Content marketing is a long-term marketing strategy that leverages valuable and relevant content to draw in and enhance customer buying behaviour and brand loyalty, and it goes far beyond traditional marketing by offering customers something engaging and interesting rather than being 'salesy', according to Kemari Howell, marketing coordinator for Pubsoft.com, in an article for PR Newswire. This article is copyright 2014 The Best Customer Guide.

While a corporate or brand blog is one way to offer relevant, consistent content to your customers, content marketing also goes far beyond blogs. That's not to say that you should skip having a blog, which is a good way to distribute a steady output of sharable information that can help expand your customer base.

But not all content marketing types will work for every business. It's up to you and your team to determine which strategies are cost- and time-effective. There are plenty of options available, and more and more are developing all the time; a few examples of content marketing include, among other options:

  • Infographics
  • Newsletters
  • eBooks
  • Videos
  • Lists
  • How-to's
  • Case studies

A good mix of visual and textual content can expand your outreach and create brand loyalty. Brand loyalty is important, especially today where social media and big data rule. This why content marketing is necessary today.

Once you've created your marketing strategy, there's no shortage of the different types of content that you can integrate into your plan. From infographics and newsletters to eBooks and case studies, marketers face a difficult challenge determining what strategy will work best for their audience. Producing different forms of high quality content that routinely provides good information will help create authority for your brand, which is vital to the success of your business.

Howell suggests that a good mix of visual and textual content can help expand your customer base and create brand loyalty in the following ways:

  1. Customers - New and Old
    Leverage content marketing to help make your customers feel like you know them as much as they know you. Keeping your customers informed throughout the entire buying process will help attract new clients and keep your current clients engaged.
  2. Become the go-to brand in your field
    Continuing to produce relevant content for your audience will establish yourself as the solution provider in your industry.
  3. Put a face and a voice behind your brand
    Give your brand a personal side that allows customers to connect with you before they are even ready to make a purchase or raise their hand. Make yourself approachable through the content that you publish, and dive into what makes your brand unique.
  4. Be Tried and True
    Content marketing is an up-front expense that continues to bring value long after it's been paid for. It offers a strong return on investment that will consistently increase the value of your brand.
  5. Customer Advocates mean Referrals
    Most happy customers have friends that they can refer to your business. Use your content to establish relationships that will help increase sales and bring in customer referrals.