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A Marketing Technique for the Present Times: Content Marketing

A Marketing Technique for the Present Times: Content Marketing

Dr. S. Shyam Prasad


There is a common adage in marketing:  customer does not like to be sold, he likes to buy. Presently this more true than ever. Consumers are forcing changes in the way marketing was done. They have mastered the art of skipping television advertising, do not read print advertising, turn blind eye to the roadside hoardings and now either ignore or block internet advertisements. Yet, marketers have to reach the customers and promote their products. One thing that the marketers have realized is that traditional marketing is losing its effectiveness by the minute. They have to discover or invent new ways to communicate with the customers. Such a tool is content marketing. The demand for content is steadily increasing. This has been borne out in several studies. “60% of B2B decision makers say branded content helps them make better purchase decisions. 61% of consumers are more likely to buy from companies that offer custom content.”[1]Further with the evolution of newer technologies, customers today begin their purchase process much before they contact the company. This is where the content marketing plays a vital role.

What is Content Marketing?

Content marketing is marketing technique that focuses on creating and sharing valuable, relevant and fresh content for the purpose of promoting a product or service. Its major objective is to attract and retain clearly defined readers who would ultimately influence a favourable purchasing decision. It must be remembered here that content marketing is the art of communicating with customers and prospects without selling. It is subtle and non-invasive. Instead of promoting the firms products or services directly or explicitly, content marketing shares information that interests the buyers and educate them. It is hoped that by delivering consistent and valuable information to buyers, they would in turn reward the business with their loyalty. This is more easily noticed in b2b than b2c marketing.[2]
In the present informational era where everyone us is bombarded with information much more than one handle, what makes content marketing possible? The answer is ‘relevance’. Most of material that we receive is just not relevant to us. In contrast, content marketing is not only relevant but also valuable that it makes us read and think.

Goals of Content Marketing

Content marketing has several goals.[3]
1. Brand awareness or reinforcement
Content marketing is an excellent tool, non-invasive and subtle way for starting an engagement with a customer about the company’s brand. This is similar to inbound marketing.
2. Lead conversion and nurturing 
This is an important goal of content marketing – encouraging a prospect to give permission to “market” to them.
3. Customer conversion 
The focus here is to convert the prospect into a customer.
4. Customer service
This is another important goal of content marketing – to reinforce the customer’s decision and remove post purchase dissonance if any.
5. Customer loyalty/retention
It is now a well-established fact that retaining a customer is more economical than acquiring a new one. Further, a satisfied customer could create a powerful word-of-mouth marketing that is more powerful than content marketing itself. 
6. Customer upsell
A present customer is more open to company’s communication and provides with an opportunity for ongoing engagement for the other products and services you offer.
7. Passionate subscribers
This should be the ultimate goal of any marketing activity – create a community of advocates who would stand by your brand

Media for Content Marketing

One can create content for different media. However, it should remembered that content should appear as if it is being written to an ideal reader. The company should know who their reader is by gathering enough data.
Contents can be Blog posts, Magazine articles, Videos. Podcasts, Webinars, Teleseminars, Speeches, workshops, interviews, PowerPoint presentations, Tutorials, Guides, Infographics, Whitepapers, Special reports, Newsletters, Ebooks, books and Products and Programmes. It is important to remember that content is all channel pervasive. It is not restricted only to the internet; print, in-person and also mobile.
To make the content effective and error-free, one might keep the following in mind.
1. Align your content with specific sub-goals.
2. Optimize for one or two keyword search phrases.
3. Link to additional content, both on and off of your site.
4. Ensure the headline is as magnetic as possible.
5. Integrate corporate branding.
6. Review your copy for grammatical and spelling mistakes and
7. Incorporate a call to action.

Challenges to Content Marketing

The greatest challenge to content marketing is producing engaging content. Cheap content is cheap. There are no shortcuts to writing engaging content. It needs a lot of hard work and one might need to burn the mid-night oil. Content creator has to be in touch with trends in the market. He has to keep tabs on what the people are watching in TV, what are they reading in magazines etc. The signs and symptoms of great content is that
  • Informative and factual.
  • Borrows from book formats liberally: Headings, Block Quotes, Sections.
  • Incorporates brevity.
  • Integrates images that resonate with the visitor.
  • It’s conversational and relates to your audience. (Linked Media Group, 2014)
Another method of engaging the reader is through “content curation”. Content curation requires carefully selecting specific types of content manually; human element is necessary. “Curation” is best when combined with one’s own content. Content marketing is a repetitive process. One has to watch the market and fine-tune the content strategy accordingly.
  Source: (Randal Dobbs of Framework Marketing, 2015)


It is now dawning on the marketers that traditional marketing is giving way to newer ones. This is because, the customers have finally become the kings. They are now in greater control than they used to be. If they chose not to pay attention to you, they won’t. It is only by sharing something that is interesting and valuable information that one may get their attention. This, however, does not mean that the traditional marketing is dead. The idea is that one cannot draw a line between traditional and modern marketing methods nor are they exclusive. In fact, the best of the marketing strategies would combine both.
Brafton. (n.d.). Content Marketing. Retrieved April 04, 2015, from Brafton Web site:
Content Marketing Institute. (n.d.). What is Content Marketing? Retrieved April 04, 2015, from Content Marketing Institute Web site:
Linked Media Group. (2014, January 17). Top 25 Content Marketing Platforms for Content Syndication . Retrieved April 06, 2015, from Linked Media Group Web site:
Pulizzi, J. (n.d.). The 7 Business Goals of Content Marketing: Inbound Marketing Isn’t Enough. Retrieved April 06, 2015, from Content Marketing Institute Web site:
Quicksprout. (n.d.). The Advanced Guide to Content Marketing. Retrieved April 06, 2015, from Quicksprout Web site:

[3] (Pulizzi)