Editor’s note: Explaining nội dung marketing is a never-ending challenge. That’s why we’re bringing baông chồng this post from last year with some updated examples.

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The concept of nội dung marketing has been around for hundreds of years (see an example from 1672), and the discipline has gained incredible popularity since 2010, according to Google Trends.


But, when CMI launched its e-book that answers common content sale questions, it learned many readers are just getting started. For those in that category – or those who encounter misperceptions or misunderstanding about what nội dung sale is – I offer a quiông chồng rundown for easy reference.

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Content sale as your family would understand

When people ask what you bởi, does your response receive a quizzical look? “So, what is it exactly that you bởi,” they ask after you explain your job.

My husbvà was in this camp until he told me about a newsletter that covers trends affecting financial markets. He looks forward to lớn receiving it each day. He explained that the newsletters didn’t have sầu anything lớn vì chưng with the funds the broker was selling, but the information was solid và valuable – and it was useful research for the investments he makes.

“That’s nội dung sale,” I explained. It was an aha moment for my husband’s understanding of nội dung marketing – content kinh doanh is educational but is not about the products the company sells. The vendor offers such good information that you become loyal to lớn the br&.

#Contentsale is educational. It’s not about the products the company sells, says
MicheleLinn. Cliông chồng To Tweet

I can tóm tắt another example that is cthua thảm lớn my daughter’s heart. American Girl uses content khổng lồ transsize something that is a commodity – a doll.

American Girl has so much nội dung – và so many content experiences – for its audience that it’s truly staggering. For instance, it offers:

While all the ways American Girl connects to lớn its audience are too numerous khổng lồ cover in this one post, I’m particularly amazed by its print publications. For instance, The Care và Keeping of You is a book all about growing up for girls. It ranks second in its category (and 71st most popular aao ước all books on Amazon). It’s from a brvà selling dolls – but the subject has nothing to lớn vì with the dolls.


In short, American Girl’s content kinh doanh focuses on how a child can interact with the doll or things that are important lớn this demographic.

For parents, think about BabyCenter. When I was pregnant & then raising my older daughter, I considered BabyCenter khổng lồ be required reading. It’s a perfect example of content marketing. According to lớn its trang web, it is the No. 1 pregnancy and parenting digital destination, và eight in 10 new and expectant moms online use BabyCenter each month. The site is owned by Johnson & Johnson, which sells products for babies.

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Content sale explained khổng lồ marketers

Hopefully, those examples make it clear that content marketing isn’t about the br&, your products, or your services. It’s about your audience. What vì chưng they care about?

#Contentsale is about your audience. What vì they care about?
MicheleLinn Click To Tweet

And, more importantly, how can you be the one to provide something no one else is, which in turn elevates your br& from a commodity to something people embrace?

Pull-A-Part, a U.S. chain of DIY auto-recycling yards, has created a one-of-a-kind Clip series, including this one on how lớn convert an undrivable vehicle inlớn a pickup worthy of a tailgate.


Content sale is different than traditional product-kinh doanh efforts like sales collateral & other product-specific info. Content marketing includes things lượt thích educational articles, e-books, videos, entertainment, and webinars that answer specific questions people have & provide them with something they can’t get elsewhere. It’s the best way to lớn turn your sản phẩm, no matter how comtháng, inlớn something that is not lượt thích everyone else’s.

By becoming a credible, authoritative resource on topics that matter lớn potential customers, your business is more likely to get discovered by the right audience và earn their loyalty and trust – which, in turn, enables your brand to lớn strengthen its customer relationships, grow an active sầu và engaged subscriber base, and even increase its profits.


How marketers find success with content marketing

While you may be nodding your head at this point và thinking, “Yeah, this is something I want to lớn bởi vì,” you certainly shouldn’t adopt nội dung sale because it’s the “in” thing khổng lồ vày.

Content sale takes a lot of work, persistence, và patience – it’s not for everyone. But, it can be an igiảm giá khuyến mãi approach if you truly want to provide a better experience for your customers while making a positive sầu impact on the business in terms of its perception và its bottom line.

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#Contentkinh doanh takes a lot of work, persistence, và patience – it’s not for everyone, says
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Here are the main reasons why marketers choose to lớn put in the effort for nội dung kinh doanh.

