What is content marketing?

In a relevant and attractive way prospects and customers a helping hand without direct your product or service prices, which is in essence the meaning of content marketing. You provide valuable information that can help them make better choices and get more out of your product or service.

The strategic idea of a content roadmap strategy is that if you do this consistently and consistently, they go see as a trusted source of valuable information. Your content inspires confidence, sympathy and acquires authority. And you will be rewarded with brand preference trust and word-of-mouth advertising.

What is the definition of content marketing?

To explain what is content marketing, we can look the best first to the definition of the American Content Marketing Institute. Which reads as follows:

"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."

At The content we have translated this definition as follows:

"Content marketing is the art to understand exactly what information your audience is looking for. You are responding to this need with content and the helping hand and connected with the purchase or use your products or services. This content provides then through a thoughtful mix of online and offline resources and (social) media with the aim to attract and retain customers to you. "

What is the purpose of marketing content?

The ultimate goal of content marketing is to attract and retain customers to your website or blog. In other words, to make a customer an ambassador. The efforts aim to entice the prospect to take the next step in the customer journey.

Wondering how these conversions will happen? Read the blog "content is king"

What is the difference with inbound marketing?

Content marketing is also called inbound marketing. Yet there is one important difference. With inbound marketing, it is about to be found online through search engines, websites and social media. You do this by publishing valuable content and through forums and communities to engage in interaction with prospects and customers.

"If you have more money than brains, you shouldering focus on outbound marketing. If you have more brains than money, you shouldering focus on inbound marketing. "
- Guy Kawasaki

With content marketing is this just part of the story. Also, offline media, personal communication, events and mobile can be deployed. Another factor content promotion, for example through Google Adwords or radio, an important role. (This could be seen as "outbound marketing".)

What is content marketing is not it?

The content marketing philosophy is based on five fundamental principles that are contrary to the way many companies are accustomed to communicating with their audiences:

  1. It's not about you. It's about the customer
  2. It is not one-size-fits-all. It is tailor-made
  3. It is not advertising. It is an editorial
  4. Please do not disturb. The client comes to you
  5. It's not for a while. It is forever

Read this article for an explanation of the five principles of content marketing.

The basic elements of content marketing
With content we mean the form and content of a message. That content can be information, education or entertainment, depending on the objective. Content is the first basic element of content marketing.

As indicated, we have the principle: do not interfere, the target audience will come to you. For this purpose it is important that the content can be searched for and found. That is why search engine optimization is the second basic element of content marketing.

Content needs a place where people can find a carrier or medium. Your own website or shop for instance. Media are also important in order to promote content. For example if people do not automatically go there looking for. Or search online. The publication and promotion we do so online and offline media needed. These constitute the third basic element of content marketing.

The basic elements of content marketing

We hereby distinguish owned, paid and earned media:

Owned media: for publication and promotion of content we make maximum use of their own media, including website, email and social media. These channels do you have in-house giving you complete control over how the content is displayed.

Earned media: In addition, we try to get editorial coverage in various media. This is called earned media. Think of the enormous publicity that Apple knows how to get to the launch of new products.

Paid media, we were to achieve sufficient coverage through owned and earned media than may be necessary to put in paid media. Eg radio, Google Adwords, display advertising or paid editorial attention.

But so new is it all right?
Maybe set himself that question now that you have read above. Content marketing is definitely not something totally new. In fact, it has existed for over a hundred years. Well-known companies such as Michelin and Albert Heijn and NS apply this form of marketing for years and years with great success. What content marketing in recent years makes an extremely targeted and effective marketing tool, the online media that enable content found virtually no cost, can be shared and consumed, email, social media and search engines.

Read this blog about the history and rise of content marketing.

E-mail content marketing philosophy

Content marketing is a greatly improved form of advertising. A form that better reflects consumer behavior and media landscape of today. The improvement is to a large extent in the reversal of the advertising model. On this page we explain how this works.

