What exactly is content marketing? You will find a lot of misinformed opinions online describing content marketing as blogs or copy. While blogging is a great example of content marketing, it is only one of many forms and not nearly the most effective. Google Dictionary describes it perfectly as “a type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online material (such as videos, blogs, and social media posts) that does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in its products or services.” This is one of the most effective forms of marketing. In fact, this entire MEP is technically content marketing for Dolo Digital. It is indirect and its purpose is to influence interest into the product or service of the brand providing the content. What that means is content marketing is to get your target to associate your brand with whatever that form of content may be, rather than blatantly trying to sell a product or service. It is a great long-term marketing tactic.
“According to a study conducted by the Missouri University of Science and Technology, it takes less than 0.2 of a second for a visitor to make an opinion about a brand based on their website or landing page.”
Content Marketing is enticing your audience without giving away your pitch.
Now that you understand what it is, how can you implement it? First, further your research of how other small businesses and national brands have implemented content marketing to dramatically improve success. Many times, content marketing can have a viral effect online. Check out River Pools which is a great example of the little guy making it big with a genius content marketing campaign. Your content marketing could be your own custom blog like his, or perhaps paying for influencers with a large following similar to your target market to write about your field, which is called Native Advertising and we will expand upon that tactic later in the chapter. It could be PPC campaigns leading to landing pages. It could be video blogs or podcasts. As long as you are providing intriguing and relevant content that is not directly selling your product or service, you will find success in practice content marketing tactics. You will also get more creative and effective at utilizing the strategy as you go.
Content Marketing Ads
Typically, content marketing isn’t the sales pitch. It is just some upfront knowledge to entice interest in your product or service. Which means it needs to be followed up. If you are running content marketing PPC ads, they should typically lead to a landing page within your website. A landing page is a page on your website that can only be accessed by clicking on some ad or link that from outside of your website that in-turn “answers” what the user was clicking for. You cannot get to a landing page through navigating within the website, it has one direct source for viewers. You would develop that landing page to act as the “sale” part of the ad message.
Roy’s Rug Shop runs a content marketing PPC campaign with a set of ads that are about the history of Persian rugs and how they are made. The user is interested in that concept, not necessarily buying a Persian rug. However, with an intriguing ad, you may convince them to click on that ad about the history of Persian rugs which would take them to Roy’s Rug Shop landing page for that ad within their website.
That landing page can first continue that history lesson about rugs, explaining the detail and artistry involved in their beautiful design. Then, the landing page would be developed to convince the viewer that they want this beautiful, historic type of run. You set up the landing page for a quick conversion. Maybe on the side, or the bottom of the page, there is a simple “call-to-action” click where they can sign up for their newsletter or to learn more information about rugs. Now, Roy has used an inbound, content marketing strategy to generate a new lead.
Native advertising is a form of paid, digital media where the content is naturally formed for the channel and audience in which it takes place, to disguise it as organic content.
This is a very widely used form of advertising, and if used correctly, can be very beneficial to driving website traffic and overall brand exposure. These can look like news articles, blog posts, or newsletters coming from a verified source with a reader base that expects the kind of content, but may not be able to tell the difference between the content that they “organically” choose to write about, and the native articles that people or brands pay them to write about.
However, along with native ads can come negative brand perceptions if used improperly. There are debates about the ethics behind some native advertising, and you’ll want to make sure your native advertisements are not perceived unethically. That is, making sure the ad clearly implies that it is sponsored content, and additionally make sure you are delivering rich and relevant content. According to Forbes, “native ads containing rich media can boost conversion by as much as 60 percent.” Basically, don’t implement native advertising for no reason – it is a tactic to use when you have something interested to share with readers that may inturn convert those readers to customers.
Since native advertising is a fairly new, and still a rapidly growing marketing tactic, the different types of native ads don’t necessarily have textbook terms or definitions. There are a few different forms of native advertising, but they are all content driven and typically targeted for the reader in some form, such as location, web searches, etc.