Many well-known experts in the world of advertising and marketing have declared 2013 to be the “Year of Content Marketing”. At its core, content marketing is a strategy that uses various forms of written information to inform and educate prospective customers about different features and benefits of the company or the products and services being sold.
Instead of just giving a direct sales pitch for the product (e.g. “You should buy our widget now because it will make you rich and famous”), a content marketing strategy might be to write an article or blog post about the wonderful experience a customer had with your widget and how it completely transformed his life. Or perhaps it might be an article about how the widget is made by a small family business that only uses 100% recycled materials in the production process.
The point is that a content marketing strategy seeks to inform, educate and even entertain with information that would ultimately lead the prospect to choose your company or your product.
The “content” could take many different forms. As mentioned earlier, it could be an article or a blog post on your company’s website. Or it could be an article posted to one of the many article submission sites (such as EzineArticles.com) that includes links back to your product pages on your website. And many small businesses are now creating video reviews and presentations that can be shared via their website and other social media channels.
“But I’m just a landscaper” (or HVAC tech, or whatever), you say! “What do I know about writing articles?”
Actually, you already know everything you need to know to become successful at content marketing. Your customers (and potential customers) just want useful and relevant information from your specific area of expertise. They want you to share little pieces of knowledge with them that can help them make more informed buying decisions and help the become more successful in using your product or service.