The content marketing philosophy is based on five principles:

It's not about you. It's about the customer
It is not one-size-fits-all. It is tailor-made
It is not advertising. It is an editorial
Please do not disturb. The client comes to you
It's not for a while. It is forever

Principle # 1: It's not about you. It's about the customer
With content marketing is not your business, brand, product or service center, but the information needs of your (potential) customers. You will need to provide their valuable and attractive content. Thus, we have also defined content marketing. Content marketing informs, entertains and teaches first and only then goes on to convince and sell.

"Advertising is what wise, content marketing makes you wiser."
- Peter Boots

More about this principle is explained in the blog "Content marketing is not about Joe '

Principle # 2: It is not one-size-fits-all. It is tailor-made
To seamlessly connect with the information, customization is required. You need to know at what stage of the customer journey a person is and what information one is looking.

More on this principle can be found in the blog 'One size fits none Content'

Principle # 3: It's not advertising. It is an editorial
How persuasive also touting a product or service, today let consumers do not easily foist anything. With content marketing creates editorial content where people are open, because that answers their questions. Because that is credible and reliable. And lend themselves to decide. This means that you as a publisher has to think and operate.

More about this principle is explained in the blog 'Dumb ways to lie in content marketing'

Principle # 4: Please do not disturb. The client comes to you
No one is waiting to be interrupted. Or to be pushed. Certainly not by a stranger. With content marketing ensures that the (potential) customer is looking for you, instead of vice versa. You ask preferably allowed to communicate with him.

More on this principle can be found in the blogs disturb Responsibility is how you! "And" How many push messages you can send to promote your content?

Principle # 5: It's not for a while. It is forever
Advertising campaign is moderate, content marketing can continuously operates. You will need to actively maintain relationships and always at the right moment should offer a helping hand with attractive, valuable content. If you succeed, you will reap the benefits long.

Why is content marketing necessary in 2015-2016?

The possibilities to use your marketing budget increase exponentially. The media landscape and consumer behavior are changing rapidly. And content marketing is becoming increasingly important. Why the time is ripe for content marketing?

Five reasons to invest in content marketing:

  • The effectiveness of advertising decreases
  • Traditional media lose target range
  • Content is the fuel for social media
  • It should Google
  • An equal relationship lasts longer

Reason # 1: The effectiveness of advertising takes off
While more and more advertising coming at us, it's always easier to avoid it. We also do it en masse. As a result it is becoming increasingly difficult and costly to demand attention with your advertising message and to distinguish yourself from the competition.

Read more about this in Part 1 of this blog series "Why Content Marketing? You invest in something stops working properly '

Reason # 2: Traditional media lose target range
Internet, smartphones, tablets, computers and laptops have greatly changed media consumption. People have fewer ties with traditional mass media. As a result the range of newspapers and magazines including calving. With declining advertising revenue is less and less room to invest in high-quality content. Content that often line the other parties offer free or reduced cost.

"Nike did not discover the power of advertising, Nike discovered the power of their Own Voice."
- Dan Wieden

Traditional media today have also no longer the exclusive right to provide information, education and entertainment. Anyone can create content, publish and thereby build its own audience. So why pay for media coverage?

Read more about this in Part 3 of the blog series "Why Content Marketing? You pay for something that is free "

Reason # 3: Content is the fuel for social media
While traditional media are losing ground, experiencing a golden age of social media. You'll need something with as a marketer? Yes, social media are important to your marketing success, says 83% of US marketers (source: Hubspot.com).

On a platform like Facebook you can interact with your audience, increase engagement, and even generate leads. At least, if you offer the right content. Content that is so valuable and attractive that is shared freely.

Read more about this in Part 5 of the blog series "Why Content Marketing? You MUST do something with social media '

Reason # 4: It should Google
Good wine needs no bush. Provided you can find these wines. A high ranking in Google's search results provides this. Nearly half of online shoppers (44%) begins with a search engine query. And 60% of site visits via Google comes from the top 3 organic search results (source: Hubspot.com).

Google rewards companies that produce high-quality content with a higher position. And not only Google, but also the users themselves. Content that is valuable, is often valued, shared and discussed.

Read more about this in Part 4 in the blog series "Why Content Marketing? It MUST Google '

Reason # 5: An equal relationship lasts longer
The time that you as a brand people can impose what is good for them, forever behind us. People are critical and make their own choices. There you can help them. By listening and customized to provide relevant and engaging content. With content marketing you start a dialogue with your customers and prospects. You invest in an equal relationship with helpful, valuable and honest.

