What is Content Marketing?
Content Marketing Definition and How it Fits Your Marketing Strategy
As an SEO and Content Marketing professional working with the sales and marketing department for over a decade, I’ve always found it more effective to attract customers to your business rather than chase them. It’s easier to convince prospects who are already interested in what you have to say than do random cold calls to people who might even be clueless about what you are talking about.
And that is the magic content marketing has to offer.
Marketers, for the longest time, have banked on content for business opportunities. Not only is it the most effective way to drive sales, but it also helps in establishing brand authority. Nothing is more powerful than educating prospects about your product and helping them make better decisions, which is the essence of content marketing.
Content marketing involves creating valuable and engaging content, such as blog posts, videos, ebooks, infographics, etc., that are either related to your business or are of interest to potential customers. It is focused on building relationships with your target audience and providing them with information to help them in their decision-making process.
With Google’s algorithm constantly changing and becoming more sophisticated, content marketing has become even more important. Quality matters more than ever, which means that if you want your content to be seen by potential customers, it must be of high quality, helpful, and interesting. It should answer the most pressing questions your audience has about your industry, products, or services.
Content Marketing is not just about having a Business Blog
What is Content Marketing?
By textbook definition, content marketing is an approach to marketing that focuses on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain your target audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
The end goal of content marketing is to use your valuable content — blog posts, social media posts, videos, webinars, podcasts — to establish yourself as an expert in your field. It’s all about providing your customers with the answers and information they need when they need it so that you can turn them into loyal customers.
In other words, it’s using quality content to get people to trust you, like you, and remember your brand. The goal of a content marketing strategy is to provide solid solutions to your customers’ pain points without blatantly selling them your offers.
Customers are a lot smarter these days and can easily recognize a sales pitch versus helpful content. Your content marketing strategy should be focused on providing quality information that will educate, entertain, and even inspire your target audience. You want to give them something that they can use at a practical level. Eventually, they will start seeing you as an authority figure in your industry and will be more likely to do business with you.
Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing relevant, valuable, and high-quality content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to generate leads. It is an important part of any marketing strategy as it helps you reach potential customers at different stages of the buying cycle.
Types of High-Quality Content
You can create content in the following forms to support your content marketing efforts and improve your ranking in search engines.
Blogging is probably one of the first things that come to mind in most businesses when talking about content marketing efforts. Almost every content marketing strategy I’ve come across has included blogging in their inbound marketing campaigns.
Not only does a blog post help you showcase your expertise and build authority in your industry, but it also helps you attract new leads and customers. For example, if you sell clothing and apparel, you can write a blog post about fashion trends for the season. Or, you can write a piece about which items go well together from your collection.
If you’re a SaaS company, you can use blog articles as a resource page to answer common questions about your products and services. You can also turn your product manuals into engaging blog posts and use them to explain topics in detail.
The possibilities are endless! Not only does blogging improve brand awareness, but it can also help you stay on top of mind during the consideration stage of the customer journey.
However, one of the most common mistakes I’ve seen brands make is that they only produce blog content for the sake of blogging. These are the articles you see that are less than 300 words, have no clear title (usually just the keyword), and have a strong sales pitch voice. It’s clear that there’s no content marketing strategy guiding these efforts, and the result is usually a waste of valuable resource.
Therefore, when you think about blogging, it should be long-form, well-researched, and data-driven. Make sure you have a clear topic, an organized structure, and solid facts to back up your statements.
Infographics are visual representations of data or information. They are highly shareable and can help you attract new leads and customers to your website or blog.
In today’s online marketing world, visual content such as infographics and data visualization can be a powerful tool for getting your message across. Every year, the use of visuals in content grows. About 60% of businesses have used infographics in their content creation. Also, 61% claimed that infographics have a stronger impact on information retention as compared to other forms of visual content.
Since Infographics are an effective way to break down complex topics, it gets the readers more engaged with the material. They present substantive information in a creative, enjoyable manner that’s easier for people to process than long-form text. Rather than forcing viewers to read through pages of research, infographics compress the same data into bite-sized visuals—making them more attractive and digestible.
The best way to leverage infographics is to use them to explain a complex topic in an easy-to-understand format. This not only helps your readers better understand the material, but it also makes them more likely to share it with others, increasing the reach of your content and thought leadership.
Social Media Posts
Social media platforms are a great way to stay connected with your customer base and keep them engaged and informed about what’s going on with your business. You can use social media in distributing content like new blog posts, video content, infographics, or even products and services.
Social media channels can greatly help you build brand awareness and expand your reach. It’s a great tool for lead generation and engaging your existing customers. You can use it to start conversations, answer questions, and promote your content.
