Acting like a publisher can make brands more respected, engaging and searchable online. Find out how content marketing could help your business
Content marketing – the practice of creating and distributing high-value content, instead of just buying advertising space alongside it – has been around for a while. Marketers have long understood the power of an industry-leading white paper or a newspaper advertorial.

This kind of marketing has found fertile new ground on the web, where publishing is relatively simple and information is king. Econsultancy defined content marketing as ‘marketers becoming publishers – owning the media instead of renting it.’

It’s about being generous with useful information – editorial rather than promotional – and positioning your brand as an expert, speaking about things that your audience care about.

Think how many times you’ve used a supermarket recipe site to jot down a few ingredients, only to find yourself visiting one of their branches next time you need to stock up.

This approach is especially helpful in b2b marketing. That’s because the offerings tend to be sophisticated and hard to understand, and a converted sale involves lots of decision-makers and a long lead time.

In this kind of commercial environment, prospects really need to understand how your product meets their needs, speaks to their problems. In a nutshell, they need to know that you understand them.

Content marketing is how you show them. Publish how-to guides and think pieces that prove you know what you’re talking about. Interview industry figures. Curate relevant, interesting content from across the web and position your website as an invaluable portal.

If you need help, try working with a content marketing agency. They can usually generate ideas as well as create the content itself.

Once your prospects recognise you as a provider of expert content, it’s natural that they’ll recognise you as someone they trust, and someone they want to do business with.