Content Marketing is one of the most effective forms of marketing: it’s about providing valuable content in return for the attention and permission of an audience with the purpose of meeting certain business objectives.

This allows businesses to build a trusting relationship with their audiences.

According to Forbes, 88% of marketers currently use content marketing as part of their marketing strategy.  76% claim that they will produce more content in 2016.

The most popular platforms for their marketing distribution include LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Google+.

Content Marketing Channels

The content itself can take many forms. Videos, articles, podcasts and audio can all be forms of content marketing. It can also be distributed across many channels. Social media, blogging and email marketing are all good distributions cahnnels. It is a give-and-take principle.
Content marketing dynamics

Getting Permission With Content Marketing

Attention is self-explanatory. But it is the permission that marketers receive from their audience that makes content marketing unique.

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Permission is when an audience chooses to engage with the content. They choose to watch a video, click a link to an article, or download a podcast. Unlike forced, interruptive advertising such as pop-up ads, or ad clips before a YouTube video.

If an audience finds the content valuable enough – be it entertainment, informational or even educational – then they can begin to like and trust the brand. Over time, the brand will get first opportunity to sell to that audience when they are ready to buy.

Why Is Everyone Not Doing Content Marketing Then?

The reason many brands don’t do effective content marketing, is that it takes time to get right.

But like any good relationship, the more you put it, the more you’ll get out. It’s worth the time.

A great example of this is the Star Wars franchise. The recent Star Wars movie, broke all of kinds of records, including pre-sale theatre tickets and theatre tickets in total.

While the theatre ticket sales will eventually begin to drop, Disney will keep earning money through the merchandising of the Star Wars franchise. Because the audience trusts the content (ie. the movies and their characters), they give Disney both their permission and attention.

In fact, they pay to receive the content. Disney can now use this attention to continue generating money at a later stage: for example, through the construction of the two Star Wars-themed amusement parks, which will be located in Florida and California.

star wars theme park is content marketing at it's best

Star Wars Theme Park Concepts

Gettting Customer Insights With Content Marketing

Content can be so valuable in itself that it can make money for the brand and perhaps most importantly get a lot of information about it’s audience.

For example the Kraft Foods Group, has a very successful website. The site contains a lot of information, from healthy-eating articles to recipes.

This platform provides Kraft Foods with the opportunity to promote their products through the content: So when you like a recipe they shared, you can then buy the ingredients, which are all Kraft products of course.

While the audience interacts with their website, Kraft Foods is also able to collect information about them, who are likely to be their customers.

They can figure out what people’s food preferences are over time and adjust their offering and products as they gain more insight.

This information would normally cost them millions of dollars in third-party company research and surveys, with no guarantee of reliability.

Even if you are not selling to millions like Kraft, effective content marketing can allow you to map out and guide your customers through the Buyer’s Journey.

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KRaft foods

Attention and Trust Gives Opportunity for Sales

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Content Marketing Builds Trust

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Content marketing can be a very powerful, tool in any marketers toolbox, when used correctly. The key is to focus on adding value in the lives of the target audience in order to build a relationship by gaining permission and attention.

It takes, time, it takes effort but when done right it will blow your competition right out of the water. Good Luck!