Trends in digital technology are expanding the use of marketing methods beyond the strategies previously embraced, now referred to as “traditional marketing.” Although traditional marketing incorporates many forms of advertising and marketing, it often falls under the categories of print, broadcast, direct mail, or telemarketing. These “push” marketing channels can still be very effective, and are still utilized by many companies, however they’re no longer sufficient to drive your brand’s marketing strategy in the digital age.As consumer behavior trends have illustrated, many traditional marketing tactics are being brushed aside by metaphorical shields strapped to the hands of today’s consumers. As efforts such as television commercials, magazine advertising, and online banners or buttons continually ricochet off these shields, an alternative methodology has been embraced by many organizations to reach their audiences. Enter content marketing.Content MarketingSure you may have heard this before, but what is “content” anyway? Used in a digital marketing context, content can be virtually any form of written, auditory, or visual media (e.g. blogs, ebooks, whitepapers, social posts, webcasts, videos, emails, and more). Effective content marketing often reflects an organization’s goals while still providing effective solutions for its target audience.The purpose of content marketing is to attract and retain customers by consistently creating and optimizing relevant and valuable content. The intention is to educate your target audience with useful information that answers their questions before they’ve had the chance to ask them.Of course, this requires a significant allocation of time and resources towards market research and strategic content creation. With that said, organizations with limited resources often find it extremely difficult to compete with the sheer volume of online content produced by their better-funded peers. If your company falls into this category, the name of the game is quality, not quantity. Value and RelevanceA good place to start is to create a well-defined content strategy that is laser-focused on resolving the wants and needs of your target audience. Value and relevance are two key factors. To survive and thrive in an increasingly competitive online marketing environment, your brand needs to produce useful content that solves problems and adds value to the daily lives of your prospects and customers. The philosophy behind this is simple: by creating content that helps your target audience, you’re also helping yourself.Look at it this way, if you successfully and consistently create both valuable and relevant content, your audience is likely to indulge. By giving potential customers the opportunity to learn and cultivate new ways of thinking you are providing the context for them to recognize the benefits of your brand’s products and services; this kind of brand affinity increases the likelihood of frictionless sales.Still not sold on content marketing? Check out our Integrated Digital Marketing Blueprint Guide: Convery and Promote to see how content marketing fits into an overall integrated digital marketing strategy. You’ll have light bulbs appearing over your head in no time.