Content marketing is the use of content to promote your brand or service to a specific audience segment. To a newcomer, content marketing can seem like a lot of work. This guide will arm you with adequate knowledge of content marketing.
What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is the creation and dissemination of content to a targeted audience. The objective of content marketing is to consistently educate or persuade the audience about a product or a service.
What Are the Types of Content Marketing?
When people think about content marketing, they mainly think about ‘blogging’. However, there are many different types of content marketing, including:
Blogging is the most popular form of content marketing. Studies have shown that businesses that use blogs get more links to their websites and have more indexed pages for the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). Although blogs allow for a lot of creativity, it is better to blog about topics related to your products and services than to blog about your products and how they will benefit people. There will not be a need to advertise your goods once you have established your brand as a leading industry authority.
Human beings grasp and retain information better when it is presented in a visual form. Though there is a lot of buzz on written content, there is still a demand and an audience for video content. Videos are great for demonstrative and how-to content. Video contents are usually more expensive and time-consuming to create, but they can be placed anywhere, and they are great for visual learners.
Podcasts can bring more awareness to your brand and display more of your brand’s personality. Podcasts are rarely used as the only content type, though they can be very lucrative. They usually serve as a means to shed more light, as an addition. Podcasts are pretty simple to produce and can be distributed very quickly to have a massive reach.
Infographics cover graphical data like charts, graphs, and statistical figures, etc. Infographics are a great way to break down large, complex information into the most crucial points. They can be used as standalone content or as a blog accessory. Although largely underutilized, infographics can be immensely lucrative if kept simple, significant, and impactful.
Over 75% of content marketers use emails to share purposeful, relevant, and valuable content on the brand. This type of content marketing is very lucrative because you have one-on-one conversations with prospects and customers. Studies reveal that Email Marketing delivers the highest Return on Investment (ROI). You can classify your email list into different types, based on industries or intents, to distribute relevant and valuable content to each member of your audience.
Just like it sounds, webinars are online seminars that are created to share the brand’s opinions and perspective on a topic, a product, or something else industry-related. Webinars can be live or recorded. They can also be done in collaboration with other brands to take advantage of the numerous sources of viewers and provide more expertise sources.
This type of content marketing is practical. It describes a real issue that a customer had and explains how a particular product or service solved it. It is beneficial for engaging the audience and sparking a bond between the brand and the customers.
E-books are a great way to distill very long content into simple chapters. One way to create an e-book is to compile similar blog posts that flow together. This is a great way to repurpose your old content. E-books make for amazing freebies as well. So, win-win!
Whitepapers are not used at the beginning of the content marketing process; they are used much later in the funnel to encourage a prospect or customer to make a purchase decision. Whitepapers show the benefits a customer will gain when using a specific product or service from the brand.
Remember webinars? Well, you can easily repurpose webinars or other speaking opportunities into presentations and speaking points with SlideShare or any other presentation software. Presentations can be easily distributed; one way is to embed them into blog posts.
Benefits of Content Marketing
If implemented properly, content marketing can positively influence a purchase decision. Let’s find how content marketing can be a beneficial tool for your businesses.
1. Improves brand visibility
The best way to boost brand recognition is to deliver relevant, visually appealing, and well-researched content across popular public platforms/social media channels. Satisfied customers spread the word about your brand and provide an organic growth in your brand recognition that no paid campaign can match.
2. Develops customer relationships
More than 80% of people find valuable and consistent content from their preferred brand highly satisfying. This impacts their brand loyalty considerably. Providing the right information at the right time to your customers helps develop better customer relationships.
3. Helps build brand authority
SEO ranking is a key factor in building and bolstering brand authority. Content marketers can boost their position on search engines by posting high-quality content across social media channels.
4. Generates traffic
Needless to say, effective content marketing can improve traffic on your website by exposing it to thousands of potential customers. Educational content presented in an interesting way evokes the response of buying/subscribing to the product/service.
5. Lead generation
Once your site or business starts to witness an impressive amount of traffic, it increases lead generation scopes. Your optimized content can highly generate inbound or B2B leads. Content marketing eases customer engagement and directs them down the sales funnel faster.
6. Builds social media following
One of the biggest benefits of content marketing is boosting your social media marketing efforts. An optimized article/log or vlog with useful information attracts a huge number of followers on different social media channels. Content advocates your brand better so it grows your social media following.
7. Sales enablement
The result on your sales chart definitely becomes impressive with more exposure to the right audience, more traffic, and better lead generation. Optimized content with relevant and valuable information convinces targeted customers to initiate a purchasing action. It indeed guarantees a better ROI.
8. Reduces marketing costs
Content marketing is an affordable yet highly influential digital marketing tool we have now. It is cheaper compared to other online marketing options. Furthermore, several SEO companies can offer personalized content marketing services tailored to fit different budgets.
9. Improves conversions
It indeed enhances the conversion rate. Well-researched content with easy-to-understand information already has convinced a customer before she/he contacts you for further clarification. The leads it generates are not quite challenging to convert. Content marketing significantly increases conversion rates.
Content Marketing Examples
These encouraging examples of unique content marketing tactics will help readers understand how they also can benefit from it. These reputed brands with the best marketing campaigns are an inspiration to many startups, taking baby steps in the field. Find what they did in a nutshell here.
