Published 02nd July 2012 | Content Marketing

The 4 Key Principles of Content Marketing

The 4 Basic Principles of Content Marketing

If you’ve spent any time reading about online marketing lately, you’ll have heard about ‘Content Marketing’. If you’re like most people when they hear this term for the first time, you might be wondering what it means. So here’s our summary of the key principles of Content Marketing.

1. Sharing Knowledge

Blogs, videos, infographics, articles, FAQs, white papers, guides, how-to’s and newsletters are all content. If your content shows what you know, then “Content Marketing” is exactly as it sounds: content that markets your business.

Your content should be on your website, shared on your social media pages if you have them, emailed in the form of newsletters and bulletins, posted on your blog and placed on other reputable sites that link back to yours.

Good content – defined as information that is useful, relevant, interesting, perhaps even entertaining to your audience – attracts prospects and can engage them until they’re ready to convert into customers.

2. Establishing Credibility

To attract prospects and customers, you need to establish credibility.

Whether you’re talking to someone at an event, presenting at a conference or getting found on Google, your credibility will increase as people see you as an ‘expert in your field’. People like to buy from experts, and as trust in your credibility grows, your reputation will spread.

So Content Marketing is marketing your business by “giving away” what you know in the form of relevant and useful “content” in order to build credibility.

3. Building Authority

By sharing your expertise and knowledge freely and openly, which may seem counter-intuitive to some, your Content Marketing creates a kind of psychological advantage for your business.

It imbues you with a sense of trust and expert status in the minds of your content consumers.

In other words, by supplying your prospects with useful, relevant and valuable information i.e. content, your knowledge does your selling for you. It demonstrates that you know what you’re talking about, where your strengths lie and that you’re an expert in your field.

4. Adding Value

Trust can’t be built overnight. So engaging a visitor on your website and converting her into a prospective customer or client cannot always happen instantly. Frustrating though it may sound to conventional sales and marketing people, it’s important to accept that you cannot always influence when your prospect is going to buy.

Before that point arrives, your Content Marketing activity will keep your prospective customers engaged by adding value for them: by informing, educating and entertaining them through the sharing of your knowledge.

That way they’re far more likely to gravitate to your business than to a competitor whose marketing and sales approach gives them no value.

In summary

Content Marketing is the way to market your business online today and it’s a most rewarding way for your contacts, leads, prospects and clients to engage with you.

To nurture these relationships, you should share your knowledge through useful, relevant and valuable content, establishing yourself as an expert in your field. Knowledge and credibility will lead to authority in your chosen area – trust and timing are important factors in what makes content marketing such a powerful tool in marketing your business.

It’s why so many internet marketing people are talking about it.

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