If you’ve paid any attention to the business side of the internet, you’ve probably heard the term “content marketing” thrown around quite a bit.
It’s likely you’ve heard businesses rave about the benefits of content marketing, including setting up these brands as leaders in their industries while also building up an audience of dedicated fans and potential customers.
But if you’re still unsure about what content marketing is, or how you as a creator can use it to make some money, you’re in luck. In this article, we’ll go over everything you need to know to get started with this popular method of marketing to grow your own business and income.
What Is Content Marketing?
According to the Content Marketing Institute, this form of marketing is defined as the following: Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
In other words, content marketing is a way of building up your audience through high-quality content creation, which makes them more likely to become loyal to your brand, purchase from you and spread the word about what you’re doing.
As a YouTuber, this process should sound highly familiar, as it’s what you do every time you post a new video to your channel: build a loyal audience of brand advocates. In fact, making video content is often considered a subcategory of content marketing, right alongside other formats like blog posts, case studies and infographics.
What Isn’t Content Marketing?
While content marketing can encapsulate other methods of marketing like social media and video, it’s primary goal isn’t to pitch products or services to your audience. This means content marketing is not in any way like traditional advertising. Content marketing shouldn’t look like commercials, for example, which more often than not try to convince consumers to buy a product or service that may not even be right for them.
CONTENT MARKETING FOCUSES ON DEVELOPING GREAT ORIGINAL CONTENT THAT DRAWS IN ORGANIC VIEWS.
Instead, content marketing educates and informs audiences so they become more knowledgeable about your industry or business. It focuses on developing great original content that draws in organic views and responses and seeks to build an extended relationship with an audience. Of course, content marketing involves a lot of work and takes longer to show tangible — and financial — results than advertising might, but knowing you’re creating brand loyalty and earning your audience’s trust means you’re setting up your business for long-term success.
How Can Creators Make Money with Content Marketing?
Fortunately for vloggers and video creators such as yourself, making money through content marketing is well within your reach. You’re already familiar with how to make video content, a skill many businesses don’t have, so you have the advantage here. You just need to know how to leverage your video knowledge to create effective content marketing.
For starters, you can use YouTube as a marketing platform for your main business, if you aren’t already doing so. Let’s say you’re a vlogger who has yet to earn money from anything outside of advertising revenue; launch a product or service and simply keep using your channel as an outlet to educate your audience about your area of expertise. Every once in a while, drop links to your product or service in descriptions, annotations or even directly in your video content so curious fans know where to go to buy from you.
A good example of a creator using YouTube to market a business is Jared Polin aka FroKnowsPhoto. While Jared boasts over 630,000 subscribers who help him bring in some ad revenue, the photographer and videographer once told the press he also makes money from the video and photography guides, merchandise and products he sells on his website, as well as from brand deals and sponsorships. He credited YouTube for giving him “the ability to reach all the people I’ve reached” — essentially, YouTube is his marketing channel.
You can also make money through content marketing by finding clients who need help creating video content. As noted above, many businesses don’t understand how to create videos that attract viewers and build a loyal fan base. Use your knowledge of online video to help these types of clients develop visual content for their own businesses, and charge them for your services. The more success these brands see, the more likely you are to have opportunities to create video content for other and possibly even larger businesses.
It’s important to note that selling your video content services is not the same thing as creating a sponsored or branded video. In those cases, a company is paying you to create content promoting their products or services, but in that role you’re just a creator. In order to make money developing content for other businesses, you need to view yourself as a professional service provider — one who is still a creator at heart but who’s also willing to invest the time and effort into understanding your client’s audience, what type of content resonates with them, etc. With this mentality, you’ll be able to make — and charge for — truly compelling video content for various clients.
To Wrap Up
Content marketing is one of the best ways to build a loyal fan base, and using video as part of your content marketing strategy will only help strengthen the connection and trust between you and your audience, or between your clients and their audiences. You already have the skills and knowledge to succeed with this method and grow your business, so what are you waiting for? Go start making great content audiences can’t wait to watch.