
Now that I’ve broken it down, it does still sound like a workload to get through, doesn’t it? There’s a simpler way to understand what your content is all about. In essence, content marketing will therefore be easily defined as producing useful content that people find entertaining, useful or interesting. Over time, this builds trust and authority over your business. At a given point in time, these people will trust you with their email addresses; they will share your content and support your business because they love what you do. This, consequently, makes content marketing a very powerful way to grow your business. It is unlike any other kind of marketing.
Remember, content marketing has an honourable purpose too. It is unfortunate, however, that many people want to take a shortcut or try to manoeuvre devices to get instant results. Content marketing is NOT a “get rich quick ponzi”, it is not Google tricks, it is not viral sharing tricks, it is not about spending wads of cash on advertising, it is not social media, it is not avoiding your real work neither is it misleading people.
The world of content marketing is filled with opinions, advice and noise. There’s a pretty good chance that your inbox is already daily inundated with content seeking your attention. You may have subscribed to something a while back that you no longer need, or maybe you’re waiting for the next newsletter from Cosmopolitan in your mail. Why? Well, you’re getting those emails because you’re simply getting value from that content.
Unfortunately, much of the content flying about is garbage! It is designed to interrupt you, sell stuff you have no interest in, promising to make you rich, offer wild results, make you thinner, stronger, cleverer or more appealing. These usually come with a “limited time offer” and many bonuses attached. All of this is annoying at best and dishonest at worst. We surely deserve better!
What do people want to see then? Well, the art of content marketing involves the skill of showing people what they want to see; what interests them. They want their problems solved, they want to be entertained and they want you to care. To care enough that you will give them your best work. These people may even buy from you if you do these for them. Many businesses that have marketing savvy fathom this reality of truth; they have strategies in place and they’re seeing massive returns.
So, to be excellent at content marketing, seek to know what is in the best interest of your audience and the results will speak for themselves.
Mosa Ntwampe holds a BA Communications Degree from North West University, Additionally, he has a higher certificate in Graphic Design from Oakfields College. Mosa is the Marketing Coordinator at the Inscape Education Group (Midrand Campus) and is currently pursuing his BA Honours Degree in Strategic Communications with the University of Johannesburg.