Content marketing is a marketing approach that is based on the creation and distribution of relevant and valuable content, which is produced with the aim of attracting and retaining a particular audience segment to increase sales and revenue. In contrast to traditional marketing where the brand or company pitches its products and/or service to the customer, content marketing seeks to inform the customer and provide them with useful content – offering the solution that will solve their problem or meet their demands.

Everyone – from the world’s largest brands to small, local and independent businesses – is using content marketing because it has been proven to be incredibly effective. Industry professionals – such as Chief Creative Officer Ajab Samrai – have noted the range of benefits offered by content marketing, which includes an increase in sales, lower costs, and a better quality of customer (as content marketing seems to improve both brand loyalty and awareness). With a focus on offering truly valuable and useful information, content marketing enables companies to stand out from the crowd.

There are several methods for content marketing, as well as many different platforms that can be used to connect with the customer. Social media marketing is an important element of any content marketing strategy, as is search engine optimisation, public relations, pay-per-click advertising and inbound marketing.

The best way to find success in content marketing is to be consistent, working towards long-term goals and objectives. There is a huge demand for content, with a recent survey showing that the majority (75%) of B2B purchasers rely on content marketing to help with their buying decisions, proving that it is well worth investing time and resources into this area.

Whilst content marketing does focus on creating and sharing content, it is also part of a more holistic approach that focuses on attracting and engaging a defined audience. There are four parts to a successful content marketing strategy, the first being brand positioning, which requires a clear definition of the brand and product positioning. For more information on this topic, please refer to the embedded infographic.

The next step is a value proposition, which focuses on understanding what value the brand offers its audience through its content, and how it stands out from the competition. The third part is an analysis of what the business hopes to achieve from its content marketing, and the final step is a strategic plan, which details who the business wants to reach, how it will reach them, and how it will measure its achievements.