The Short-and-Sweet Definition of Content Marketing

2 minute read

Upland Admin

There are a lot of definitions of content marketing out there. Like a lot. And, frankly, it’s overwhelming to wade through the multiple interpretations of the term to find one that’s easy to understand.

So I’ll make this quick.

What Is Content Marketing?

Content marketing is the process of developing, publishing, and distributing useful information that engages prospective customers and propels them toward purchase. This information can be delivered in several formats—eBooks, blog posts, videos, infographics, podcasts, images, interactive media, and more.

How Does Content Marketing Work?

Marketers use content to generate web traffic, convert prospects, and meet customer needs.

The most successful content addresses a buyer’s pain points, questions, and challenges, rather than simply promoting a company or product. Businesses and buyers then engage in a value exchange: the buyer’s contact information for more of the business’ educational content.

Once buyers enter a business’ database, they receive a steady stream of relevant content, which strategically introduces them to the benefits of the company’s solution. Based on their interactions with content and their demographic information, leads then get passed on as qualified opportunities to sales.

Sales teams—particularly Challenger Sale sales teams—use content to quantify the impact of the company’s solutions and create urgency.

What Else Do You Need to Know?

Content is at the center of marketing. Eventually, the word “content” will disappear from the term, and there will be no distinction between “content marketing” and good old marketing.

The creation and distribution of eye-catching, valuable, and strategic information is essential to attracting, nurturing, and converting a target audience at every stage of the marketing and sales funnel.

As channels continue to proliferate and new formats emerge, companies need to establish streamlined processes to manage their content efforts, analyze the effectiveness of their campaigns, and adapt to shifts in markets and tools. Technology plays a critical role, both in integrating with key channels and formats and analyzing performance.

Building an effective content operation, though, doesn’t require a full restructuring of an organization. It requires a shift in focus, from the product to the consumer. This shift is called intra-marketing alignment.

Who’s Doing Content Marketing Well?

Here’s a list of 50 brands doing content marketing right. It includes DocuSign, LinkedIn, Red Bull, IBM, Dell, Buffer, Sun Life Financial, and 42 more.

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