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:
- Expand their user base
- Diversify their user base
- Establish or Increase online sales
- Increase brand awareness or credibility
- Create an online community of users
Unlike other forms of online marketing, content marketing relies on intercepting an existing customer need, as opposed to creating demand for a new need. As James O’Brian of Contently wrote on Mashable, “The idea central to content marketing is that a brand must give something valuable to get something valuable in return. Instead of the commercial, be the show. Instead of the banner ad, be the feature story.”
When businesses pursue content marketing, the main focus should be the needs of the customer. Once a business has identified the customer’s need, 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.