The term “content marketing” gets thrown around quite a bit in businesses these days. You feel like you should know its meaning, but you don’t — and you’re certainly not alone. According to the Content Marketing Institute: “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.”

Okay… but what does that mean?

It means that content marketing is the type of marketing that creates and distributes valuable information — information that people will actually seek out. As a business, using content marketing as a long-term strategy means building lasting relationships with your audience by providing high-quality content that is consistently relevant to them.

This type of marketing, if done right, creates customer loyalty, meaning when potential buyers are ready to make a purchasing decision, they are already considering your product or service.

The value of content marketing to your business

By understanding the four steps of the customer buying cycle, and where content marketing fits in, you can more easily see its value. The four steps are:

  • Awareness – The customer may have a need or a problem, but they are not aware of the solution. Or the customer may not know they have a problem at all, and you inform them that there is a better way to get something done.
  • Research – Now aware of the potential solution, the potential customer starts to research options.
  • Consideration – Your potential customer begins comparing products/services to solve their problem.
  • Purchase – The customer makes a purchasing decision.

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Where traditional advertising and marketing address the second two steps (consideration and purchase), content marketing is intended to address the first two steps (awareness and research); allowing potential customers to:

  • Find helpful, valuable information about your company and product
  • See the value in what your company offers
  • Be ready to engage with your organization when they are ready to buy

Examples of content marketing

There are many types of content marketing, as well as many places to search out information on this growing trend. To get you thinking, here are a few examples of content marketing:

  • Web pages that provide valuable resources
  • Infographics
  • Podcasts
  • Videos (think YouTube and Vimeo)
  • E-books
  • Case studies and testomonials
  • Presentations, including content on sites like Slideshare
  • Blog posts
  • Surveys and research
  • Checklists and worksheets
  • Newsletters
  • Webinars

All of these mediums, as well as a multitude of others, are great ways to show both your current and potential customers that your organization is a helpful resource for solving their problem.

Is your content helpful?

The very best content marketing is valuable, non-salesy and helps a customer or prospect solve a problem. If your marketing content doesn’t meet this criteria, it might be time to perform a content audit — that’s where Lumen Marketing can help. We create content that aligns with every phase of your Customer Buying Cycle.

Call us today at 720-722-2987 to discuss your content needs.