Brian Clark, the founder of Copyblogger, defined Content Marketing as the process of ‘creating and sharing valuable free content to attract and convert prospects into customers, and customers into repeat buyers.’ Brian captured the gist of Content Marketing within a few words. Starting from this definition, I can see that the whole process of Content Marketing involves a number of factors that start with ‘C’. Content Marketing can easily be summarized in 5 Cs: 4 actions i.e. Creating, Curating, Connecting and Converting around one central factor- Community.
The first thing you need to start content marketing with is definitely, none other than Content itself. And the content needs to be specifically tailored towards your intended audience a.k.a the community. Before start creating your content, you need to understand your audience. You need to be aware of what type of content is appropriate to meet their demand and how the contents need to be delivered and on what platform. In short, you need to have a content strategy before start creating content.
The web has turned into a large museum and the content marketer needs to be as efficient in curating as in creating contents. Curating not only ensures the regular delivery of contents for your audience, it also connects you with other content creators. I always find BrainPickings as an ideal example of how curating works.
The content itself has no value without any audience. The internet is already flooded with contents (most of which are absolute crap) and your content has to cut through all that chaos to reach your intended audience. In fact the process is two-way. Your audience is also looking for content that is relevant and useful to them. You have to make things available to be found. That’s why it is ‘connect’, not communicate.
In the definition, Clark mentioned that content has two purposes- attract people and convert prospects into customers. Since, it is ‘marketing’, conversion is the real point here. First, your content needs to be useful and captivating so that the audience enjoy it and share it with others. Secondly, your content also has to be persuasive to motivate the audience to buy your product or service.
The magical fifth element of the content marketing cycle is the Community. It is the elixir that gives life to your business. It is the essence of everything we know as content marketing. You are necessarily creating and curating contents due to one reason only- so that a community can grow around your delivered content.
And this is the most basic understanding all content marketers should be aware of- content attracts community and community grows around content.