As the name suggests, content marketing works by using content to attract and retain an audience. The entire purpose is to provide value and benefit that a build relationships with the target audience and eventually spurs them on towards action.
Content marketing is a less obvious, more subtle approach to building a brand. It’s not about direct promotion—it’s about providing something of value through content. This value may come through knowledge and information, or it might be through the use of humor and entertainment. In any case, the audience should feel that they have gained something beneficial (even if it’s just a chuckle) from the interaction with your brand.
As content benefits the user, it builds trust and establishes authority so that the brand eventually becomes part of the conversation. Of course, the goal is ultimately to bring the audience along on the buyer’s journey in order to convert them. This type of marketing is not meant for a quick sale. Content marketing is playing the long game to build up a business that has deep roots and a firm foundation.
Depending on the goals and needs of your particular organization, various types of content marketing are available to choose from. When beginning a marketing strategy, choosing to focus on just one or two is wise. Then, once you’ve become effective in an area, you may decide to expand your horizons a bit—as long as you can remain consistent.
Of course, the marketing tactics each company uses are based on their personality as a brand as well as who they are trying to reach. Here, we’ll highlight some of the content marketing types that you may want to consider as well as some examples that we think are stellar:
One of the best examples of authority within the blogging realm of content marketing is the HubSpot blog. In fact, since they coined the term ‘Inbound Marketing’, we can certainly trust that they have built themselves up as an authority and resource. And much of this has to do with the way that they use their blog to provide valuable knowledge for businesses.
One of the most critical aspects of HubSpot’s blog marketing/content marketing approach is the fact that their resources are easily accessible and available through their content hub. More than just reading recent posts, HubSpot’s archives can be searched by topic and readers can find almost anything that’s ever been written. This means that HubSpot’s articles are evergreen (able to withstand the test of time), regularly updated and placed within an organized system.
For obvious reasons, beauty and fashion brands depend heavily on visual content marketing to get their point across. That “picture is worth a thousand words” quote might be old but it’s still true. With more than a million Instagram followers, Glossier is taking its social media marketing game to new heights not only by using pictures, but by getting others to share the love.
Interaction with followers on Instagram, Twitter and the other platforms allows Glossier to build hype and create trust with their target audience. For instance, Glossier re-posted this shout out from a fan and received more than 95 thousand “likes” for it. That’s not too shabby for a post that someone else originated.
Of course, an effective Instagram campaign also includes tons of well-timed, eye-catching photos that educate and remind target audiences of the benefits of the brand. Making content that is on trend and shareable is what social media marketing is all about.
Arguably some of the most memorable video marketing to date, Old Spice has a thing or two to teach us about getting the attention of the target audience. And it’s no small thing that this 80-year-old brand has seen a renewed life in the past few years.
Starting with “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like”, the brand’s video marketing campaigns have earned millions upon millions of views and become a YouTube sensation. Through their catchy, non-sensical humor, the brand has found a way to get the attention of their audience in the first few seconds of their videos. Viewers are attracted by the clever humor but they also get a good dose of unforgettable branding along with it. But what viewers really love is the fact that it’s about so much more than the brand.
One strategy that Old Spice uses well in their video marketing is the Call-to-Action (CTA) they place at the end of each silly video. This encourages sharing with friends and family through YouTube or other social media outlets. Because, who doesn’t want to share a good laugh?
If your brand has valuable expertise, then sharing it should be part of your content marketing campaign. Through eBooks, guides, and other resources, you can provide valuable information that your target audience may be clambering for. It might not be quite as trendy as makeup and hair tips on Instagram, but people really do want/need to learn things about insurance or financial markets, especially when you’re in a Business-to-Business (B2B) market.
LinkedIn is a go-to source for all kinds of B2B information, which means that pretty much everyone who functions within the business world wants an eBook that they publish. Recently, readers were provided with 30 pages of guidance on how to produce successful content marketing in their LinkedIn Content Marketing Tactical Plan eBook.
In offering this valuable information, the purpose is that casual readers will begin to trust the brand, understand what they have to offer and engage on a deeper level. Of course, the book wouldn’t be complete without Chapter 16, which is essentially a CTA that directs readers in how to go further with LinkedIn. Genius? Yes, very much so.
As the marketing world continues to change and grow, effective brands will continue to invest in smart, up-to-date strategies that provide valuable resources to their target audiences. Through these types of content marketing you can engage with your audience, leading them through the buyer’s journey and ultimately turning them into loyal customers.
WSI was founded in 1995 and is an innovative digital marketing agency with offices in over 80 countries. We’ve spent over 20 years helping more than 100,000 companies and large global brands unlock the full potential of their business by leveraging the Internet and its many unrecognized opportunities. We’d be happy to help do the same for you and consult on your digital marketing strategy. Simply give me a call or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
Rick spent 20 years in the insurance industry in finance, primarily developing reporting platforms for B & C stakeholders. His ability to speak to consumers of data (managers and analysts) and translate their needs to programmers led him to start his own digital marketing agency in 2004 to develop data driven solutions for business owners.
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