How Can Content Marketing Help Your Trade Publication?

What is Content Marketing?

According to the Content Marketing Institute, “Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”

Engaging content talks with your audience, not "at" it.
Engaging content talks with your audience, not “at” it.

Content marketing is not traditional advertising. Old school advertising involves pushing your products and services into the marketplace. It is a one-sided affair, while content marketing is much more interactive. With trade publication websites, content marketing fosters a direct social experience between you and your audience. Not only does it aid audience development and create trust between you and your audience, it builds your brand and increases subscriptions to your print publication.

How Does Content Marketing Work?

Content marketing accomplishes four important things: It attracts a relevant audience, builds trust, generates post-engagement return on investment, and keeps the audience from feeling abandoned after they subscribe to your publication.

  • Attracting a Relevant Audience: You want your content marketing material to give your targeted audience the information they need to solve their specific problems.

  • Building Trust: Content marketing tells your story and helps people feel like they know you. People buy from people they know and trust.

  • Generating ROI After Engagement: Unlike traditional advertising, content marketing lets you engage your audience with comments and social media interaction, which helps retain customers.

  • Continuing Engagement After They Subscribe: This is your opportunity to serve customers so that they learn more about using your products and services. You can engage using webinars, videos, case studies, newsletters, and white papers.

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Examples of Effective Content Marketing

Three examples of effective content marketing in action are Kraft Foods, Simply Business, and Whole Foods.

  • Kraft Foods: KraftFoods.com was launched way back in 1992 with recipes, tips and other food-related content. In 2005, they added a YouTube channel, and as soon as Pinterest started gaining popularity, they researched who was on the site and what their interests were. They added “Pin It” buttons to their recipes to encourage sharing and created their own Pinterest boards.

  • Simply Business: This provider of small business insurance makes a concerted effort to understand what its customers want to know and provides them with content that answers their questions. Realizing that their customers are often frustrated by everyday business tasks, they seek to provide easy solutions to these problems with their content.

  • Whole Foods: Realizing that customer needs vary by region, Whole Foods created region-specific social media accounts and even accounts for specific stores. They keep this approach from becoming fragmented and disjointed by orchestrating it carefully and encouraging friendly competition between stores to engage customers.

Excellent content marketing can deliver one of the highest returns on investment of all your marketing efforts.
Excellent content marketing can deliver one of the highest returns on investment of all your marketing efforts.

How Content Marketing Assists Audience Development

Consumers don’t pay much attention to traditional advertising. Their DVRs can speed through commercials, and banner blindness is at pandemic levels. Content marketing is different because it doesn’t come across as advertising, and in fact isn’t at all like traditional advertising. Blogs, videos, infographics, and online tools assist audience development (and revenue development) in different ways:

  • Blogs: They answer common questions, bring in guest posts from industry leaders, and can generate lively discussions in comment threads

  • Videos : These may include product demonstrations, or may lean more toward telling stories. Engaging video content is also very shareable.

  • Infographics : This helpful type of content helps audience members wrap their heads around what may otherwise be complex and overwhelming data.

  • Online Tools: Quizzes, games, surveys, and tools help readers learn more about themselves and are a terrific way to engage your audience in a more light-hearted way.

Note that all these content types work best when they effectively blend visuals and text. Even if your trade publication is deeply technical, your content marketing material should be inviting, scannable, and broken up by images, subheads, and bullet lists.

The question isn’t if you should use content marketing to increase subscriptions to your trade publications, but when. And the answer is “now.” Content marketing assists revenue development by encouraging loyal traffic and attracting new traffic. Recruitment advertising for trade publishers is another great revenue development technique, and RealMatch can help you with this exciting opportunity starting today.

Photo Credits: graur razvan ionut / freedigitalphotos.net, photostock / freedigitalphotos.net

 

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