Content Marketing Strategy

Read this article on content marketing. Content needs to be developed and built on keywords. Keywords for the brand or company need to be identified and effectively used. If someone is searching for a plumber and they live in Dallas. They might search for the best plumber in Dallas. Information like this will guide keywords. Developing keywords is not once and done but is ongoing. Google Trends is an excellent place to see how phases trend over time.

Premises of Content Marketing

Definition of Content Marketing

Originally, the term 'content' is rooted in the publishing, where words, images and motion graphics have to be sufficiently interesting for the target audience to seek out the publishing platform whether it is a newspaper, magazine, TV or radio channel. In terms of bringing this concept into online and digital marketing, Handley and Chapman state that content counts as "anything created and uploaded to a website: the words, images or other things that reside here". Focusing on the users (and potential customers) of a company's website, Halvorson and Rach propose that content is "what the user came (to your website) to read, learn, see or experience".

Whereas these definitions explain content in general or in a digital framework, the concept of 'content marketing' is still in the process of being developed as a viable online marketing strategy. Thus, definitions of this term need to be explored. Pulizzi and Barrett proposed one of the first definitions of content marketing: "the creation and distribution of educational and/or compelling content in multiple formats to attract and/or retain customers". Later, Rose and Pulizzi suggested: "content marketing is a strategy focused on the creation of a valuable experience".

Content marketing has been part of the digital marketing strategy of companies operating in online framework for many years. As a result, a global content marketing education and training organization was founded by Joe Pulizzi, accompanied by a website, namely Content Marketing Institute (CMI). The definition proposed by Content Marketing Institute for this new concept is:

"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".

Thus, more shortly presented, content marketing is the process of creating personalized valuable content to an interactive, engaged, and targeted audience (Content Marketing Institute, 2017). Therefore, the content marketing is focused on providing consumer value, while also exhibiting relationship marketing concepts (attracting and retaining customers) focused on achieving the profitability goals of a company. In fact, Pulizzi highlighted the difference between content created and shared online and content marketing: content marketing reflects the organization's business or monetary goals.

In his book, Järvinen and Taiminen propose that content marketing "refers to processes of creating and delivering content (i.e., text messages, pictures, videos, animations) to target customers in ways that add value and engages them in relationships with the company".

Similarly, Du Plessis re-iterates the importance of consumer engagement in valuable relationships, and also introduces a new concept associated with content marketing, namely brand storytelling, proposing the following definition: "Content marketing is a strategic brand storytelling technique aimed at changing consumers' inactive behavior through unobtrusive, engaging brand conversations in earned media". This definition focuses on influencing consumer behavior in favor of a particular brand by interacting with it, and developing a relation using B2C interactions on earned media (most notably, social media platforms).

Wuebben also focuses on the brand's story and considers it a key component of content marketing, by defining this concept as "the story of your product or service and propels your brand into the hearts and minds of your prospect, customers and others".

On the other hand, Rowley proposes a new concept 'digital content marketing' that highlights important the connection is that exists between 'digital content marketing and e-marketing, Internet marketing, web marketing, and related disciplines. She proposes: "Digital content marketing is the management process responsible for identifying, anticipating, and satisfying customer requirements profitably in the context of digital content, or bit-based objects distributed through electronic channels" Rowley. Therefore, Rowley classifies content marketing as a management process that should be focused on identifying the factors that satisfy the needs of customers, in order for the company to gain profit using electronic channels.

Characteristics of Content Marketing

Focusing her research in a business-to-business framework, Rowley identified three characteristics of content marketing, namely "Not-paid for", "Paid-for", and "Social". These characteristics can also be extrapolated to business-to-consumer marketing:

- "Not-paid for" content is developed by an organization that aims to achieve: customer engagement and developing relationships, knowledge, selling of products and services.

- "Paid-for" content is developed by an organization and has the same aims as the ones presented above, and in addition it also aims to sale the digital content created.

- "Social" content is created by brand community members who aim to express their views; to learn from the organization and other users.