We discussed it a little in our blog in December on ‘Key Digital Trends for 2013’ but with content marketing becoming more and more popular both in practice and in theory, we thought we’d revisit it in a bit more depth.

Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.

Any digital marketer worth their salt understands the value of content to online performance. It is the driving force behind being found in search engines, increasing brand awareness and loyalty, clarifying your offering and vision, and positioning yourself in your marketplace.   But in today’s competitive and increasingly digital environment, it is not just digital marketers who must come to grips with the concept but all individuals looking to optimise business performance.

At the heart of it is understanding what quality content really is and how it differs according to the platform it is presented on. All too often we see clients trying to fit content directly from offline marketing materials, such as brochures, into the online space. One such example is text within images, which results in poor SEO as the content is unreadable to search engine robots, as well as causing issues with formatting and styling. Unfortunately, good development of content means adapting content so that it promotes a user-friendly and engaging experience. This can even refer to the tone and language used. Therefore, when creating content for your digital channels we suggest you start from the beginning - analysing your business objectives, who it is you want to reach with your communications, the kinds of message they are susceptible to and at what time, and where they are online.

The value of quality content is only too obvious in the way media consumption has evolved in the past few years. The vast majority of adults in the UK browse a whole range of media online every single day and connect with friends via social media. Blogging, posting feedback and sharing content, from personal messages to viral images and videos, is now second nature to most of us. This presents us with two important notes - firstly, as marketers we cannot afford to miss out on the opportunity to engage our audiences online, and secondly, we have to do it properly. While regularly updated and responsive content is important, quality always overrules quantity.

Content marketing is all about adding value to your proposition. Unlike traditional marketing, content marketing focuses on developing useful and engaging content, which the user values and wants to interact with. Every piece of content should be part of the overall content strategy, born to satisfy a business objective and to support a structured user journey. Being able to identify what the end goal of a piece of content is from the offset will enable you to better measure success and justify the time spent developing it.

So, whether you’re a small independent organisation or a multinational corporation, content marketing is a powerful tool, and one which will become central to your success in attracting online audiences’ attention in 2013 and beyond.

If you want to perform better in search and improve your web presence please contact us today. Our experienced digital marketing team can help you to identify opportunities for growth and improvement, as well as developing a holistic content strategy, to help you succeed in the online space.