It’s also a great source of user-generated content which you can use across your platforms. Reviews and customer stories are great content pieces that you can use in your content marketing efforts to display social proof of your products and services.
When you create content for social media marketing, make sure it resonates with the platform’s core audience. For example, if you are targeting millennials on Instagram, then use more visual content like stories and images instead of long-form posts. Similarly, focus on shorter-form content on platforms like Twitter. In TikTok, video is more important than photos, and use humor whenever you can.
Finally, it’s important to keep in mind that not every post you share has to be promotional. You can also use social media posts as opportunities to educate and inform your followers about what’s going on in your industry.
Ebooks are a great way to show your target audience that you are an expert in your industry. By providing quality information in an ebook, you can establish yourself as a thought leader and build trust with your target audience.
Generally used as a lead magnet. Giving away your eBook for free allows readers to recognize the considerable value of your content and builds trust in you, leading them naturally towards seeking further solutions from you. This helps establish credibility while providing potential problem resolution at the same time.
Ebooks are also an effective way of driving engagement and increasing web traffic for both current and potential customers. They can be easily shared among friends, and colleagues, and on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.
To make sure your eBooks stand out from the competition, include interactive elements such as quizzes or surveys. This helps engage readers and keep them interested in the content. Additionally, use visuals whenever possible to break up the text, make it easier for readers to follow the narrative, and help convey your points more effectively.
Videos are a great way to engage your target audience and promote your brand. You can use video content to promote new products, services, or even blog posts.
A survey of marketing professionals unveiled that 86% utilized video content as a marketing tool, and 78% reported it to have had an immediate effect on sales. Moreover, the same amount pointed out that videos substantially increased traffic to their website.
In September 2021, Statista surveyed a group of content marketers in the United States who are already utilizing high-quality video content marketing and found that an astonishing 60% planned to increase their budget for 2022 to reach unprecedented heights. Furthermore, 24% said they would increase their video marketing budgets by 9%.
There’s no doubt that you’ll have to invest some capital in initiating video content marketing, but it is well worth the effort. Investing in additional tools, such as a camera and microphone, could be beneficial if you don’t plan on using your smartphone for recording. Furthermore, the cost of editing software or hiring an editor should also be factored into your budget. The amount that you decide to allot for these expenses will depend upon what best suits your video marketing needs and financial capabilities.
Case studies are an invaluable tool for selling your products and services. They are a great way to demonstrate how your products have been successful in solving real-life problems faced by customers.
Leveraging case studies within your content marketing strategy can be incredibly beneficial; they help you generate leads, educate consumers, boost credibility, and showcase successes. With the right placement and repurposing techniques, you can reach an even larger audience. Maximize their potential by crafting a creative plan for incorporating them into your business.
By highlighting the success that other customers have had with your product, you can increase the trustworthiness of your brand. A case study is usually presented as a narrative, which allows readers to explore the successes and challenges customers have faced in real-time.
When writing a case study, it’s important to keep your audience in mind. Focus on customer needs, use data-driven insights, and create stories that resonate with your readers. Additionally, include visuals whenever possible, as they are more likely to capture the reader’s attention.
Creating checklists is a great way to provide your customers with valuable information. They are especially effective when used as part of an onboarding process, as they help guide customers through the steps that need to be taken in order to get started with a product or service.
Checklists also have other benefits, such as providing clarity for complex tasks, helping customers stay organized, and lowering the chances of errors or omissions. Furthermore, they are versatile and can be used in various scenarios. For example, they can be used to create comprehensive guides that cover how-to topics or provide customers with helpful resources.
To make your checklists even more effective, add visuals, such as icons or images. Also, break the text into small sections and use clear, concise language. This will make it easier for readers to follow the instructions and understand what needs to be done. Finally, include links to relevant resources or websites wherever appropriate.
Guides and how-tos
Guides and how-tos are excellent resources for providing customers with the information they need to properly use a product or service. They can be used to explain complex topics, illustrate processes, and help users understand the features of a product.
This type of content is generally beneficial for industries like technology, finance, and software—or any product with a complex user interface. Guides and how-tos can also be used to answer frequently asked questions, as well as provide tips for troubleshooting.
Creating this type of content requires thorough research, an understanding of the customer’s needs, and a clear writing style. To make your guides easier to understand, incorporate visuals like screenshots or video tutorials.
19 Best Content Marketing Platforms
To be successful in content marketing, you must do a lot of research and a lot of brains to work with you. But don’t fret. There are tools available to help you out. Here are some of the best content marketing platforms that can help you get started and be successful in your content marketing endeavors.