Shutterstock explores content marketing tactics best by analyzing customer search and utilizing proprietary data to learn changing audience trends.
These findings helped to share desired content in infographic form hosted on its site. This way, it satisfies both its customers and contributors. It shows how analyzing existing data, sharing proprietary data, and creating valuable content can bring phenomenal results.
Adobe implements user-generated content both in the B2B and B2C forums. It urges users of various Adobe software platforms to upload their creative work on its Instagram page.You can also benefit from engaging your B2B and B2C customers by advertising their user-generated content.
3. Red Bull
Red Bull publishes a diverse range of interesting visual content, sponsors sports events, and athletes. It also runs a YouTube channel.Their strategy suggests employing different types of not just informative but also interesting content.
GoPro implements user-generated content for promotion. Their brand content constitutes finely edited video compilations of their users. The best video, submitted by a user, was used in creating their marketing campaign.You can also run your YouTube channel and encourage your customers to upload their work.
This renowned digital company enjoys a massive social media following base by not delaying adopting the latest social media trends. Gary Vaynerchuk, the CEO, fully explored the webcast content marketing type and explored Facebook and Instagram to their fullest. The #AskGaryVee Show in 2014 fuelled its online popularity further. He taught how shaping quality content in a TV format could boost the brand better.
How to Build a Content Marketing Strategy?
There are crucial factors that determine how content marketing will be for a specific business. By planning and implementing a strategy, your content marketing process will be effective in reaching your target audience, converting leads, and ensuring sales.
1. Audit your existing content
The first thing to do when building a content marketing strategy is a content audit. This involves looking at all the existing content you have published on your website and all your other platforms and accessing their strengths and weaknesses to advise your future marketing decisions and activities best. This process is not just accounting for all your content but also the study and editing of all your content. This audit will let you know where you need to focus your future efforts and give you an insight into the changes that will lead to better marketing processes.
2. Set SMART goals
After a thorough content audit, the next part of your content marketing strategy is to set SMART goals. The acronym ‘SMART’ represents Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Use this guide to set your goals and ensure that your set goals are specific to your business, niche, and industry. An example of a SMART goal is to increase brand awareness.
3. Determine your KPIs
The next thing to do is set Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for your SMART goals. KPIs are quantifiable, outcome-based statements you will use to measure your performance against your goal. For instance, if your SMART Goal is to increase brand awareness, your KPI could be increased site traffic, increased social media followers, and increased subscription sign-ups.
4. Determine your audience
Your content will be of no use if your targeted audience finds it irrelevant and uninteresting. Cover topics that your target audience finds interesting and then draw them slowly to your buyer’s zone. You can determine your audience by collecting feedback from your current customers and collecting demographics on your visitors, subscribers, and followers. You can then use the data you have gathered to create buyer personas to provide better-targeted content.
5. Choose your content channels
Decide which public platform and social media channels would be best to reach out to your targeted audience, at the right time. Where you share your content will be largely influenced by the audience you are trying to reach. Your budget and your goals will also play huge roles in determining what channels to use. Another factor that goes into choosing a content channel is the reach the channel has. It will be smarter to select channels that are proven to have massive reach over the lesser ones.
6. Decide on the type of content
Next, choose the type of content you will be creating. This stage of your content marketing strategy is also largely influenced by your target audience. Remember that content marketing is all about the audience? Well, determine what your audience needs, what issues they want to solve, and how you can help them succeed, and therein lies your content.
7. Create and distribute content
This is the fun part. Create your quality content and distribute it through your determined channels so that your audience members can consume it and possibly become customers. It is advisable to use an editorial content calendar and a social media calendar so you can stay on track, consistently producing all of your content and scheduling them ahead of time.
8. Analyze your content performance
Finally, you should measure and analyze the performance of your content at regular intervals. Compare your SMART goals and KPIs with your progress to determine the success of your marketing strategy. This will help you make necessary changes to improve your content marketing efforts and reach a wider more audience.
Best Content Marketing Tools
The market is flooded with a diverse range of content marketing tools for SEO, marketing automation, analytics, and content creation. Some of these include:
Content creation tools
Marketing automation tools
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Below are the answers to the most frequently asked questions about content marketing.
Content marketing is important because it helps businesses in capturing attention, generating leads, and expanding the existing customer base. It is also useful in clarifying the doubts of customers to help them make informed buying decisions.
2. What does a content marketer do?
A content marketer is responsible for planning, creating, and distributing content to attract and convert potential customers into actual buyers. A content marketer plays the role of both a data analyst and a storyteller.
3. What is included in content marketing?
Content marketing includes a wide spectrum of content types and channels. Some of the key content types included in content marketing are:
– Social posts
4. Does content marketing work?
Yes. Content marketing is an effective way for businesses to reach prospective customers. It accelerates buying decisions by providing customers with all the information they need about a product or a service. From a marketing standpoint, content marketing provides a high return on investments (ROI).
An effective content marketing plan is crucial to your website’s long-term success. However, the road to devising a water-tight content strategy is a long one. To get started, make sure you bring a team of experienced content marketers on board. Prioritize your key goals, build a long-term plan, and execute swiftly. Have patience and success will come to you, sooner or later.