Content marketing is a form of marketing focused on creating, publishing, and distributing content for a targeted audience online. It is often used by businesses in order to achieve the following goals: attract attention and generate leads, expand their customer base, generate or increase online sales, increase brand awareness or credibility, and engage an online community of users. Content marketing attracts new customers by creating and sharing valuable free content. It helps companies create sustainable brand loyalty, provides valuable information to consumers, and creates a willingness to purchase products from the company in the future.
Content marketing starts with identifying the customer's needs. After that the information can be presented in a variety of formats, including news, video, white papers, e-books, infographics, email newsletters, case studies, podcasts, how-to guides, question and answer articles, photos, blogs, etc.
Content marketing requires continuous delivery of large amounts of content, preferably within a content marketing strategy. for example, for each of these goals, a content marketer may measure the different engagement and conversion metrics:
Brand awareness and visibility
Businesses focused on expanding their reach to more customers will want to pay attention to the increase in the volume of visitors, as well as the quality of those interactions. Traditional measures of volume include the number of visitors to a page and number of emails collected, while time spent on page and click-through to other pages/ photos are good indicators for engagement.
- Number of visitors to a page
- Time spent on the page
- Click-through across pages/ photos
- Number of emails collected
- Brand health metrics
Brand Influence refers to the number of times a post, comment or tweet is shared on different platforms.
Diversified user base
For businesses hoping to reach not only more - but also new - types of customers online, they should pay attention to the demographics of new visitors, as evidenced by cookies that can be installed, different sources of traffic, different online behaviors, and/or different buying habits of online visitors.
Demographics of visitors
Sources of traffic (i.e., SEO, social media, referral, direct)
Differences in buying patterns and user-behavior of visitors
Businesses focused on increasing sales through content marketing should look at traditional e-commerce metrics including click-through-rate from a product-page to check-out and completion rates at the check-out. Altogether, these form a conversion funnel. Moreover, to better understand customers' buying habits, they should look at other engagement metrics like time spent per page, number of product-page visits per user, and re-engagement.
Conversion through the sales process (the process from sign-up to check-out), including click-through-rates at each stage of the conversion funnel
- Time spent on the page
- Re-engagement (i.e., % of returning visitors)
- Click-through across product pages
- Innovation metrics
Refers to companies that want to analyze whether their social media campaigns are generating commentary among consumers. This helps them to come up with ways to improve their product and service. This involves "high level of brand engagement and builds brand loyalty".
When a company makes a post through their social media platforms and shares their ideas, consumers can be influenced or motivated to share their opinions.
Trend spotting refers to the latest consumers' comments about a brand, product or service that must be targeted. Some tools can be provided by Google Trends, Trendsmap (Twitter) and other sites that report what is in everybody's mouths worldwide.
Digital content marketing
Digital content marketing, which is a management process, uses digital products through different electronic channels to identify, forecast and satisfy the necessity of the customers. It must be consistently maintained to preserve or change the behavior of customers.
On March 6, 2012, Dollar Shave Club launched their online video campaign. In the first 48 hours of their video debuting on YouTube they had over 12,000 people signing up for the service. The video cost just $4500 to make and as of November 2015 has had more than 21 million views. The video was considered as one of the best viral marketing campaigns of 2012 and won "Best Out-of-Nowhere Video Campaign" at the 2012 AdAge Viral Video Awards.
The Big Word Project, launched in 2008, aimed to redefine the Oxford English Dictionary by allowing people to submit their website as the definition of their chosen word. The project, created to fund two Masters students' educations, attracted the attention of bloggers worldwide, and was featured on Daring Fireball and Wired Magazine.
In mid 2016, an Indian tea company (TE-A-ME) has delivered 6,000 tea bags to Donald Trump and launched a video content on YouTube and Facebook. The video campaign received various awards including most creative PR stunt in Southeast Asia after receiving 52000+ video shares, 3.1M video view in first 72-hour and hundreds of publication mentions (including Mashable, Quartz, Indian Express, Buzzfeed) across 80+ countries.
Way of digital content marketing
Combination of the supply chain and the users' experience
The supply chain of digital content marketing mainly consists of commercial stakeholders and end-user stakeholders which represent content providers and distributors and customers separately. In this process, distributors manage the interface between the publisher and the consumer, then distributors could identify the content that consumers need through external channels and implement marketing strategies.
For instance, Library and document supply agencies as intermediaries can deliver the digital content of e-books, and e-journal articles to the users according to their search results through the electronic channels. Another example is when consumers pay for the acquisition of some MP3 downloads, search engines can be used to identify different music providers and smart agents can be used by consumers to search for multiple music provider sites.
In a word, the digital content marketing process needs to be conducted at the business level and service experience level because when consumers are accessing digital content, their own experience depends on the complex network of relationships in the content marketing channels such as websites and videos. The consumers interact directly with distributors in the big supply chain through various digital products which have an important role in meeting the requirements of the consumers. The design and user experience of these channels directly decides the success of digital content marketing.
Interaction with the consumer through electronic service
Electronic services refer to interactive network services. In the electronic service, the interaction between the customer and the organizations mainly through the network technology, such as using E-mail, telephone, online chat windows for communication. Electronic services are different from traditional services and they are not affected by distance restrictions and opening hours. Digital content marketing through electronic service is usually served together with other channels to achieve marketing purposes including face-to-face, postal, and other remote services. Information companies provide different messages and documents to customers who use multiple search engines on different sites and set up access rights for business groups. These are some channels of digital content marketing.