What is Content Marketing? Analyzing it and Breaking the Myths of it. It is the process of curating and creating a unique, high-quality and a valuable content which constitutes to attract, inform and engage the audience, whilst promoting the brand itself.
In our previous article, we had discussed What is Content Marketing? Also, we had discussed how content marketing is getting overrated with its overused techniques.
In this article, we will discuss a detailed analysis of content marketing and its applications, uses, effects, and limitations of its.
When we define Content Marketing, or to be more specific “Marketing” it falls under mainly two categories i.e. Product and Services, also it is followed by both product as services too. Content Marketing needs to be understood at a more macro level. Although, it can be understood exclusively that minuscule the approach of it.
Hence, an inclusive insight is very essential. First, let’s just understand:
What are the Products and Services?
A Product is a tangible entity in which the transfer of ownership takes place between the buyer and the seller. Whereas, Services are intangible offerings wherein the transfer of ownership may or may not take place. The role of any product and services is to suffice the needs of the end consumers.
However, we must understand that the Content Marketing techniques followed by a product and services may or may not be different. But the effects, strategies, outcome, and trends to be followed is different.
For a product based market, there’s a stiff competition under its various industries. Numerous products are floating in the market and internet with same usage features. Therefore, advertisement and promotions become very much essential and content marketing fills the gap between the sender and the receiver. By completing it with the rendering of the message directly to the consumer.
Content Marketing for a product can be in various ways
- For direct conversion and sales: For a direct conversion and sales, the content can be incorporated with its features, prices and all possible set of information. Focusing on providing all the information and data to the customer which can lead to possible sale or conversion. Example: If I have to search for a mobile in Amazon then the specific product page will be having all the set of information required in it.
- A specific blog or article related to the product: A blog related to the specific product which may be new or existing or old one. In which we relate the specification, USP’s, features, what it is? how it’s useful and several others. Also, an innovative way to put it is by creating a story related to it involving its past behind of its creation or putting across the sentiments with the consumers or users. Writing about the new trends and news related to that industry.
- For Information purpose: Content can be input for the information purpose. But also, it focuses on driving more sales towards that product. Different Blogs and sponsored contents are there for the awareness of the audience.
- Awareness: Suppose a product is new to the market, then content marketing can help greatly in awareness among the consumers.
- Traditional/Outbound Marketing: It involves Print, Broadcast, Direct Mailing, Hoardings, Banners etc.
Effect of Content Marketing for a Product based market
This is quite a debatable topic because the views of it differ from person to person and professions. Nonetheless, CM can be utilized in various ways. But as discussed it mainly focuses on sales purpose because that’s the ultimate goal.
Yet, in here the content being the king it doesn’t necessarily convert to conversion or lead. For Example, I went to Amazon to buy a Motorola series phone with a price cap of Rs. 30k, but in there it also showed me One Plus series at that range of Price and I opted that instead of Motorola. Hence, in here the content did not work as the sales driving force, rather a set of information for the audience.
Also, here even if the brand recall value and awareness were there, it didn’t come much in to help to convert them.
For a product based market, POP (Point of Purchase) works i.e. POP’s (Point of Parity) meaning the ambiance, location, colors or other constituents that indirectly constitutes to sales. And POD’s (Point of Difference) meaning the USP’s that set apart from its rivals.
In here mainly the salesmanship in showrooms and most commonly AI-based system in internet and e-commerce comes in to handy. Hence, content marketing in here is simply to fill the gap between product and customer relations to it.
Services can be experienced and seen which may or may not include the transfer of ownership. Under the service industry there are various concepts of services related to it, they are:
- Information Technology
- Software as a Service
Under these concepts there come various categories
- Information Technology
- Travel or Tourism
- Professional Services
- Consulting & Staffing
- Marketing & Sales
- Product as a Service
Effect of Content Marketing for a Service based market
For a service based market Content Marketing is very important and it plays a vital role in communicating with the audiences and users. This helps in bringing a clarity of the message to the end users.
For a service based industry almost everywhere the role of CM is prior because it’s something not visible to the customer but yet it exists and needs to be felt. Hence, CM fills that gap with a bridge of connection with information, awareness, sales, leads, and assurance yes, we exist.
For most of the categories mainly Education, Media, E-commerce, Entertainment, Finance is very important. This comes as the major role service to the audience because of its dynamic nature of frequent changes.
For an Education service industry CM is actually the king, it determines your benchmarking and ranking not just in SERP but also within the industry. In the education industry, there’s a frequent update with some new course or change in the trends. So, adjusting up with that and updating it becomes very important.
Because of it stiff competition in the market everyone wants to outsmart and out-compete their rivals in this industry. Focusing not just on traffic but also on leads and conversions. Hence, CM in here is the king with the added value of good research, designs, and graphics.
For the Media industry, that includes blogs, news, videos, in here the role of CM is important that sets apart itself from others. People are posting regularly and consistently almost the similar thing. Yet, what sets them apart is the presentability and the facts in it. An innovative approach to present it. Also, we must understand that the first mover has always got the advantage.
Media industry may or may not have sales motives until and unless they have a Product as a Service. Mainly they focus on providing information and knowledge, their main revenue comes from ads and sponsored ads. If they have a Product as Service, i.e. courses then there’re various and numerous strategies that need to be followed with intensive research and innovation to outcompete the rivals.
