Online content marketing is the next digital media revolution. The first was the Google search revolution, allowing the public to use the internet for all their needs, wants, and desires. Then came the introduction and rapid expansion of social media networks, allowing those users to connect and share online content with their friends, fans, and followers. Content marketing is a combination of the two, and health care and medical providers can strategically use it for both their and their patients benefit.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing involves content – the creation of original content or the use of content for the benefit of an audience – in addition to marketing – getting people to discover and engage with that content.
Although the two are mutually exclusive, one cannot exist without the other in this strategy. A company cannot merely create a website, write in some content, and wait for the success to show up. Instead, they must actively promote and share their content on appropriate social media platforms. As always, there’s a catch – the promotion needs to be subtle and inviting. Rather than pushing content on a consumer, make it so the content pulls them in and allows them to discover it for themselves.
Why does content marketing work?
Currently, advertisers are investing a lot of money on digital ads without realizing much more branding power content marketing has than the typical online banner ad. No one remembers their favorite banner ad like they do their favorite TV commercial – regardless of how pretty or sparkly it is. Why? Because people connect with stories. Although a picture may be worth a thousand words, a story can never be told in a banner.
Emotion and connection are what draw the consumer in to content marketing. It’s an effective branding strategy that enables brands to share their stories with their consumers in their own words. The story can be written and shared in several different ways, such as online articles, blogs plots, videos, reviews, or eBooks. Online marketing doesn’t have to cost a fortune, it can be low-cost (or in some cases like social media, free) or it can be professionally produced, depending on the preferences of the business investing.
There’s one important thing to keep in mind when considering online marketing: online marketing is NOT the same thing as an advertisement. It’s real, personal, interesting content that delivers something of value to the consumer that can makes them want to become a potential payment.
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