How to Make Content Marketing Work for Your Brand in 2014!

How to be an entrepreneur and not an opportunity seeker

Is content marketing a culture in your company right now? Do you have a specific model for your marketing content?

Now, if your business is not using content marketing, you’re light years behind your competition!

Though using content for marketing by businesses is as old as marketing itself, in the recent past, the term “content marketing” has gained traction among online marketers. It is unfortunate however; that many businesses are not getting the commensurate returns from their investments as far as content marketing is concerned.

In this article I want to draw your attention to the different content marketing models that are helping many brands today. I hope that when you know these different models will help you better plan your strategy based on what you want to achieve.

The 4 Content Marketing Models

Model #1: Brand Awareness

Brand awareness has always been one of the objectives of marketing. Billboard and television ads fall into this category of marketing. With the popularity of content marketing in recent times, many brands now use their marketing content to drive brand awareness. Using different types of content, these brands are not concerned with lead generation but how much traffic they are generating and also the quality of links from other sites.

Recommended: Your Killer Content Might Be Sabotaging Your Content Marketing!

Model #2: Projecting Thought Leadership

Another model being used by many brands is using their marketing content to project thought leadership. For these brands it is not about generating traffic but generating the right type of traffic. And the way they do this is by influencing their target audience through presenting their company ideas on issues that has to do with the industry.

Unfortunately, not many brands wants to use this model because of the expertise and in-depth research involved.

Model #3: Industry News

This is yet another model being used by some brands. In this model the brand publishes industry news with the intention of getting the attention of mainstream journalists or other online publications.

For these brands it’s not just about boosting traffic nor is it about generating leads. Most times, they simply look forward to influencing other websites, blogs and journalists with their stories as these are picked up and used these people. When this happens, there is a boost in visibility for these businesses.

One classic example of a brand using this model of content marketing is Microsoft with its Stories blog. Microsoft has been able to use this blog to greatly impact the industry.

Model #4: Lead Generation

This is the content marketing model that is common to many brands right now. The primary purpose of this model is to generate leads which are then passed on to sales with the mind of converting them into customers.

One typical example of a brand using this model is HubSpot – a software company that pioneered the concept of inbound marketing. Preaching the “superiority” of inbound content-based marketing over traditional outbound marketing techniques, HubSpot creates every piece of content with the mind of generating leads. To achieve this, HubSpot implements different type of call-to-action on every content published.

With the success of HubSpot in this area, many businesses are now focusing more on this model.

Recommended: Inbound Marketing Misconceptions Uveiled!

So, Which Should You Use?

If you are familiar with the concept of inbound marketing you will agree that the above classification is not in any way fixed. Many brands are actually using a combination of two or more of these models. Depending on what your needs or objectives are therefore, you can either use one or more of these models.

The purpose of this classification as already pointed out is to help you understand these different models so that you can easily determine which to focus on based on your desired results.

Over to you:  Which content marketing model are you presently using? Share your views on the different models in your comments below.