For Entertainment service industry, it begins with a concept and then with the content in it. If the concept is good but the content is bad, then it’s failure. When the concept is not good enough but the content is good, it turns out to be a messiah for the campaigner for its success. Because it really works. Content is the king in here with the concept as well.
For E-commerce and Finance service industry, content mainly serves as the set of information for the audience. Also, for the sales driving force with various strategies to be followed by them accordingly based on the products they have.
Objectives of content marketing
- Sales: The main objective of any campaign you run whether its outbound or inbound, is sales. Content Marketing should be sales driven or ultimate outcome benefiting the organization for a product and service based.
- Leads: Leads refers to the potential prospect or customers for a product or service. Content Marketing should bring leads, depending on the requirements of an organization.
- Brand Imaging: It focuses on brand positioning in the mind of the customers.
- Awareness: It focuses on bringing awareness, to the users and customers regarding the brand or a particular set of product and services.
- Information or News Rendering: Content Marketing helps by providing the set of information or new to the audience and customers.
- Changing the preference or buying behavior for the consumer: It focuses on changing the preference and buying behavior of the product. Attracting the consumer and users towards itself.
- Benchmarking: Setting a benchmark or standard in the industry with its innovative approach or achievement
Application of Content Marketing
Content is not limited to the internet-based platform but is almost everywhere, I mean EVERYWHERE.
Here are its applications or where the content is applied:
- Videos: There’s one thing called a Concept in a video, and then the content in the video marketing. Even in VM, there’s the existence of content marketing in there. For Example- The famous Vicks Ad which won several awards for its concept of a transgender how she adopted an orphan girl and took care of her as a child. The content in there was the story and delivery that helped the audience connect with the ad.
- Broadcasting: Whether is video or TV broadcasting or Radio broadcasting, everywhere there’s a content. If nothing will be delivered or spoken, then how will the message be delivered.
- Prints: In prints content is there, the message has to be conveyed to the target audience. Without the existence of the content, it’s not possible.
- Websites/Blogs: In here Content is actually the king. One who follows the innovation is the first mover, they always stand out their competitor. Also, an important point people searching for something on SERP most often doesn’t confirm that they would accept the content that you offer for them. An audience will accept instantly when they’re offered more than what they thought. Now, it can be facts, innovation, graphics, structure, any other way one think of out of the box.
- Outbound Marketing: Content Marketing is not just limited to internet or inbound platforms but also in outbound marketing strategies i.e. your hoardings, banners, sandwich banners, speech etc.
- Market Saturation: In this current era the market is almost flooded with lots of products and services which are alike to one another. This makes it even more difficult to in the market. The existing or top players precedes all boundaries because of its long history and brand imaging.
- Introduction of new Product or Concept in the market: It becomes very difficult for a product and service that is new to the market. Because that requires loads of efforts to bring awareness into the market and among the consumers.
- Niche or Targeted audience: When you have a targeted audience or to be more specific a niche audience it becomes tough for a brand to promote itself. However, the competition may get loosen up.
- Ranking in SERP: Ranking in Search Engine Result Page is very competitive and tough. One needs to have a strong SEO with rich research and analysis to outstand your competitors. Big players like Google are calculating and matching everything now from keywords to matching topics. Hence, a strategic and systematic approach is essential.
- Viral Content: Getting the content viral is very tough. No one knows what can actually get viral. It has got lots of uncertainty, hence always something new and innovative as required for it. In it, the best example can be cited is Buzzfeed which tops in viral content because of its unique content.
- Unique Content: It’s not always very easy to prepare a unique content in the market. It requires an ample of time and creativity to do it. We must offer to the audience and users which are needed for them and creates a value for them.
- Fast-Evolving Markets and Trends: Market is very dynamic and ever-changing. Therefore, one must learn to cope up and adjust with the recent trends and market situation. Hence, it becomes a hectic task to manage.
Where is actually Content Marketing?
A right question to ask where is actually content marketing? Is it limited to the internet-based platform or any other specific platform? In reality, Content Marketing is everywhere. Every marketing strategy that is followed by a marketer for advertisements and promotion or service rendering includes Content Marketing.
Separating it from marketing, advertisement, and promotions and branding it as a separate entity is a folly. Most of the content marketers are now saying “Advertisement is dead, content is the king” just a simple statement to them “You’re out of your mind”. If you prepare a Content and don’t market it, it’s useless it’s nothing. And marketing involves the two main aspects of it Advertisement and Promotions. Content needs to be promoted and advertised then only it becomes a complete Content Marketing.
Marketing involves the two main basic fundamental elements i.e. Advertisement and Promotions. The Content can never become a Content Marketing without those basic elements.
Also, a silly trend is going on that Content Marketing is the real deal and other things are not much effective or dead in comparison to CM. Literally, failing to understand that:
Content Marketing bridges the gap between the brand, organization or the service provider that conveys the message to the end audience.
It’s a tool that drives or boost the process, that’s why it’s considered to be the king. Not because it solely does it.
All in all, CM is present in and all around the marketing strategies.
Content Marketing is no doubt the king, but one must not forget that the king is merely the servant to its other factors. And it is absolutely worthless without it.
Hence, content marketing is an inclusive concept and category that fits in everywhere in the market. From advertisements to promotional activities. From word of mouth to expression.
Hence, separating and inscribing Content Marketing as a completely separate entity in marketing is a folly. It does stand a unique position and category but also it is omnipresent and interrelated to each other. It’s nothing without one another.