Content Marketing: this article offers a practical explanation of Content Marketing. The article starts with the definition of content marketing, followed by some general information about conversion ratio’s and the relation to strong content marketing. You will also read about examples of different types of content for a content marketing strategy and some practical tips. Enjoy reading!
What is Content Marketing?
Definition of Content marketing
Content Marketing is identified by the Content Marketing Institute as ‘a strategic market approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content, with the goal to attract a clearly defined target group and retain this group with the eventual goal to convert this into profitable customer behavior’.
It is often linked to relatively new internet companies and strategies, but in fact, it originated hundreds of years ago. For instance, Benjamin Franklin published annual almanacs in the 18th century intended to promote his printing office.
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The American producer of agricultural machinery, John Deere, started to publish their magazine The Furrow in 1895. Nowadays, this is published in 40 countries.
The content that is categorised by means of the (potential) customers or visitors is therefore closely connected to what exactly is sold or provided. Simply put, content marketing is a way of getting to know the company, building a relationship of trust and subsequently eliciting a business relationship.
It functions as the informative bridge between the business and consumer and should therefore be part of all business strategies that focus on building and maintaining strong customer relationships.
Conversion Ratios and Content Marketing
Although it’s important that consumers share positive things about the company on the Internet, for instance, the marketeers are, of course, concerned with sales. They are trying to influence the consumer’s behaviour and content marketing plays an increasingly larger role in this process.
An online shop can have 100,000 visitors a month, but if only 15 products are sold, the marketing strategy is not very effective. This is a statistic that is very important in the marketing world.
The conversion ratio is very telling about the effectiveness of the marketing materials and can be calculated by dividing the number of orders or purchased services by the number of visitors. For this purpose, conversion optimisers are used.
However, this strategic market approach shouldn’t merely focus on conversion ratios. These two marketing tools can have a counterproductive effect on each other. It works best when the consumer is offered value without something being expected in return.
Once the content has enticed the consumer, and a relationship has been established, the relationship can be taken to the higher level. This could mean offering a premium or paid content, or giving the consumer the option to subscribe to a relevant newsletter.
The consumer can also be kindly asked to make a relevant purchase. It’s important that these so-called calls-to-action are presented in such a way that this shows that it’s actually useful to the consumer, and only when he wants it.
Digital Content Marketing and Value Creation, some examples
Whereas previously content marketing concerned mostly physical content, since the introduction of the Internet and social media, there are now more possibilities to reach a larger audience with more different types of content.
Digital content marketing is conducted via various electronic channels to identify, predict and satisfy the wishes and needs of the consumer. It must be consistently implemented by organisations to win and retain the consumers. This is shown in a monthly newsletter or a service where a user can subscribe to updates regarding the services or activities of a company.
This strategic market approach encompasses matters such as educational articles, films, other electronic services and entertainment, and works best when consumers are offered something they can’t get anywhere else. Examples of effective content marketing types include:
Blogs and Articles
“Blogs and articles are two of the most popular forms of content marketing, particularly for relatively small companies. The main reason for this is that the findability of a company expands quickly when company-related content is published online” admits Jeff Richards, Head of Content at Essay Tigers thesis writing company. This is referred to as Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).
Forbes researched this and concluded that websites with blogs have indexed over 400% of pages than sites that don’t use this technique. Improving the SEO also applies to other types of marketing.
Consumers view more videos than ever before. One third of all the data use online is spent on video streaming. This makes marketing via videos incredibly effective.
The popular social media services Instagram and Snapchat are already frequently used by influencers who work for companies. Videos are also used to teach the consumer something about the product or service the company sells or offers.
Value creation is also achieved by making and publishing infographics for consumers. The visually attractive format of an infographic helps the consumer to better interpret statistics or give them an idea of why something is valuable and how something works.
E-books are also an effective way of content marketing that create a lot of value for the consumer. This is about useful value, so the e-book should not be a 10-page advertisement.
A popular example concerns e-books written by digital nomads who explain how they make their money while travelling the world. The e-books can often be downloaded in exchange for information about the user.
Social Media Posts
Social media is an important part of many effective marketing strategies. Companies use these media to reach their target audience and new audience. This maintains relationships, the essence of content marketing, and means that new products or services are introduced.
Content Marketing vs Traditional Advertising
Traditional advertisements are still the most frequently used form of marketing. Marketeers use this to reach consumers where and when they want. It’s used in newspapers, magazines, billboards, radio, TV, email, etc.
The main difference with content marketing is that traditional advertisements are sent to a large number of people, irrespective of whether they’re interested in the messages. Content marketing is about creating valuable content to inform or entertain potential customers. Many marketeers consider the use of content marketing to be effective and durable, because it invests in customer relationships rather than in a one-off purchase.
Content marketing is permissive where traditional advertising is interruptive. The traditional advertisements often interrupt the user’s activity when they’re watching TV or browsing online, for instance. They become visible through pop-ups, advertisements on social media, websites and prior to videos.