What are the 4 Pillars of Content Marketing?
Crafting an exceptional meal requires a reliable recipe. Although some chefs may use intuition to create something delicious, there is still science involved in the process. Similarly, when it comes to content marketing, you will need a strong content strategy.
As a content marketer, building a content marketing campaign is similar to cooking a delicious meal. To create engaging content means attracting people’s attention and sating their interest. An astounding 61% of internet users have a stronger affinity for an online business that produces customized content. Evidence also suggests that content generates 54% more leads than traditional advertising and other marketing tactics.
Here are four key ingredients needed for a successful content marketing strategy:
1. Build an Audience Profile
Segmenting your audience and delivering personalized content is fundamental to constructing strong relationships with them. If you don’t personalize your online content marketing campaigns, then you are letting go of potential chances to interact with people, elevate brand awareness and enhance your business by establishing yourself as a reputable thought leader.
So, start asking yourself these questions:
- Who do you want to reach with your content marketing strategies?
- What interests them? What type of engaging content resonates with them?
- What language do they use?
- How do you address their pain points and challenges?
- What part of the buyer’s journey are they in?
Build an Audience Profile
Have a plan for publishing
Focus on producing valuable content that’s meaningful, useful and interesting
Continue building your brand
2. Have a plan for publishing
After the hard work of crafting a thoughtful article, be sure to publish it so readers can easily access them. Maximize your efforts by using content marketing tools like content calendars and other planning tools so you can have an organized plan of when and where you need to be publishing content.
Make sure you utilize all platforms (a website landing page, paid advertising, social media, email newsletters, etc.) in your online content marketing strategy.
For instance, advertise your content through a blog and then share the link with appropriate hashtags on your business’ Twitter page to reach all its followers. Studies suggest that tweets with hashtags garner two times more engagement than those without. However, if you use too many of them the level of thrill among your audience may dwindle – thus it is best for content marketers to exercise moderation when using hashtags for maximum impact.
3. Focus on producing valuable content that’s meaningful, useful and interesting
Your published content needs to be worth sharing, it must have a purpose that is relevant and useful for your target readers so they will want to pass it along. The more emotionally engaging the content is, the greater chances of continuing its shareability among others. Hence, form an emotional bond with people through effective communication that resonates deeply in order for them to spread your message like wildfire!
To get started, plan your content marketing strategy with plenty of time to spare. Having calendars or planning apps can help you do this effectively. Also, consider any important events or trends associated with the industry that could impact your target audience.
For example, October is Women’s Small Business Month – use it as a great opportunity to produce relevant content focused on female business owners and what they have achieved in their respective areas! By promoting these inspiring individuals during this month, you are sure to spark some interest among both potential customers and existing clients alike.
You can also use Google trends to find out what topics are more popular and garner the most attention. This can help you determine what relevant content will help you win website visitors and more customers.
4. Continue building your brand
After you’ve launched your content marketing campaign, you need to follow through with a consistent brand message and stay true to it. Your content should always be focused on the same core values that your business stands for, no matter what platform you’re posting from.
Building brand awareness is not a one-way street. It’s a continuous process that requires you to keep engaging and interacting with your audience regularly. This can range from responding to comments left on social media posts, sharing relevant content to your brand and industry, or even participating in online conversations.
Content marketers need to use analytics tools like Google Analytics to measure the performance of their content marketing campaigns so that they can make meaningful decisions on how to improve them. This will help you understand which content is most popular and engaging, giving you an idea of where to focus your resources.
Finally, don’t forget to thank your audience for supporting you! Whether it’s handing out freebies or simply thanking them for showing interest in your brand, appreciation can go a long way in boosting customer loyalty. Showing gratitude will also make your content more memorable and personal to your readers.
How to Build a Content Marketing Strategy
Content marketing has become an integral part of any effective digital marketing strategy. With careful planning and execution, content marketers can create high quality content that will attract more customers, drive sales, and improve customer loyalty.
By following the steps outlined above, you’ll be on your way to creating a comprehensive content marketing strategy for your business.
1. Set SMART goals.
The first step to creating a successful content marketing strategy is to set SMART goals. This means that your goals should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound. Having SMART goals will help ensure that your content efforts focus on achieving specific objectives that can be tracked for progress over time.