Read more about this in Part 2 of the blog series "Why Content Marketing? With advertising do not FRIENDS '

There is not only a necessity. There is much to gain
The above reasons show that you as a marketer 'forced' is to look for new ways to reach your target audience (s) effectively. However, there is not only a necessity, there is a lot to gain. Content marketing provides you the opportunity to improve your return on your content advertising efforts. More about the benefits of content marketing you can read in this article.

Content marketing examples

According to research by Econsultancy and Adobe's content marketing for American marketers in 2014 a top priority. Many large and small companies - both B-to-B and B-to-C - know how to attract and retain customers with content marketing. How do they do it and where their content is actually about? Be inspired by 20 compelling content marketing examples.

6 Directions, 20 content marketing examples

The best content writing services and marketing examples that we have selected, we can put content in six directions. This allows your content about:

the product purchase
product use
the need for holding the product
the brand experience
the context of the product
lifestyle or (sub) culture that makes the product from part

On this page we go deeper into every direction and every direction we illustrate with some examples.

1. Product Purchase
Coffie SupremeWat will all know the potential customer to make a choice? When it comes to clothes pins I do not think so much, when it comes to a new washing machine quite a bit. This is all information that plays a role in the selection process, think of information about product characteristics, production, application, availability, versions, options, accessories, price, warranty and resale value. But also about being able to try or have demonstrated. And show practical examples.

There are still many. However, it is important not to flood the potential customer with information or distract, but step by step help. Only then you can get it closer to the checkout.

Examples of content focused on product purchase
An example where this well out of the 'paint' is the product selector of Sikkens.
The site of the New Zealand brand Coffee Supreme takes Mr. Woodward you by the hand and helps you find the coffee that you love.
On this site IBM dozens of case studies to read and look at the results achieved by customers with predictive analytics. In this article you can read about more.

2. Product use
WeberBij certain products, there is a great need for information about its use. For example in complex products such as software and hardware. But even in simple products like barbecue. The strange thing is that many brands answering questions, giving advice and solving problems to users. I find the solutions to problems with my iPhone almost always on forums and blogs, and not on Apple's site.

But why leave it to others? It's a great opportunity to provide service. To keep a finger on the pulse when it comes to customer satisfaction. To gain insight into how people experience your product or service. Get suggestions and even ask questions. And not least, it offers the opportunity for cross-selling and deep.

Examples of content focused on product use
To come back on the barbecue: the Weber brand offers comprehensive information about barbecuing. For example, about indirect grilling (to name something). See the website. And through the Grill Academy you can learn even if a pro barbecuing.
Another fine example of L'Oréal is makeup.com. An online magazine that women date information, news, opinion and entertainment offers in the field of cosmetics. In the article "Did you because you're worth it." You can read more about here.

3. Product Requirements
ColgateDe content can also respond to a need. That can be a problem or shortcoming which you are looking for a solution, for example, the desire to be easier to find online. This involves answering questions such as: what is the problem exactly? How do I know if I have the same problem? How come? What happens if you do nothing about it? And what can you do?

The need may also be a desire or ambition that is not related to a problem or shortcoming. For example fancy holiday or a party. The trick here is to achieve the desired situation as it were closer. By making it so concretely that the target group as it were already in that situation. And by indicating how (easily) that situation is reached. This sounds like advertising, but it is excellent in an editorial fashion with (photo) reportages, top lists, user experiences, test reports, etc. By the Grape does this quite well (see below).

The need can be latent or manifest. The need latent, then the case the target a little help on the way. For example, by inspiration, see below example of Flexa.

Examples of content focused on product demand
Colgate in the United States' Oral Dental Research Center. There you can find honest and expert advice on oral and dental care. It is not only an expert source of information for consumers, including students and professionals. Read more about this in the article "Colgate's shining white content".
By the Grape, which sells organic wine online, ensures an editorial way that you get fancy wine. They publish several columns, including the Top 5 Wine and Wine Mood of the month.
Flexa shows how colors come into their own in different interiors and what you can do with different color or texture. IKEA also inspires. For example, via a special YouTube channel where you can discover what you can do with a small space.