Traditional advertisements generally only contain information about the product or service the company sells. As discussed, content marketing revolves around creating value without wanting anything in return and maintaining strong customer relationships.
By means of content marketing, companies try to win over their audience by offering free value with the intent to encourage customer behaviour at a later date. Traditional advertisers, however, pay money to media platforms with an existing audience to convey their message. They buy broadcasting time on TV or radio, rent billboards or send emails.
The choice of whether or not to use another strategy often depends on the costs. Although various analyses of the costs of both methods have been made, Forbes reports that content marketing is 62% more expensive in development, but yields 3 times as many leads and is therefore substantially cheaper. However, content marketing must match the vision and product or service catalogue of the company.
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Now It’s Your Turn
What do you think? Do you recognise the explanation of content marketing? Do you regularly receive updates via newsletters or magazines? Do you think that this type of marketing is more effective for certain companies than for others? Do you have any tips or additional comments?
Share your experience and knowledge in the comments box below.
- Rowley, J. (2008). Understanding digital content marketing. Journal of marketing management, 24(5-6), 517-540.
- Lieb, R. (2012). Content marketing: think like a publisher-how to use content to market online and in social media. Que Publishing.
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2 responses to “What is Content Marketing? Definition, Strategy and Examples”
January 19, 2020 at 12:31 pm
An informative article, I understand very well how content marketing works, even I’m just new in online marketing, the way you write this post makes it easier to feed in mind. Please, keep on posting!
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Vincent van Vliet says:
January 19, 2020 at 12:55 pm
Savannah, thank you for your comment.
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Content marketing examples include media like newsletters, podcasts, social media posts, and videos. All of these forms of content are meant to provide useful and relevant information that delights users and attracts them to your brand.What is an example of a content marketing strategy? ›
Content marketing examples include media like newsletters, podcasts, social media posts, and videos. All of these forms of content are meant to provide useful and relevant information that delights users and attracts them to your brand.What is content marketing strategy your answer? ›
Content marketing is a marketing strategy used to attract, engage, and retain an audience by creating and sharing relevant articles, videos, podcasts, and other media. This approach establishes expertise, promotes brand awareness, and keeps your business top of mind when it's time to buy what you sell.What are the 4 steps of content marketing strategy? ›
- Content strategy.
- Content marketing creation.
- Content distribution.
- Related Reads.
“Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience – and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”What was the first example of content marketing? ›
While we used to consider John Deere's The Furrow to be the oldest example of content marketing, Robert Rose and I have unearthed several more examples on our weekly This Old Marketing podcast: 1732 – Benjamin Franklin first publishes the yearly Poor Richard's Almanack. The goal is to promote his printing business.What are three content strategies? ›
Industry experts will tell you that an effective content strategy must have three core elements to be successful: brand focus, user experience, and content distribution.How do you describe content strategy? ›
Definition: A content strategy is the ongoing practice of planning for the creation, delivery, and governance of useful, usable, and effective content about a particular topic or set of topics. A content strategy ensures that every piece of content in the experience serves and sustains a legitimate purpose.What are the 3 crucial points from marketing content strategy? ›
- Content marketing strategy.
- Audience segmentation.
- Choose the right format for content.
- Successful content writing.
- Content promotion plan.
The Strategic Types of Content
In this module, you will explore the various types of strategic content that go into an effective content marketing program. You will be able to identify and define the four types of strategic content: attraction content, affinity content, action content, and authority content.
The 4 C's of Marketing are Customer, Cost, Convenience, and Communication. These 4 C's determine whether a company is likely to succeed or fail in the long run. The customer is the heart of any marketing strategy. If the customer doesn't buy your product or service, you're unlikely to turn a profit.What are the 4 strategic types of content? ›
There are four content categories used in content creation and marketing—attraction, authority, affinity, and action.What is the primary goal of content strategy? ›
Some of the more common goals are building brand awareness, increasing traffic, growing an email list, generating new leads, converting new customers, improving customer retention, and upselling.Why is content marketing strategy important? ›
Content marketing builds customer awareness, generates leads, and increases conversions. With the advancement of the digital age, content has become an essential part of any marketing strategy.What is content strategy and why is it important? ›
Content Strategy is the development, planning, creation, delivery and management of content. The purpose of content strategy is to create meaningful, cohesive, engaging, and sustainable content that attracts the company's target customers.What is content marketing for beginners? ›
Content marketing is the process of planning, creating, distributing, sharing, and publishing content via channels such as social media, blogs, websites, podcasts, apps, press releases, print publications, and more. The goal is to reach your target audience and increase brand awareness, sales, engagement, and loyalty.What are keywords in content marketing? ›
Keyword Marketing – Short Conceptual Explanation
Keyword marketing is used as part of a larger search engine optimization (SEO) strategy to advertise products and services on the Internet. Keywords are used throughout the content and in other areas of a website to increase its search engine ranking.
