Content Management Vs Content Marketing
These days, the internet is recognized as one of the most powerful tools that modern businesses have access to. With the internet, even a small family owned business can turn into a world renowned household name. Even before the internet there have always been stories about mom and pop businesses that became huge success stories (e.g. Burt’s Bees, begun in 1984 and whose founder, Burt Shavitz, who recently passed away is one example, and while you might not know the name Nick Swinmurn off the top of your head, you’ve probably heard of HIS business: Zappos, probably the largest online shoe retailer today!).
Businesses can gain the most from their internet exposure if they understand how to utilize the marketing tools that are available to them.
A business that decides to operate online will have two main concerns, one being content management, and the other being content marketing. Though these two concerns may seem to be the same thing, there are vast differences between them.
Let’s start with Content Management.
Content management is the process of creating an internet presence, and the continuous management of it. Think of managing a project – you have to plan and initiate a strategy, then execute it, and monitor and control it. If your website is the backbone of your business, you need some type of content on that website. This stuff doesn’t arrive out of the “blue clear sky” though… You have to plan what is needed for the site, including what will be most relevant and helpful to your visitors. This is all something that can be planned, implemented, and monitored.
There are numerous forms of content that can be used to benefit a business of any type. Businesses can use articles, press releases, blog posts, video, social media, and pictures to boost their notoriety and profits. In order to make the most of these forms of content, it is important to understand how and why they work. The first and perhaps most important thing to know about content is that it can literally build or destroy an online business.
The business that provides educational, valuable, ethical, and entertaining content is a business that will likely succeed online. As mentioned a moment ago, it is crucial that businesses provide consumers with informative and useful content. Businesses that do not conform to these standards will not be taken seriously. Additionally, if a business posts useless or incorrect content, it will not be considered by search engines when consumers do specific searches for products and services.
Businesses that build a strong following online via social media profiles and enriching website content tend to receive the most traffic. As a business increases its traffic, search engines pick up on that fact and will include that business in consumer search results more often. The ultimate goal is to be listed at the top of first search result pages.
So, to achieve this status, content management must be a priority for the online business. Simply creating a website and social media profiles is not enough. New and exciting content needs to be posted on a regular basis, and a business needs to communicate with consumers by offering suggestions, answering questions, and solving customer service issues.
Proper content management is a never ending job; in fact, it is often a daily chore, which makes it rather challenging. It is not enough to just post new content; it must be valuable and engaging content. This content must also be created with marketing in mind. Many businesses prefer to hire an expert in SEO for their content management and marketing.
To gain the most out of the internet, a business must have a perfect blend of content management and content marketing. An expert in search engine optimization has the ability to completely manage all aspects of a business’s online content and its reputation. The business that does not invest time and effort into its online content will not reap the rewards the internet has to offer.
Now, let’s define and look at the Content Marketing end of things.
Here, we are talking less about “just creating and posting content” but more about what we DO with that content, and what the goals are for that content. This is more about distribution, and engaging our visitors from the time they’ve laid eyes on us to the time when they make a purchase, and then to keep them engaged so that they buy from us again. And again.
There are a number of critical reasons why this has become important. A 2014 article in MarketingCharts.com discussed a survey that had been conducted by Harris Interactive that reported findings indicating a trend that consumers were ignoring most forms of traditional (i.e. TV, radio, newspaper) AND online advertisements (i.e. banner ads- which approximately 73% of the survey respondents reportedly are ignoring, and search engine ads). What this means is that if a business is depending on this type of advertising today, it could be an expensive line item without the return on investment that they might have seen in years past. You can read more about this at MarketingCharts.com here.
The point is, there needs to be another way to reach the audience. And that is where content marketing comes in. Here, your company (or whomever you hire) not only creates the information (content) that your target market needs and wants on a consistent basis (key point!), but you also plan your distribution of this information. It must reach far beyond just your website. You must have your name – your brand – “out there,” and, in the words of Steve Shaw, the creator of a content marketing system called vWriter, you need to “Be Everywhere.”
What’s the STORY you are sharing? And, what value are you giving through your content? With content marketing, you are not selling! Remember what we just said about “advertising?” We are communicating with our prospective customers and clients. We are building relationships. Let’s face it: If you are doing business online, your customers aren’t walking through a brick & mortar door where your smiling face will be greeting them and gaining their trust as you help them find what they genuinely need.
When initiating a strategic content marketing plan, you are paving the way for customers to find the path to your website. You are providing education, resources, and information that is important to them. Once they “get” that feeling about you, then they will come and buy from you.
Now, before you run off and start up a Facebook page or Twitter account for your business, and start loading up posts, you need to determine WHAT you would put on those sites first. Plan a content creation and marketing strategy before you plan a “Facebook” or “Twitter” strategy.
So, to summarize: Content marketing plays a major role in how a business will fare online. It is crucial to create engaging and valuable content for consumers, but this content must be created with a goal. That goal is to convert visitors into followers, and eventually convert them into loyal clients. High conversion rates can be accomplished when businesses create SEO optimized content that maintains reader interest.
Nobody likes to feel forced into purchasing items, which is why it is so important to create content that is perfectly blended with advertising as well as valuable information. A successful business knows how to attract and hold a readers interest while promoting their products or services. By setting high content management and marketing standards, any type of business can experience exponential growth online.
Check out this video we found from the Content Marketing Institute with some tips to keep in mind when formulating a Content Marketing strategy!