If you have a new website, blog, or product, content marketing most likely would have popped up during your strategy planning. Content marketing is the foremost marketing approach that creates and distributes content that attract and retain a specific audience. This could mean blog posts, social media posts, sponsored posts, and more. Outsourcing experts say content marketing takes up almost all the marketing fronts—a whopping 91% on B2B marketers, and 86% of B2C.

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Why is it suddenly relevant?

It has been speculated that the rise of content marketing came to be as a response to the oversaturation of traditional marketing practices of the ad age. By 2014, an average person saw up to 50,000 ads in just one day! Ads were everywhere: billboards, magazines, newspapers, promo posters, flyers, television commercials, digital advertising…this overwhelming bombardment of ads brought about a sense of insincerity, especially in this digital age where every single thing could be easily looked up online by any discerning consumer. Not to mention the annoyance whenever too many commercials would interrupt TV shows!

Building Trust with Consumers

With the rise of smartphones and the ease of access to information brought about by the internet, consumers have grown smarter and more cautious of ads that bombard them on a daily basis. Put yourself in a consumer’s shoes: you go about your day distracted by billboards and posters, then go home hoping for a reprieve, only to have countless commercials suck the joy out of your favorite shows. With content marketing, the consumer is considered in the entire process. Big brands in fashion, travel, and food have taken to social media for marketing, placing carefully curated, yet personable photos on Instagram, using celebrities from all walks of life alike to preach the brand or product’s message to consumers. In a way, it sends consumers on a bit of a treasure hunt: ads are not shoved or forced in their faces, rather they are also given the agency to examine the brand’s content across many platforms, developing trust and rapport along the way.

Consumers and Brands get to Know Each Other

Traditional marketing has always put an emphasis on getting to know its audience and in a way, manipulating them into buying their products. Content marketing provides a more transparent process as the brand not only gathers information on its consumers, but the consumers also get to know the brand better. This transparency only makes way for more growth: the more the brand knows its consumers, the better they can improve and fine-tune their products through better buyer personas, and improved personalization; the better the products, the more loyal consumers it will attract. This transparency creates a solid foundation of customer experience and product development.

Getting Started

Content marketing sounds promising, but where does one begin? To start, you should know that there are no shortcuts to content marketing. It entails a lot of work that only delivers great results in the long run, as you are developing your brand as a trusted authority in your industry. Blogs, videos, white papers, interactive content, personalized email newsletters, infographics, and a solid social media campaign are only a handful of platforms that you need to start working on to establish a presence.

Start small if you have to but make it a solid start. Make a strategy and be sure to commit to its quality, and focus on the message of the brand. From there, you can slowly grow your content as you get to know your audience, engage with them, and build bridges between brand and consumers that you set out to reach when you first started.