The four stages of the content marketing funnel are awareness, evaluation, purchase, and delight. Each stage serves a specific purpose in the customer's journey, as should the content presented to the customer in those stages.How do you use content strategy? ›
Key takeaway: To build an effective content strategy, define your goals and target audience, analyze your content and your competitors' content, narrow down your keywords, create a content calendar, find tools that will help you manage and streamline your content production process, and measure your results.What is the core of content strategy? ›
A core content strategy statement is a concise statement (we usually try to keep it to fewer than 30 words) that typically summarizes choices about why a company (or team) produces content, for whom, and how it manifests (the “what”).
- Establish Your Goals and Objectives.
- Get to Know Your Target Audience.
- Perform a Competitive Analysis.
- Assess Your Available Resources.
- Conduct Topic and Keyword Research.
- Document Your Strategies and Tactics.
- Inventory and Audit Your Existing Content.
One of the most important elements of a successful content marketing strategy is clear goals. Without clear goals, your content strategy will lack direction. Defining and setting goals for your content marketing strategy will allow you to actually have a strategy.What is the most important part of content strategy? ›
Goal-setting is one of the most important pieces of content strategy. Every guide you've ever read on building a content strategy probably mentions goals somewhere. Goals matter because they give your content marketing direction and purpose.What are the 3 stages of building a content strategy? ›
- Step 1 – Define Your Customer Persona. The most important step in a content strategy, and also the one that is most often overlooked, is defining your customer personas. ...
- Step 2 – Define Your Buyer's Journey. ...
- Step 3 – Create a “Content Matrix”
That is, Product, Promotion, Place and Price. The concept was very simple producing the right product with effective promotion at right price and place. These 4 P's had successfully served modern marketing of the century.What are the 4Ps and 2 C's of marketing? ›
The 4 Ps are Product, Price, Promotion and Place - the four marketing mix variables under your control. The 3 Cs are: Company, Customers and Competitors - the three semi-fixed environmental factors in your market.What is the first step of content strategy? ›
1. Establish your goals, objectives, and target audience. The first step to creating an effective content strategy is to sit down with your team and decide what you want to accomplish with your content.What is the core objective of content marketing? ›
Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience – and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.How effective is content marketing strategy? ›
Multiple studies have found that the ROI of content marketing easily outpaces that of traditional advertising. On average, companies with blogs generate 67% more leads than companies without them.What skills are required for content strategy? ›
- Storytelling. Storytelling is key to convey the best project approach to content teams (e.g. writers, editors, and UX designers). ...
- Writing. ...
- SEO. ...
- Social media. ...
- Editorial skills. ...
- Data analysis skills. ...
- Communication and coaching. ...
- Pay attention to building links.
An e-book, a webinar, and a white paper are not content marketing. Ads are not content marketing. Social media posts are not content marketing. Marketing with content is not the same thing as content marketing.How do you write a good content strategy? ›
- Establish your goals, objectives, and target audience. ...
- Do your research. ...
- Build your content calendar. ...
- Create and post your content. ...
- Measure and analyze your results.
- Reflect your organization's goals and user's needs. ...
- Understand how user's think and speak about a subject. ...
- Communicate to people in a way that they understand. ...
- Be useful. ...
- Stay up-to-date and and remain factual. ...
- Be accessible to all people. ...
- Be consistent. ...
- Be able to be found.
There are four content categories used in content creation and marketing—attraction, authority, affinity, and action.Which company is good example of content marketing? ›
Regarding examples of content marketing done right, HubSpot's always on the list. In addition to creating a free tool as a growth hacking strategy, HubSpot has used content marketing by: Writing in-depth blog posts about the issues their visitors care about.What are examples of content types? ›
- Blog posts.
- Social media content.
- Video content.
- Case studies.
A content strategy is a plan in which you use content (audio, visual, and/or written) to achieve your business goals. A successful content strategy will attract your target audience at every stage of the funnel and keep them engaged even after a purchase. Say your business goals include increasing brand awareness.How do you create a content strategy step by step? ›
- Define your goals.
- Research your target audience.
- Conduct a content audit.
- Choose your content types.
- Create your content plan.
- Develop a process for content creation.
- Measure the success of your content.
Establish Your Goals
The first step in creating your content marketing plan is to understand why you are creating content. Do you want to generate more sales leads? Do you want increased traffic to your website? Or do you see content marketing as a means of establishing the authority of your brand?
"Over 60% of marketers measure the success of their content marketing strategy through sales." "The top three goals marketers achieve through successful content marketing are generating brand awareness, building credibility and trust, and educating audiences."
Successful content marketing programs hinge on the 3 Cs – content, context, and communication.What makes good content marketing? ›
Creativity and an imaginative mind are vital qualities you should look for in a content marketer. They are qualities that will help your content marketer uncover different angles, content gaps, and storytelling ideas that will make your content stand out.