What is content marketing?


Building trust and brand loyalty through providing information consumers want to read is what content marketing is all about.


By providing the right, useful information, you will be building brand loyalty. Then when your loyal brand follows, who are reading and keeping up with your content, are ready to make a purchase, they will choose your company because they trust your company. 


When your web pages contain high-quality content that can solve your customer's questions, problems, and issues, you are doing them a service. You're providing content they want to read. They are finding what they want. That is the propose of content marketing.


Content marketing is not advertising.


Content marketing is not about selling, although you could make future sales once the consumers begin to trust your brand and the information you are providing.


Don't sell to your consumers or searchers. They want information. Selling will make your customers turn away and go elsewhere to find the information they so desperately need.


The content you put on your web page should NOT:

  • Be Advertising

  • Be a print brochure adapted for your website.

Your site should contain information people are searching for at each stage of the sales funnel. The stages of the sales funnel are Awareness, Inform, Decision, and Action.


Leave out the sales pitch.


Your customers don't want a sales pitch when they are researching a subject or topic. 


Content marketing is creating sustainable brand loyalty. But you need to understand it does not happen overnight. Building brand loyalty through information is a reliable way to build your company because it keeps growing and expanding your customer base all the time, 24/7, 365 days a year.


When you create content that customers are looking for, you are building trust with your audience, then your audience will develop and expand over time.


Use fresh content that is informational, problem-solving, and helpful.


Think about it, the last time you "Googled" something, you were looking for information. Am I right? You wanted to know the best answer on how to do something. You didn't even know there were products or services out there to solve the issues that concerned you. You typed in a few words or even a full question into a search engine to find an answer. I bet you didn't stop at any site that had sales pitches.


Content marketing is about audience engagement.


According to the Content Marketing Institute:


"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."   – Content Marketing Institute


Pitching your products and service is old school advertising that may still have some value elsewhere but not on your website. Marketing online today is about supplying relevant, useful information that your customers want to solve the issues they have right now.


Make sure to focus on SEO at the beginning.


SEO professionals and content creators should work together. Both are key to creating the right content that can be found by real people and search engines. Please, bring the SEO professional to the table at the beginning of the content project. Their research is essential to success. Bringing them in at the end may mean rewriting the content because many SEO issues weren't addressed.


Your SEO professional will:


  • Be searching for the best keyword phrases to use. 

  • Be making sure keywords are in all the right places, h1, page title, URLs, etc.

  • Be checking all the other ranking factors that could impact your content.

  • Be working on backlinks, which only happen if your content is exceptional and linkable.

You must reach out to a Search Engine Optimization Professional at the beginning of content marketing and content creation for the most efficient outcome. Optimization, in the beginning, saves time by reducing copy edits.


On-page SEO and Content Marketing.


Content marketing uses on-page SEO to build a better web page that has everything you need to help the search engines find and index your content. FYI, the search engines like in-depth, high-quality content with the on-page SEO applied adequately. Your SEO professional can help you with getting it right for search engines.


Sharing your content is off-page SEO.


Through social shares, your content marketing can reach many more people who are interested in the content you are providing. Sharing on social media is one form of off-page SEO. Social shares will boost visits to your website and maybe created backlinks to your site. Backlinks are another indicator to search engines that your site is the trusted authority on the subject.


Another form of off-page SEO is Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ads. These ads use your keyword phrases to attract people to your content. PPC ads can be expensive, but if your content is what people are looking for, it will help you build your audience.


Use caution when using PPC, it can be costly if you do not understand the process. You may want to contact a PPC professional before you start running ads to help you understand the bidding process that is involved with PPC ads.


Marketing Funnels and Flywheels.


Your content marketing strategy should include content for each stage of the marketing funnel.


​A marketing funnel has different stages a customer will be going through in the research for an idea, a problem, or an issue. Your customers will be at various steps in the marketing funnel. You will need content for every stage of the marketing funnel.

There are five steps to the marketing funnel:


  1. Awareness

  2. Opinion

  3. Consideration

  4. Preference

  5. Purchase


If you would like to learn more about marketing funnels, here is an excellent resource.

Another source for information about marketing funnels is ExpressText's article called Marketing funnel – what is it and how does it work?

Marketing professionals also use the flywheel funnel method to measure the stages of their potential clients.


The three stages of a flywheel funnel are:

  1. Attract

  2. Engage

  3. Delight


If you would like to learn more about a flywheel, here is an excellent resource.
The flywheel has gained popularity in recent years because of its simplicity. 


It is essential to have content on your website for each stage of whichever funnel you choose.




The four most important ideas to understand about content marketing are:


  1. Solve the problems and issues your customers are having through your content.

  2. Use your customer's words in your content; an SEO Professional will research the best keyword phrases to use.

  3. Both teams, SEO Professional and Content Creatives need to work together to do the best job possible.

  4. Make sure you provide content for each stage of the marketing funnel or flywheel.


If you are looking for a content creator or web designer, please let me know, because I know people.


Content Marketing – A Short History.


Is content marketing new?

The short answer is no.


Content Marketing is nothing new. Businesses have been providing content since the invention of the Gutenberg press in 1440. The invention of the printing press made it much easier to duplicate content for distribution. Before the printing press, the content was reproduced by hand and was very labor-intensive.


Fast forward a few years to the mid 19th century, consumer-driven content was being developed by forward-thinking companies like John Deere. John Deere figured out early on that content can build relationships with their customers who are interested in farming. John Deere was able to make thousands of new connections with these consumers.


When you look at John Deere, you will find a company that became the authority in farming methods through their magazine The Furrow, developed and published in 1885. This magazine provided information and advice for farmers who wanted to improve the functionality of their farms.


The John Deere brand became a go-to brand for current and expert information. The Furrow was a success and demand for the publication grew alongside the growth of the brand. The Furrow is still in print and online today. It is a beautiful publication that is still attracting new audiences today.


The Furrow did more than just advertise John Deere products and services, the company built trust with its readers by providing helpful farming information and expert advice on how to build a better farm.


Content marketing today is about providing helpful information and expert advice. The big change is how the information is provided. The Furrow was and is a print magazine. The one thing that has changed is the information is now published in the modern medium of the World Wide Web.


The concept of The Furrow magazine has been proven a success. Give the people the information and expert advice they want to read, that can help them solve their problems, and you have a content marketing idea that works. If worked so well that other companies notice and start producing their own publications to build their brands with content marketing.


Today content marketing is still working and building brands. If you keep up with Google, you will see that they promote the same idea used in The Furrow magazine. Give the people information to solve their problems and provide expert advice.


Direct advertising does not get the attention it once did. People don’t want to be sold products and services they want to find information that is helpful. On the internet today you need to provide problem-solving information that people are searching to find. If you follow this simple idea your website will succeed.


People don’t need more chatter and noise. What consumers really desire is information, content that will educate, explain a concept, or build on an idea. Advertising is not information in demand.


Sure, once the consumer has found the information that helps them, they may want to know where to buy different products and services. That is when, in the sales funnel process, you provide the information about your products and services but not until after your customers have solved their problem with the content you provide.


A few things to remember:


  • Provide quality content over quantity.

  • Look to history to see what has worked.

  • Research your audience so you understand them and their pain points.

  • If you don’t adapt to the content marketing idea you are missing a great brand building opportunity.


Take the leap and provide the information your customers want. Your content marketing efforts will pay off if you are patient.


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