This is the first of our content publication series published in all hopes that companies, brands and content developers will utilize every bit of information presented when looking to introduce own content marketing strategies. Content marketing is fairly old but in recent years, a lot of companies have broken out of their comfort zone and have started making use of their most valued asset, their intellectual property to attract and retain customers. In order to break down what content marketing is, the following questions will be guiding us through.
- What is content marketing?
- What are some of the basic tools in Content Marketing?
- In letting your brand do the talking — how and where do we begin?
What is Content Marketing?
In order to understand the true definition of content marketing, we must first dissect the term. “Content” is essentially information that is disseminated via electronic media, while “marketing” refers to the set of strategies and processes to communicate a product or service’s intended value so as to drive profitable consumer action. So when we combine these two terms we understand that content marketing is the strategic use of content to bring customers closer to your products or services.
Content marketing is the marketing and businesses 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
– Michele Linn, Content Marketing Institute
Content marketing allows a company to demand market leadership and show its knowledge base by making a meaningful impact and contribution to their industry. It is different to traditional marketing in that the focus is shifted away from communicating who you are as a company or why you are the best, to who your customer is and providing value through content.
In order to be impactful, this content must be delivered on a consistent basis. There are basic tools that content marketers use to effectively distribute informative and valuable content.
What are some of the basic tools used in Content Marketing?
There are so many types of content marketing strategies that exist especially in today’s digital age. Each content marketing strategy is driven by a combination of digital and Information tools. These tools are used effectively to deliver content to consumers. What drives a decision as to which mix of tools to utilise is dependent on the targeted customer.
Digital Drive (Photography & Video)
Photography and video are the most popular ways of delivering rich media content especially on social media. We live in the era of the connected generation which means that consumption of both images and video will forever rise. The downside of these two is that with the rise of consumption, the rate of production is also high. This means that companies need to invest in consistent high quality photography and video to demand a voice in their respective industries.
Information Drive (Blogs & Websites)
Thanks to publishing platforms like, WordPress, LinkedIn and Medium.com, sharing information has never been easier. There are millions of existing blogs and pages dedicated to content marketing. This implies that there are over a million articles that are being published on a daily basis. A portion of these contribute heavily to content marketing, with subjects varying across all industries.
Publishing since the digital evolution, is no longer the playground for the media houses only but professional individuals, the stay home dads and independent journalists have also taken it up upon themselves to share valuable information. Today anyone, from the individual to the major enterprise can become a publisher of original content but successful publishers are those that consistently share knowledge and information that highlight their industry expertise and insights.
Design (Graphic Art & Info)
A painting is more than just art; it’s a story, an emotion — it’s a progression of mankind. Humans by nature are highly visual creatures thanks to the gift of sight. The use of digital graphics floods the internet as all brands battle for attention in the digital world. Memes, animated videos and Info-graphics remain excellent forms of content marketing and contributes greatly to content consumption.
Info-graphics in particular come in handy when info needs to be condensed and presented through graphs and charts. This gives an opportunity for big data companies like banks to accurately condense information in a friendly and consumable way possible for consumers, eliminating a strain of bombarding consumers with boring numbers and figures on white papers.
All of these tools, when perfectly blended, allows companies to do the talking, to have a voice and claim market domination. “Traditional marketing and advertising is telling the world you’re a rock star. Content Marketing is showing the world that you are one.” — Robert Rose
Letting your brand do the talking — how do we begin?
“Don’t Just Sell, Add Value “
A brand or company needs to be able to speak in tons the work it is involved in and perhaps also the work it is not involved in. The best approach according to content marketing gurus is to always think educational when engaging in content marketing. Content marketers must share content that will improve the success of companies and individuals respectively. They must after consuming your content, be empowered, become smart and ready to make an impact using the information they have been exposed to.
There are many ways for a brand to do the talk, add value and these are some of the types of content marketing.
In television there is what we refer to as branded content. Branded content refers to the process where big brands like Unilever or Nike produce or sponsor a show. Such shows are categorised as Advertiser funded shows or programs (AFPs). The advertiser will fund a production and pay a certain fee for airplay on a desired TV channel.
Each show is chosen by each brand on various merits and one of the basic one is that the show has to be “a brand fit”.
Unilever for an example will fund a cooking show since majority of its products are cooking products. In that way, not only Unilever as a business gets the exposure but it also allows the show to educate customers on how to best use some of Unilever’s products and that’s content marketing.
Contribution: Nelson Moropana, Tasneem Abrahams
Editor : Thembekile Sibiya
In the next series we discuss a case study on a successful content marketing campaign: One Rand Man Series.
This publication is powered by The Brand Studio that holds that brand developers, brand managers and business owners ought to realize their brand’s true potential at any given stage of their business.
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