The new age of digital advertising is something of a double-edged sword. On one hand, it is a great equalizer, allowing quality brands to occupy the same space whether they are a local boutique or a multinational corporation. On the other hand, it makes it easy to get lost in the clutter online among the other businesses in your category or industry. This is why content marketing can be a great differentiator and help you rise to the top!

Content Marketing is Effective

Marketers hate to admit this, but people hate advertising. They can recognize a sales pitch a mile away, whether it’s in the form of a 30-second television commercial, a direct mail piece, or a web banner. This is where content marketing can come to the rescue. By definition, content marketing is any post that emphasizes a clear benefit, rather than asking for a sale. It can provide useful content to your target audience. It can show off a service project or community initiative that your business undertakes.

Content Marketing Helps You Understand Your Audience

Once you’ve started integrating content marketing into your advertising strategy, you need to be receptive to how your audience reacts towards it. Naturally, you hope that they respond positively and post encouraging comments. If this is the case, monitor interactions, take notes and use that to help build your future strategy. However, if the response is negative, use it as a teachable moment and adjust your marketing plan to get better results.

That sort of information is largely qualitative, meaning it relates to somewhat intangible concepts like how customers perceive your brand or products. You can just as easily gather quantitative information from audience interaction and track your customers’ demographic attributes.

Content Marketing Helps Keep You Competitive

Keep in mind that while content marketing can help you rise above the ocean of advertising noise, it is not such a unique concept that your competitors will be blindsided by it. Chances are, they’re already doing it in their way. If your approach is effective, prepare for them to copy or steal it. On the other hand, it cuts both ways. If their approach is effective, study it. You don’t want to copy them, but you may see an opportunity to appeal to a demo they are ignoring. Take advantage of holes in their strategy without exploiting them unethically.

Using content to market rather than focusing on products or price points will help build affinity between your audience and your brand. Keep these key concepts in mind to use it effectively!