Showing vs. Telling: How Content Marketing Sets You Apart

The Content Grid large_4690626051

One of the hottest topics in marketing circles these days is content marketing—the creation and sharing of information so that it attracts and retains customers. Content marketing includes blogs, website, case studies, white papers, videos, infographics, etc., but regardless of the form it takes, the material is compelling, relevant and useful.

The emphasis is on using high quality, engaging content to market a brand, acquire customers and develop their trust rather than using aggressive sales and advertising tactics that can annoy or disrupt them.

As Robert Rose, chief strategist of the Content Marketing Institute, put it, “Traditional marketing and advertising is telling the world you’re a rock star. Content marketing is showing the world that you are one.”

Showing or telling – which are you doing? Probably some of both. The future, though, is clearly brighter for organizations that are moving away from telling and are consistently providing helpful information that showcases their expertise in a particular area.

One of the great things about content marketing is that companies and agencies of virtually any size can compete effectively – if they have something worthwhile to say.

According to The Inbound Writer Blog, “90% of consumers find custom content useful, and 78% believe that organizations providing custom content are interested in building good relationships with them.” Another stat worth noting: “Interesting content is a top 3 reason people follow brands on social media.”

As more and more companies engage in content marketing – striving to show the world their brand’s rock-star status – the challenges to being heard above the noise are increasing as well.

It’s easy to talk about producing high-quality, engaging content, but it’s another thing to actually do so on a consistent basis.

Pinched for time or lacking creative writing skills, many places are hiring journalists to put their writing skills to work in crafting messages that engage customers and promote a brand through a variety of social media channels, without coming across as disguised advertisements. Ad agencies in particular can find it difficult to balance meeting client needs and regularly creating content that attracts new business.

It’s not surprising, then that 62% of companies outsource their content marketing (Inbound Writer, citing the news source Mashable). Expect that outsourcing percentage to grow, and traditional advertising to decline, in the coming years.

Finding a niche; having interesting, useful things to say about it; and providing regularly updated, substantive and entertaining content can gain your agency and its clients a loyal following. Creative PR writers and journalists are well positioned to provide valuable assistance to organizations that lack in-house capabilities for content marketing, helping them attract new customers and enhance the loyalty of existing ones.

If you’re just getting started with blogging, firstsiteguide.com has some very helpful advice titled, “How to Write and Create Great Blog Content.” 

photo credit: Eloqua via photopin cc

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