Some think that content marketing is all about creating the sort of content that’s relevant and resonant enough to get shared across social media.

And when you look at the sort of content that gets shared across social media, it’s easy to spot a pattern.

People only seem to engage with a few key themes, such as travel, technology, food, drink, and fashion. Right now, it’s all about Pokemon Go..

So when you’re working with a product or a business that isn’t so dazzling or glamorous, or fun as hunting little pocket monsters, it’s all too easy to conclude that content marketing isn’t for you. or for your brand.

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However, this conclusion is based on a general misunderstanding of just what content marketing is. It’s not simply a case of developing engaging content in the hope that it gets shared. Instead, content marketing has been broadly defined as follows:

Content marketing is the marketing and business process for 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.

That emphasis is mine. Content marketing isn’t simply about creating the sort of content that gets shared. Because what’s the point of getting your content shared if it’s not being shared by the right people? And what’s the point of getting your content shared if it doesn’t result in a return on your investment – that is, a lead, or a sale?

Any business can define their target customer. Content marketing is all about creating content that resonates with the needs of these clearly-defined target customers at every point of the buying process. It involves mapping the customer journey and strategically creating content to match each stage:

  • Awareness of need
  • Consumer research
  • Analysis and comparison
  • Purchase
  • Loyalty

As a result, it’s possible to develop a profitable content marketing strategy no matter what the nature of your business is.

So what might content marketing look like for a business that isn’t dealing with something as glamorous as travel or technology?

By way of example, let’s take a look at a company that specialises in bollards and street furniture.

It’s fair to say that bollards and street furniture are unlikely to generate much conversation on social media. So instead, they have carefully created content to match each stage of the sales funnel:

Content marketing is much more complicated than simply creating content for the sake of it before casting it to the winds of social media and hoping for the best. It’s all about strategically creating content to match customer needs and thought patterns at each stage of the buying cycle.

So whether you specialise in benches or bollards, t-shirts or tax returns, travel or topiary, content marketing is truly for everyone.