Content marketing is one of the latest buzz words in the world of internet marketing. Since the Google zoo of updates, online marketers are taking a variety of new approaches to generate leads and conversions for their businesses. In a recent survey of 1,300 online marketing experts, almost everyone surveyed (more than 90%) believed that content marketing would become increasingly important to business success over the next year.

Even though most marketing professionals recognize the correlation between an effective content marketing strategy and increased profits, only 38% of the respondents had such a strategy in place and nearly a third of those surveyed aren’t currently planning to implement this type of campaign. So this is the perfect time to develop your own content marketing strategy. But there are a few things you should know first.

#1: Content Marketing Is Nothing New

Fads come and go quite regularly in the internet marketing industry. Since the beginning of the ecommerce and online marketing craze, however, one key component to an effective strategy has remained unchanged. And that’s the need for quality, informative content – the foundation of a good content marketing strategy. The only things that may be different about today’s content marketing techniques are the methods used to distribute the content and the level of engagement it facilitates.

#2: Content Marketing Is Not Advertising

Internet marketing gurus like Seth Godin have touted the benefits of mutually respectful relationships between businesses and their consumers for years. The success of content marketing proves their case. Rather than throwing sales pitches and product ads to the entire online community, content marketing serves as a valuable communication tool between businesses and a targeted audience of consumers. This type of marketing builds brand loyalty, providing long-lasting benefits to your bottom line.

#3: There Are Many Ways to Market Content

Like most traditional online marketing strategies, useful content can be distributed to a target audience using an assortment of outlets. Many business owners focus on social media marketing, while some rely solely on email marketing tactics. A good content marketing campaign employs a combination of proven distribution strategies based on the wants and needs of their consumer base. Article marketing, corporate blogs, social media, email, and even print marketing are all effective as long as the content provides value to the end users.

#4: Content Marketing Is Engaging

The thing that sets today’s online marketing techniques apart from strategies that may have worked in the past is that the content’s primary purpose is to somehow engage the reader. Engagement may be an emotional response to reading the content, usually resulting in sharing, or it may be direct involvement with the content, like Instagram’s blog that allows users to share their own photos. Content that engages the reader can be fun, informative, shocking, or simply unique. As long as it appeals to the targeted audience, quality content will almost market itself.

There’s a good chance that your business or website already has a solid foundation in place to build a powerful content marketing strategy. Remember that the key is informative and original articles that are tailored to the needs of your customer base.

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