Content marketing forms the core of modern Internet marketing strategies. In the noise of online advertising, pushing ads to the top of a search page no longer results in the greatest number of click-throughs and conversions.
Content Marketing Requires Relevant Content
The consumer learning curve in online advertising interpretation has skewed sharply to the right with the advent of a tech-savvy generation. These consumers selectively, almost unconsciously, filter on-screen information for relevant content, driving the marketing agent’s need for robust, meaningful information.
Bland factoids and bald propaganda no longer convert consumers through repetition and market saturation. Modern consumers require relevant content.
Paid media follows the traditional advertising model of purchasing ad space in a rotational or fixed display on a content provider’s site.
This kind of advertising impacts its audience using the surrounding content as the initial point of approach and hopes to convert consumers through associative connections that extend the utility of the ad space into an additional source of information. Productive advertising not only speaks to the target audience, but makes an effort to conform to the design and feel of the hosting site. Ads that are deceptive or misleading in their purpose or representation will result in false conversions as consumers quickly correct their impression of the paid content.
In a publishing environment powered by social networking sites and robust WYSIWYG website authoring programs, any business that neglects to provide consumers with a dedicated point of contact is actively hurting their company.
Internet searches have replaced telephone directories as the information index of choice; consumers expect any reputable business to have a web page, email address, and contact form. Many businesses find that social media networks provide an ideal connection to their customers. Communication is the key, and companies will benefit from owning not only the marketing content seen by consumers but the channel through which that content moves.
Perhaps the most credible and powerful tool in the content marketer’s toolbox is the ability to earn media time through publishing channels that actively desire to promote one’s content.
Social sharing sites and news agencies are seen as traditional venues for earned marketing placement, rewarding clever and attractive content with media time and attention. Blogs, forums, and review sites provide powerful endorsements of products and services to an audience that has already built a degree of trust with the media channel. Marketing to media publishers requires providers to be open with communication and willing to grant these opinion leaders access to products and services.
An effective marketing campaign extends beyond the creation of a clever advertisement or well-rounded information distribution schema. Modern content marketers have three powerful tools in their belt in the form of paid advertising, owned publication channels, and earned media attention. While these three categories have long formed the basis for extensive advertising promotions, the immediacy of the online environment has endowed them with disproportionate influence while stripping away the power of blanket distribution. The wrong mix of these three elements means an advertising dud; the right mix means marketing dynamite.