The key to building a tribe that will faithfully advocate your business and share your stories is to implement a long-term content marketing strategy that appeals to your content niche.
The phrase “content marketing” was popularized by Joe Pulizzi at the Content Marketing Institute, but the concept itself is actually quite old.
When John Deere started distributing The Furrow magazine in 1895, that was content marketing. When Jell-O provided free Jell-O recipe books in 1906, that was content marketing as well.
Brands have been telling stories and reaching out to communities for centuries; there are simply more media channels and ways to communicate now.
Phrases like “inbound marketing,” “content marketing,” or “brand journalism” all pretty much describe the same marketing principle – to create and share original and compelling content that attracts the attention of your target market, with the end goal of increasing business from new leads and repeat customers.
Own Your Media
- 80 percent of buyers prefer to get company information in a series of articles versus an advertisement.
(Roper Public Affairs)
- 70 percent say content marketing makes them feel closer to the sponsoring company.
- 60 percent say that company content helps them make better product decisions.
- More on content marketing here.
More and more businesses of all sizes are embracing content marketing, focusing not on promoting their products and services, but rather on providing useful and entertaining content to meet the needs and desires of their tribe. This content combines original, curated, and syndicated content and develops and shares this content online, primarily using social media sites.
There is often a confusion when it comes to social media marketing and content marketing. Although content marketing relies on social media to get the word out and social media relies on content for engagement, the two entities actually have different processes and goals.
In a nutshell, content marketing is the producer and social media is the distributor. There is a lot of overlap and successful marketing programs incorporate both, but social media is primarily used by content marketing programs to link back to the company website, which is the container for the content. Leading the tribe to your brand’s village provides a great opportunity to generate and track qualified leads down the sales funnel.
Any successful marketing program needs to include a business process that consistently creates and curates content that is “engaging, eminently shareable, and, most of all, focused on helping customers discover (on their own) that your product or service is the one that will scratch their itch” ( Joe Pulizzi, Epic Content Marketing ).
As one digital marketing adviser put it, “Content is fire. Social media is gasoline.”
Every successful content marketing program should include:
- Original content (infographics, blogs, videos, e-books, memes)
- Design, art, and images
- Web research and resources
- Integrating content online, including social media
- Consistent blogging
- Research and measurement
Content marketing is more than just a trend. It is a vital part of any successful online marketing strategy. Grow your tribe today!