Traditional marketing isn’t working anymore. Your audience learned to ignore you. They don’t care what you have to say.

Traditional marketing has desensitized our audience and made them tune out our message. What now?

Then you heard there was an alternative.

Everyone is talking about it. It’s going to change marketing. It’s going to bring traffic. It’s going to connect you to your customers like never before. They’re going to listen — not accidentally listen, but want to listen. This amazing technique? Content marketing. And, despite those lofty promises…everyone is right.

Content marketing isn’t a new, unproven method. Some brands and advertising giants have been doing it for years. Content marketing comes in many forms. It might be a blog on your website, or a YouTube channel that you update each week. It might be informative email newsletters, or infographics on Pinterest. Whatever you choose to use to share your content, the goal is the same: content marketing is all about putting your audience first.

It’s a pretty simple concept, really. Most of us are sick and tired of the in-your-face advertising that we know all too well. The banner ads, blinking popups and the 60-million-dollar Super Bowl commercials have successfully desensitized us all. Today’s customers are looking for something different.

The Foundation of Content Marketing

Content marketing is built on the premise that the best way to build trust with your potential customers is through helpful content that doesn’t interrupt whatever the customer is doing. It brings the user to you, rather than you bringing yourself to the user. This builds trust and loyalty with potential customers. Also, unlike advertising, it brings your audience to you in a natural way, rather than the abrupt and expensive methods of traditional advertising.

Wikipedia puts it a bit more bluntly: Content marketing is any marketing format that involves the creation and sharing of media and publishing content in order to acquire customers. -Wikipedia

Content Marketing is Helpful

More than anything else, content marketing is about being helpful.

The end goal isn’t to shove your product down your audience’s throat. It is about helping them with something that they need. The need information. They need to know how to do something. They need help. There are many great examples of this, but some of the best examples can be see with a simple ‘how-to’ search on Google. Help your audience find success. By doing so, you build traffic and trust and repeat visits from potential customers.

Content Marketing is for your Audience

Great content marketing answers the one question your reader really wants an answer to: what’s in it for me?

Every time someone lands on your website, reads a blog post, or watches your video on YouTube, they are trading in their time to see what you have to say. True content marketing respects their time and makes sure that it is a worthwhile exchange. It remembers that content is for the audience’s benefit, not yours.

Content Marketing is About Trust

Helpful marketing doesn’t look to interrupt your audience while they are doing something they enjoy, hoping to trick them into listening. Instead, it provides them with information that they need when they need it. That’s the key. The content is important but so is the timing and delivery of it. Show them that you won’t waste their time when they consume your content, and you won’t force your content onto them against their preferred time.

This methodology builds trust. Since you already know that people buy things from brands that they know, like, and trust, you definitely want to be building trust.

Attract your audience, don’t interrupt them. That is what content marketing is all about.

Content Marketing isn’t Marketing

Marketing is a dirty word to some people. It is directly associated with that direct in-your-face version of marketing, the interruption of paid advertising, billboards, and expensive TV campaigns. When you think of advertising, isn’t this what you think of first? So do your customers.

Content marketing isn’t typical marketing. It’s almost unfortunate that the word “marketing” is used because of those negative connotations. Content marketing is helpful and focused on building relationships with potential buyers. Content marketing isn’t what most of us consider marketing, but it really should be.

Content Marketing is Here to Stay

Have you ever heard that saying that once something is online, it’s online forever?

When you publish something online, it tends to live forever. While terrifying for some who have photos they didn’t want others to see, this internet reality is exactly why content marketing works. Search engines exist to connect visitors to the content that they need. As you publish new content on your blog or YouTube channel, you steadily increase the chances that Google will send potential customers your direction. Search engines like Google will always be searching for content. Because of this, content marketing is really the only sure-fire way to guarantee yourself traffic now and in the future.

Content Marketing Prioritizes Customer Needs

It’s no secret that people have, at best, an apathy towards advertising. Frankly, they’re sick of it, no matter how well it might work. A funny commercial might make them laugh a few times, but eventually, the tiring presences of ads and persistent marketing wear them out. In addition, such advertising can very expensive and requires a constant investment to continue working. Content marketing focuses on the direct needs of your audience by prioritizing helpful content that works on their terms, in a non-invasive way. It isn’t as wearing to your audience, and isn’t as expensive (both in money and time) to you.

Content marketing is to suit your audience, their what, when, & how. You are less important.

Where Will you Make your Investment?

There’s no silver bullet when it comes to marketing your business, but you do have to decide where you will put your resources.

Choosing traditional advertising means expense, and once you start, you can’t stop. It means you accept the risk of alienating or annoying your audience. It means competing with a loud and crowded chorus of other brands screaming for their attention. Choosing content marketing, however, means that the audience you have is the one that wants to be there. They are giving you permission to talk to them. It means you’ve abandoned all ideas of tricking your audience into hearing what you have to say. You’ve stopped sneaking your message into places or times they weren’t interested in hearing them. You remembered to attract your audience, and not interrupt them.

A simple Google search makes it clear that the web is built on content. If you want to get noticed, you need to be doing content marketing.

Ask yourself: will content marketing have a definitive change on how marketing is seen by customers?

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