4. Brand experience
VWBent a famous brand with a rich history and a large fan base? Are those real merkabassadeurs who want to share their experience and enthusiasm for your brand with others? And you see a lot to tell and show that you know it is there for the public? Then your brand and the way fans interact with them at the heart of your content marketing strategy.

Examples of content focused on brand perception
Coca-Cola responds to include the brand history and let old advertising posters, children's stories, postcards, films and other expressions which the brand has played a role. In the article "Refreshing content from Coke." You can read more about it.
Volkswagen offers fans a platform where they can share their adventures with the brand with other fans. More on this in the article "The tales of Volkswagen."
Harley Davidson Harley organizes special events, activities and tours.

5. Context of the product
Just about money Sometimes it is necessary to place the content into a wider context, since the target audience for the product per se has little interest. Take paintbrushes. You go not so fast to a website. If information can be linked to information on paint, tools, interior and do-it-yourself then it's a lot more interesting. What is true for paint brushes, applies to many products and services. They are part of a larger whole, the total solution.

Examples of the content focused on context
One of the most famous examples is Albert Heijn offering with All sorts of recipes and it makes its own products play a role.
On heading out of the train, visitors will find ideas for fun days out.
Just about Money Freo. A blog site with stories about pay, borrow money and (be) save. In this article you can read an interview about this platform content marketer Maartje Eradus Freo.
Yunomi is an online magazine by and for women, made possible by Unilever. Find young women all their concerns, from fashion to cooking and body care to children.
American Express Open Forum is an online magazine with the aim of "powering small business success." You can read more in the article "American Express builds credits with content marketing."
Cleveland Clinic Florida has a separate health portal Health Hub, with detailed information on diseases and health. Read more about this in the article "Did what you gain."

6. Lifestyle or subculture
Pepsi Pulse When the distinctiveness of a mark is in the image and branding is important, you can associate with a particular (sub) culture or lifestyle. Often a particular sport or music genre is claimed or a model, artist or athlete associated with the brand. It is a method in which advertising and sponsorship frequent use of it .. Also with content marketing you can show or tell you what you want to be associated with.

Examples of content focused on lifestyle or subculture
It will not surprise you that choose mainly fashion and sports brands in this direction. Three examples:
Converse Rubber Tracks. Emerging musicians can record their tracks free in Converse studio in Brooklyn. Converse publish music.
Pepsi Pulse brings you the pop culture of today with tracks, updates, events and concerts.
Redbull is a medium in itself that focuses on music, skating, biking, snowboarding and other tough sports.

Which direction will your content strategy take?

I have described above six content directions. Which direction is interesting for your organization, of course, depends on many factors, such as budget, target, market (b-to-b and b-to-c), the target audience and the stage of the customer journey, the type of product or service, the stage in the product life cycle, brand awareness, and -imago history and competition. To name but a few. Are you looking for an appropriate direction? We can help you.


The marketing funnel should be upside down!

Metaphors. They do it almost always good. Especially in our field. But imagery is also sometimes spoke. Something is exposed beautifully by content marketing agency ContentMasterminds.com, what vision of content marketing is a true soul mate. What is wrong with the customer journey? Why are friends and followers no real friends and followers? And why should we put the marketing funnel on his head?
Read more "

What does a content marketing agency do?

The devises content, create, publish and promote content that is so valuable to your target audience, she wants to be and remain your customer.

Thought leadership and the art of content curation

Content curation is playing something like borrow. You go to the neighbors, it gets interesting content around a particular topic road, make a selection, if necessary add some personal taste, publish it on your own platform (s) and share it with your followers through social media. Content curation is much discussed and often itself the 'victim' of content curation. So I've taken the above definition of the Content Club. Obviously, because what should be the content marketing world where a thousand different definitions? Nevertheless, content curation also be misplaced. It can smell hear is stolen or have a high level informal chat. How do you get as a thought leader with it?

In order to give a better picture of what content curation, it might be good first to give some examples.

What sort of ways to curate content?

Thought leadership and the art of content curation