Content marketing. What is it?

Content marketing is a technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract a defined target audience with the objective of driving profitable customer action. It is the art of communicating to your customers and prospective customers WITHOUT selling. It’s a way of delivering information that makes your buyer more intelligent.

The purpose of content marketing is to attract and to retain customers by consistently creating relevant content with the intention of changing or enhancing consumer behavior. It is an on-going process that should be integrated into an overall marketing strategy, with a focus on owning media, not just simply renting it.

Inbound marketing. What is it?

Inbound marketing is a data-driven way of seeing what is working in your marketing plan and what is not. There are ways to see if you are doing things properly and if your plan is moving in the right direction. These include:

  1. Set goals and measure performance against them. The only way to see measurable progress is to set a goal–whether it is daily, weekly, monthly, etc.–and see where you are at the end of that time frame. If you aren’t where you need to be, tweak the goal to make it more manageable.
  2. Be notified. Another good way of checking to see if your marketing plan is working is to see the leads it’s generating. You should be getting a notification every time someone fills out a request form or information form on your website. If you aren’t getting notifications, check your settings to make sure those are coming in and you can track your progress.
  3. Track this month versus last month. Check your progress and compare it to last month (or 6 months or a year). The only way to see growth is to visualize it. If your plan is working, there should be an upward trend. If not, something needs fixed.
  4. Get an expert’s perspective. Don’t be afraid to ask someone who knows what they are doing (and are paid to do). He or she can help you tweak what needs tweaking to improve your overall results.
  5. Compare investment to performance. Are you getting what you’re paying for? While most inbound marketing plans work, the level at which they function (and function well) depends on the time and money invested. A minimal investment will garner minimal return, while a fairly hefty investment will garner much, much more in way of return.

Now that you know a little more about content marketing and inbound marketing, how do you fix it if it’s not performing at the level you think it should be? First, identify the weak spots in your plan and implement an ongoing set of adjustments to fix the trouble spots. This could be changing the content or reworking the landing page(s).