No! It’s Content Marketing Empowering Digital Marketing
I remember one of the NASSCOM events that I attended years back, where the CEO of a large banking software company in Chennai was proudly highlighting the success of their TV ads that were aired during the evening hours in United States, targeting decision makers of large banks. This brilliant campaign helped them immensely in their bidding, while they competed with their US counterparts. It also build lot of visibility and trust with the buyers who prioritized this Chennai-based company. But all that was two decades back. We are now in the digital age, and the rules of the game have changed.
The age of the TV or billboards still hasn’t disappeared but has definitely lost relevance. In today’s digital era we are always online – be it for shopping, watching movies, or even booking a doctor’s appointment. So what’s the point of going anywhere else to market your IT products and solutions? Yes, it’s now amply clear to every enterprise (large or small) that digital marketing is the way to go if you need to make your mark in your crowded marketplace.
Digital marketing is incredibly powerful, given its reach, the extensive variety of channels, the ability to make instant connections, and of course, the unimaginable data you can capture. But whatever the era, there’s one common thread connecting marketing across ages – and that’s content.
Content is the lifeline of digital marketing, especially for IT products and services. But when we approach our potential customers, they are not really sure of what to expect in terms of a marketing strategy. A common question we are asked is, “Which is a better option – content marketing or digital marketing?” Wrong question! Why is that? Let me explain.
It’s never going to be content marketing vs digital marketing
Content marketing is a critical subset of digital marketing. A strong thread of content runs across every single marketing strategy, so let’s first list the various elements of digital marketing to understand content marketing’s role in it.
What’s digital marketing and content marketing all about?
Earlier, marketing and sales clubbed together meant brochures, ppts, cold calls, direct visits, and scheduled conferences or events to “woo” potential customers. It was all about pushing your product or services down your potential customer’s throat till they either spat it out or swallowed it. But all that’s changed now, thanks to the integrated approach of digital marketing.
This integrated approach involves understanding the market, competition, and target audience; creating awareness about your product or service, engaging with your audience, gaining their trust, and only then proceeding to the next levels of actual sales talk.
The critical elements of such a marketing approach encompass every digital channel, be it social media, search engines, emails, mobile phones, television, and even radio. With such an expansive playfield and innumerable channels and formats to choose from, it indeed provides a wide palette of options. Some of the essential ingredients of a strong strategy include
- Content marketing
- Search engine optimization
- Email marketing
- PPC and other forms of online advertising
- Social media interaction
- Influencer or affiliate marketing
- Data-driven personalized customer interaction
Yes, content marketing is at the top of this list and is definitely at the heart of any digital marketing initiative. Content marketing encompasses more than 100 formats of content – from blog posts, whitepapers, and case studies to videos, images, and podcasts. It incorporates specific elements that make content effective for targeted marketing. These elements include keywords, tone, emotion, persona, social media channel, and purpose. Such well-tailored, engaging, and focused content can definitely help you achieve your marketing goals.
The symbiotic relationship between content and digital marketing
Content marketing is truly at the heart of every digital marketing initiative. It helps you deliver a seamlessly stitched experience to your customers. A strong content marketing plan helps you to reach out to your audience, build visibility, and develop trust. Similarly, a robust digital marketing strategy helps you create brand awareness, generate leads, improve website traffic, and increase sales. A clear content marketing plan lays supports the successful implementation of this marketing strategy.
So, the next time, do not “choose” between content marketing and digital marketing, instead ask at least the following questions:
- What do I want to achieve from my marketing efforts?
- How does content tie into and direct all my marketing elements
- What are the data points that I will be assessing?
- How will I use this data to craft my content marketing efforts so I can meet my digital marketing goals?
Signing off !