Content marketing is a specific variant of marketing, the essence of which is the creation, publication and distribution of content that is relevant and valuable to the target audience. Find out what exactly is meant by content marketing, how it works and what its benefits are in this article.
Content marketing and its different definitions
Different experts may understand content marketing slightly differently.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, it is „a form of casual marketing and the art of communicating with your customers and supporters without actually making a sale.“
Bob Ruffolo, founder and CEO of IMPACT, considers content marketing to be „the marketing of a business or brand through the sharing of educational, entertaining, and informative content aimed at improving the lives of the target audience.“
The definition on the Copyblogger website is also very hilarious: „Doing content marketing means creating free and regular extra quality content that your audience will share and find either useful or entertaining. Quality content will draw some of them in and they will start to take a closer interest in your business. They may then become customers. And if you set up your processes well and keep your customers happy, they will become returning clients. Publishing quality educational content makes customers trust you, like you and want to do business with you themselves.“
We could certainly find more and more more or less different definitions, which overlap, complement and extend each other. But in principle they are not in conflict. Importantly, content marketing, like other marketing disciplines, also influences the effectiveness and performance of a company.
4 basic pillars of content marketing
If the definitions above still don't make the basic essence of content marketing clear to you, stick to these four pillars:
- It's a way to build relationships and create a community so that listeners like the brand.
- Published information leads to building trust and gaining authority within the target audience.
- Content marketing allows for increased sales without using traditional "forced" sales techniques.
- With the help of content marketing, it is possible to gain leadership in the industry (at least in terms of expertise) regardless of the size of the company.
The history of content marketing
Content marketing has been experiencing a real boom in recent years, but it's not really a revolutionary innovation - the first mentions of content marketing date back to the early 20th century, and since the 1950s it's been part of the marketing mix of all professionals who don't underestimate the importance of building customer relationships.
So why is content marketing so often referred to as "a brand new and innovative way to captivate your target audience"? The explanation is simple. Of course, today's content-based marketing differs from the "original" one in many ways, or takes advantage of the possibilities and benefits of modern technology.
The most commonly used content marketing formats
Content marketing can take many forms, but the following formats are among the most popular.
Articles: probably the most common form of content are articles published on the company's blog or in magazines.
E-mails: content can also be distributed effectively within e-mailing, e.g. in the form of newsletters.
Social content: posts on Facebook, Instagram, but also on other social networks including YouTube, Pinterest and LinkedIn can work great.
Audio content: information can also be disseminated in audio format, typically in podcasts.
Video content: this format has been incredibly popular in recent years. Users like to take a break from writing text by watching videos (e.g. vlogs). YouTube is the biggest platform for distributing video content.
Visual content: most of the messages can be delivered to the target audience through pictures or photos. Combining text and visual form creates infographics.
E-book: e-book is one of the most powerful marketing tools. It can be used to quickly build a database of contacts to whom additional content can be delivered in other ways, or to offer products or services directly to the target audience.
Content marketing and SEO
Content marketing and SEO are closely related. Some experts even consider the two disciplines as „two sides of the same coin“.
Despite the above, even today many website owners do not take advantage of the synergy that exists between content marketing and SEO. What exactly do we mean by that?
Web optimization is based on the use of the right (relevant) terms and quality content. For real experts, it is no problem to push ordinary content to the top of searches without thinking about the quality and form of the information provided. On the other side of the barricade are content marketing specialists who can do the same (get a page into the top results) without additional optimization.
None of these practices (if they actually work in practice) are wrong in principle, but it's good to remember that informationally valuable and optimised content works best.
So if you have two teams in your marketing department, one dealing with SEO and the other with content, try to motivate them to work together - make the sharing process more effective with regular meetings (whether formal or informal) and video conferences, where individuals can enrich each other's knowledge and find solutions to current problems at the same time.
If you want to get the most out of content marketing and SEO, make sure that members of both groups have accurate data about your target audience. This is the only way they'll be able to successfully target both the SEO and content parts.
Quality content doesn't have to be content marketing
A well-written, and therefore quality, article can benefit a company in certain circumstances. However, a few such texts on a company blog will certainly not provide what a sophisticated and, above all, long-term content strategy based on the regular publication of articles with specific objectives can.
A well-written article can therefore be seen as an important element and one of the many parts of content marketing, but not as a synonym. Content marketing encompasses a multitude of modern strategies that do not work as effectively on their own as they do when sensitively blended together by a content specialist.
What should the content team look like?
Content creators are responsible for content marketing. Who is hiding under this label? It probably won't surprise you that it's not just one person, but several experts who specialize in sub-processes.
Thea specific composition of the team is, of course, individual - there may be fewer members, as many creators handle multiple activities. In general, however, the following positions can be mentioned:
- Content Strategist
- Designer and video expert
Author vs. copywriter
In content marketing, textual content is key. The author and copywriter duo is responsible for its creation. In practice, this may be a single person, but usually it is two, and often more.
What is the difference between the positions of „author“ and „copywriter“?
Although they share many of the same characteristics, it would be a mistake to consider author and copywriter as the same position.
The author is a person who enjoys writing, has a feel for the mother tongue and a good knowledge of grammar. At the same time, a deeper knowledge of the subject is expected.
The copywriter is a professional who knows how to work with content in accordance with SEO principles. Thanks to his perfect knowledge of written language and linguistic sense, he can fine-tune the author's text to perfection. He or she formats and structures the text, eliminates flaws and is able to style the article into the desired form.
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Create and distribute content that engages internet visitors, informs them about your services or product, and is designed to encourage them to purchase your services or product. Users consume content on the internet actively (search engines) or passively (magazines and social networks). Content marketing using PR articles and social media posts will help you get the necessary information to content consumers where they are looking for it or consuming it.
Advertorials (PR articles)
PR articles are advertising articles written by an editor as regular media content. Readers often don’t perceive the advertising message as an advertisement, but as a handy informative article. Paid or sponsored articles therefore belong to subliminal advertising. PR articles is an abbreviation used in the Czech language for the expression “paid advertising articles”. In professional circles, the term “advertorials” – a composite of “advert” and “editorial” (an article written by an editor) – tends to be used. On the PR Yard platform, you can order PR articles in English, Czech, Slovak, Polish and German.
Link building using paid articles
Paid articles are often used as a link-building method. Link-building is a term meaning to get backlinks. Internet search engines rank pages in search results (SERPs) according to the popularity of the page. Multiple sources called signals are used to evaluate site popularity. The popularity of the site is mainly determined by backlinks. Each page has a certain popularity, which some SEO tools try to express using a “rank”. A page with higher popularity should have a higher rank. In the PR Yard catalogue, you can sort by statistics from Ahrefs (+ MOZ).