2. Determine your KPIs.
Once you have set your SMART goals, it’s time to figure out what Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) will be used to measure success. These will depend on the type of goals that you have set and can range from page views and conversions to lead generation or customer satisfaction.
|Smart Goal||Related KPI|
|Brand awareness||Site traffic, social media followers, subscription sign-ups, mentions (by customers and partners)|
|Revenue||Daily sales, site traffic|
|Conversions||Conversion rate, shopping cart abandonment rate, associated shipping rate trends, competitive price trends|
|Brand loyalty||Returning customers, promoters, product reviews, referrals|
|Customer engagement||Likes, shares, follows, mentions, backlinks|
|Rapport and trust||Returning customers, promoters, followers, mentions|
|Strategic partners||New partnerships, mentions, backlinks|
3. Decide on the type of content.
Now that you have your goals and KPIs set, it’s time to decide on the type of content that will be used in your content marketing strategy. This can range from blog posts, videos, podcasts, and infographics to social media posts and email campaigns.
To ensure that you create the ideal content for your target audience, consider these questions:
- How can you help meet their needs?
- What struggles are they hoping to conquer?
- What need does your product or service fulfill for customers?
- What can you do to aid in their success?
- Where do they spend their time?
4. Choose your content channels.
Now that you know what type of content to share, the next step is to select your specific marketing channels. For some content types, the channel you need to work with will be obvious. For example, if you’re creating Facebook content, your channel will be the social platform itself.
For other content types, you may need to consider multiple channels. If you’re creating a blog post, your channel could include both the blog itself and social media platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn as well as email newsletters where you will promote the post.
5. Set a budget.
It’s time to set your budget. Think carefully about what type of content you’re producing, as well as the channels you’ll be using to promote it. This will help you to set an appropriate budget for your content marketing efforts.
If you’ll create content for social media, you’ll definitely need image editing tools like Canva and Adobe Photoshop. If you’re creating videos, you’ll need to invest in video editing software if you’re focusing on content promotion, budget for advertising, or influencer marketing campaigns.
6. Create and distribute the content.
Consistently create and distribute engaging content to grow your audience, nurture relationships with prospects and customers, and ultimately convert. To keep on track of all the content, you have to produce and share, use either a social media or an editorial content calendar.
7. Analyze and measure results.
Finally, measure your content marketing results using analytics tools such as Google Analytics or social media analysis platforms like Hootsuite. This will help you to identify what’s working and what isn’t so that you can adjust your strategy accordingly.
By consistently measuring performance and analyzing the data, you’ll be able to track your progress toward your goals and optimize your content marketing efforts.
Outsourcing Content Marketing Services
For businesses that don’t have the in-house resources to create content, outsourcing content marketing services can be a great solution. By choosing experienced professionals, you can get valuable help with everything from strategy development and content creation to search engine optimization and promotion.
Working with an expert team also lets you take advantage of their specialized skills and knowledge, ensuring that your marketing efforts are as successful and effective as possible. This will save you from having to spend time learning the ropes yourself and let you focus on other important parts of your business instead.
With It’s a Writer’s World, you will get access to a reliable content marketer with years of experience in the search engine optimization (SEO) and content writing field. With our services, you can rest assured that your content marketing efforts will be in safe hands.
Content marketing is a powerful strategy that can help you reach your ultimate goal—whether it’s to increase traffic, generate leads, or make more online sales. By following these steps and setting up the right KPIs and goals, you’ll be well on your way to creating an effective content marketing strategy that will bring results for your business.
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Content Marketing FAQs
Why is content marketing important?
Content marketing is important because it helps businesses to create relationships with their target audience. Through content, businesses can engage with customers and provide them with valuable information that will help them make informed decisions and become loyal customers.
What are the best practices for content marketing?
The best practices for content marketing include creating a buyer persona, setting up KPIs and goals, creating an editorial calendar, setting a budget, creating and distributing content, analyzing results, and outsourcing services when necessary.
How can content marketing help my business?
Content marketing can help your business by increasing website traffic, generating leads, building brand awareness, and improving customer relationships. It can also help you to establish your company as an authority in the industry, allowing you to stand out from the competition.
What are content marketing examples?
Content marketing examples include blog posts, e-books, whitepapers, videos, webinars, podcasts, infographics and more. Each type of content can be used to provide valuable information to customers and build relationships with them. See our article on content marketing examples here.
What is the difference between digital marketing and traditional advertising?
The main difference between digital marketing and traditional advertising is that digital marketing allows businesses to target specific audiences and track results in real-time. Digital marketers can also use automation tools to optimize their campaigns more effectively than with traditional advertising. Learn the ROI of digital marketing here.
Recent Articles about Content Marketing
In this guide, I’ve outlined a quick process on how to create a successful content strategy for your website and social media. This includes tips on how to find the right topic ideas and keywords, how to create engaging content that readers will love, how to promote your posts across social media platforms, and many more.