What are the 4Ps of marketing? You probably already know the answer, but do you know how they apply to content marketing?
As a content creator, understanding how the 4Ps of marketing apply to content marketing can give your content that much-needed boost. It’s not enough to churn out blog post after blog post and hope people start picking up what you’re putting down. For your content to attract attention, you need to offer a valuable product in the right place, at the right price with effective promotion.
Most people who start blogs, podcasts or YouTube channels use these intangible products to support sales of a different product. Producing content consistently might seem like a drag sometimes but, if you do it right, you can earn positive publicity for your main products.
What's on this page?
So, how do the 4Ps of marketing apply to content marketing?
If you think about your content as the product you’re selling, then it’s easy to apply these principles to your content marketing. Let’s address them one by one.
Does it meet a need?
In order for your content to attract attention, it must meet your audience’s needs. Think about it for a moment. Why do people watch your videos or read your blog posts? Most people seek content out because it’s either informative or entertaining. Does your content meet that criteria?
If you don’t already know the type of content your audience needs, a customer survey can help you figure this out. Once you understand what your audience needs, you will be in a better position to create valuable content.
Does it stand out?
Offering information which your audience can’t find anywhere else will help you position your brand as a thought leader and earn trust from your audience.
Is it attractive?
Usually, when we talk about the “Product”, we also consider the packaging and branding of your product. Not sure how this applies to content? That’s easy! If your content is engaging, and appealing to look at, then you’ve nailed packaging and branding.
When you sell someone a product, you usually get money in return, right? When it comes to content, the concept of price is similar. As a thought leader, you can offer your expertise in return for something of value to your brand.
For example, you can offer an ebook in return for email addresses. Email addresses are valuable because they help you build an audience of people you can market your main product to.
Alternatively, you can offer personalized one-on-one tutorials on using your software in return for feedback. This feedback would be helpful in improving your software.
It doesn’t cost much for someone to spend a few moments filling in an email address or a feedback form. For this reason, your audience might see these as a reasonable price to pay for your product.
Producing valuable content on a consistent schedule takes time and energy. It requires resources – such as the domain for hosting your blog and the people to produce this engaging content.
Content marketing when done right results in a win-win situation for both you and your customers. When your customers give you their email addresses they benefit from expert advice in your industry.
Likewise, customers who trust you as an industry expert are more likely to buy your main product. Your return on investment is therefore the potential increase in the sales of this product.
If you develop a good product, customers will come, right? Not quite. In addition to having a good product at just the right price, you need to place it where people will see it.
During my undergraduate years, I ran a blog which I was very dedicated to. However, I also wanted to remain anonymous, so I didn’t share it with friends or family. As a result, I only had three loyal readers. I wound up giving up and abandoning it because the return on investment didn’t match the effort I was putting in.
If you create quality content but don’t put it where your audience hangs out, don’t expect people to come beating your door down for this content. Taking your content to your audience is much easier than hoping they will stumble upon it.
If I’d applied the concept of “Place” from the 4Ps of marketing to my blog, I would’ve had more than three readers. Once you’ve produced your content, you should use your owned media channels to share this content. Since you have control of these channels, it’ll cost you nothing to use them.
In order to get the “Place” right, you need to first find out where your audience spends their time. If they hang out on social media, then it makes sense to share your content here.
In order to give my dead blog to a happy ending, I should’ve shared it on social media and mastered SEO writing. Writing for SEO would’ve helped my blog rank higher on Google whenever people searched for topics I’d written about.
Are you uncertain about where to start when it comes to writing for SEO? Before you start writing your blog post, you need to choose a keyword that is related to what you’re writing about and one that will also rank highly. This will help Google categorize your article correctly and recommend it to people when they search for that keyword or related keywords.
How to Apply ‘Place’ from the 4Ps of marketing to content marketing
Let’s assume I have a blog about gardening. I want to write a guide on how to mow your lawn the right way. I’m assuming the readers I want to reach will type the following keyword into the Google search bar: “How to mow a lawn.”
I can assume that enough people will be searching using this keyword to guarantee traffic to my blog. In this case, I would just start writing my blog post using “how to mow a lawn” as my keyword.
Alternatively, I can use an SEO tool like Google Trends to find out how often people are searching “how to mow a lawn” right now. This can help me determine how popular this blog post is likely to be when I publish it. What would this look like?
As Google Trends search for “how to mow a lawn” shows that this search term was most popular in May. Since the interest in this topic is low now, it wouldn’t make sense to write this article at this point in time. That’s expected since no American in their right mind tries to mow their lawn in the winter.
Google Trends also shows you important information, including the popularity of your keyword by region and related searches which you can use as a keyword.
Let’s compare the popularity of this keyword with a different one – “the best indoor plants.”
It’s easy to assume since people aren’t mowing their lawns they might be more interested in “the best indoor plants.” However, as you can see above, this keyword isn’t performing very well either.
Let’s try another keyword search – “potted plants.”
As shown above, this keyword is performing significantly better than the first two in December. If I was to choose between the three keywords for my blog post, I would definitely go with “potted plants.”
The related queries on the bottom right can also help me write a more focused article using the same keyword. For example, I can write about “how to plant potted plants.”
While comparing keywords can become time-consuming, the benefit of using Google Trends is that it’s free. If you have a bigger budget, tools like Ahrefs Keyword Generator can suggest alternative keywords based on the one you’re considering. Let’s use “potted plants.”
As you can see above, the Keyword Generator has suggested related keywords with their keyword difficulty. The higher the difficulty, the more backlinks you need to rank among the top 10 Google results when someone searches for your keyword.
While keywords with lower keyword difficulty are easier to rank for on Google immediately, you shouldn’t shy away from keywords with high keyword difficulty. Writing an article with “potted plants” as your keyword early on will give you time to earn backlinks before your competitors. Keywords with higher keyword density can also attract more backlinks if you use them the right way.
As you can see above, past “artificial potted plants” the keyword density isn’t indicated. This is because we’re using the free version of the Keyword Generator. To access a more comprehensive list, you have to pay for this tool.
Once you’ve chosen a keyword, good SEO writing tools makes it easy to write an article that is properly tailored for SEO.
The last element of the 4Ps of marketing is ‘Promotion’. This includes paid media like advertisements and sponsored placements. Paying for an advertisement every now and then can help supplement organic traffic to your content.
As you can see, applying the 4Ps of marketing to your content can be a game-changer. If you want your content to earn the traffic it deserves, keep these elements in mind.