Answering your audience’s questions is a key way khổng lồ be at the top of tìm kiếm results, says
MicheleLinn. #SEO Cliông chồng To Tweet

To be found by the right people (potential customers)

People are asking questions and looking for information via tìm kiếm engines lượt thích Google, và you want your business to lớn be at the top of the tìm kiếm results. Answering people’s questions via blog posts, e-books, videos, và other content assets is a key way to make this happen. Of course, showing up is only the first step, but it’s essential if you want khổng lồ reap the benefits of content sale.

EXAMPLE: Outdoor retailer REI does a great job of answering questions & assisting its audience through nội dung. On its YouTube channel, it offers dozens of videos depending on its audience’s interests & needs, often answering comtháng questions. Whether it’s a backpacker who wants khổng lồ know how khổng lồ use a compass or a cycdanh mục who needs lớn know how to lớn fix a bicycle chain, REI provides the answers.

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To build an interested và engaged audience

Your content is only as valuable as its ability to attract audience members & compel them to engage with your business on an ongoing basis — as subscribers, customers, evangelists, or, ideally, all three. Once you have sầu an addressable audience, your nội dung efforts will help increase sales, gather valuable customer insights, and activate your most ardent followers as brvà advocates.

EXAMPLE: Insurance company Liberty Mutual built a content platsize – Master This – dedicated to lớn helping people solve sầu home page & life challenges – to build skills and worry less, as the br& describes it. While Liberty Mutual’s ultimate purpose is khổng lồ drive sầu insurance sales, the content focuses not on insurance products but on information the audience will find educational & helpful. It also has expanded access to the educational content by partnering with HowStuffWorks and Amazon’s Alexa lớn provide educational content through the voice-activated device.


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To acquire new customers

Of course, generating revenue is a key goal for many marketers, & content marketing can be a powerful driver. When you build an audience that trusts you and wants lớn hear from you, they are more likely khổng lồ purchase your products. For instance, CXiaoMI subscribers are more likely khổng lồ take advantage of CXiaoMI paid offerings such as attending Content Marketing World than non-subscribers.

When you build an audience that trusts you, they are more likely to lớn purchase your products.
MicheleLinn Cliông chồng To Tweet

EXAMPLE: TD Ameritrade produces its print and digital magazine, thinkMoney, for active customers – those who can make trades as often as hundreds of times in a day. In its early days, TDA put the program under Review to determine whether it was worth continuing to lớn spover money on the magazine. The leaders persevered and, after approximately two years, received confirmation of its value: Subscribers & readers of the magazine traded five times more than non-subscribers. Simply put, those who subscribed to this magazine became better customers for TD Ameritrade.


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To build increased revenue with existing customers

Another reason organizations use content sale is to lớn create more loyal customers, which has the potential to increase sales through cross-selling or up-selling. In some cases, the brvà can monetize content itself.

EXAMPLE: Sainsbury magazine is the top cooking magazine in the United Kingdom, with 3 million paid subscribers — a nội dung kinh doanh effort that pays for itself. But, what’s even more remarkable is that, according to lớn a năm ngoái survey conducted by the company, eight of 10 readers have bought a sản phẩm from Sainsbury’s after reading about it in the magazine.


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To reallocate or reduce marketing costs

Organizations also use nội dung kinh doanh because they can see similar — or better — results when compared lớn a “traditional” sale program.

EXAMPLE: Jyske Bank is a large Danish bank that now also functions as a media company. The company started using nội dung marketing to lớn get better results than its high-cost sponsorship marketing. It created Jyskengân hàng.tv, which produces amazing financial programming, as well as compelling stories the ngân hàng believes are relevant to lớn its core audience of younger consumers and small enterprises.

Today, Jyske works with businesses interested in leveraging its media expertise: Instead of laying out cash khổng lồ tư vấn outside opportunities, Jyske receives truyền thông media partnership proposals from other organizations — an attractive sầu option made possible by the credibility & reach the bank’s content program has helped it to lớn build.

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Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute


Author: Michele Linn

Michele Linn is the co-founder và chief strategy officer of Mantis Retìm kiếm, a consultancy focused on helping brands create và amplify original retìm kiếm they can use in their sale. Before starting Mantis, Michele was head of editorial at Content Marketing Institute, where she led the company"s strategic editorial direction, co-developed its annual retìm kiếm studies, wrote hundreds of articles, spoke at industry events & was instrumental in building the platform to 200,000 subscribers. In 2015, she was named one of Folio"s Top Women in Media (Corporate Visionary). You can follow her on Twitter at