Content marketing has become an inevitable part of digital marketing. Every business uses this technique to reach a greater audience, drive more visitors to their site and/or store, and turn visitors into customers. Hence, if you want to succeed in what you do and put your business in front of a larger target audience, you have to include content marketing into your digital and offline marketing strategy.
But, what exactly is content? What does it include? How to use it for the best marketing success?
We explore all these questions and more in this article. So, keep reading!
Content marketing is a marketing technique that involves creating and sharing valuable, consistent, and relevant content. It aims to attract a wider target audience and converting it to customers.
Unlike other marketing techniques, this one includes an entire process. The process includes planning, creating, sharing, and publishing content to reach your target audience. It’s a kind of storytelling, which tells the story of your brand. In that way, it helps increase brand awareness, engagement, reach, sales, and customers loyalty.
You know the saying “Content is King”, right? It’s because the content is everywhere; in marketing and advertising, on social media, in the newspapers, on the internet… everywhere!
What makes content marketing so important? Why use it as part of your marketing strategy?
It’s because it helps raise awareness about businesses and the solutions they offer. Also, it tells the audience about products/services they may not have considered before or educates them about the ones they are interested in.
Simply said, content marketing:
There are many types of content marketing because there are many types of content. Content can take many forms, from infographics to how-to guides to e-books. So, it’s no wonder there are over 40 types of content marketing.
while you can easily understand some of them, like quizzes, polls, and memes, let’s turn to the more complex ones.
This is one of the recently developed types of content marketing (in the past decade) due to the rise of social media and social media marketing. Although fairly young, this type of content marketing has made a boom in the world. With over 3.6 billion global users, it’s no wonder why businesses invest in social media content marketing.
When using this type, you can use any social media channel you want: Facebook, Instagram, Linked In, Twitter, Snapchat, or Tik-Tok. Usually, digital marketers use multiple channels, depending on their business. For example, e-commerce businesses focus on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. On the other hand, service-based businesses focus on LinkedIn.
What makes social media content marketing so great is that you can choose the format of the content you create and share. It can be photos, videos, live-streaming (Facebook and Instagram), and stories.
Infographics have become really popular with more and more businesses using them. They are great for putting a lot of valuable content in one place. While infographics are fairly long, they are easy to understand since they are visual and clearly represent the content and data in graphs, charts, and statistics.
Another thing that makes them great is that if they are good, interesting, and useful, they can be shared on social media or posted on websites for years. If you want to promote your infographics, you can hire a freelancer to help you with the marketing part or simply create a board on Pinterest and publish your infographics there with an SEO description.
Blogging is one of the most common and traditional ways of content marketing. It combines the power of valuable content with SEO to drive more traffic to websites. E-commerce businesses use blogs to reach their target audience, provide them with useful content, and turn them into customers. For example, clothing stores use blogs to write about current fashion trends, online shopping benefits, smart shopping, and fashion combinations, other relevant topics.
Service-based businesses use blogs to talk about their services, the benefits of a specific service, and similar things. They also rely more on SEO to drive organic traffic, increase their monthly visitors. They use techniques like internal linking, external linking, keywords, alt text for images, and backlinking to increase their rank on search engine pages. By ranking higher, they boost their site’s authority and popularity and can promote other’s content or products and make money for those promotions.
Webpages don’t serve only for selling products and telling about your brand. They also serve for content marketing. Many service-based businesses use their web pages for content marketing. But, they don’t just write stuff; they write things that are useful to the target audience while promoting their services. For example, The Beginner’s Guide to SEO by Moz offers a lot of useful information and data about SEO for free. By providing such long and helpful content for free, they’ve not only gained millions of views but also attracted new customers. Why? Because the users consider them experts in the industry and everyone wants to hire an expert, right? As a result, individuals and businesses purchase the SEO tools pack Moz sell.
The importance of podcasts grows bigger each day. According to a 2020 survey, 55% or 155 million people have listened to a podcast and 48% of the participants between the ages of 12 and 34 have listened to a podcast in one month. So, you see, there are a lot of consumers listening to podcasts, thus a lot of chances for promoting your products or services.
Due to the large audience actively listening to podcasts, a lot of businesses and experts have started creating and sharing their own podcasts. One of them is Michael Hyatt, author of the book Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World. He created podcasts in which he talks about specific parts of his book. Thanks to his podcasts, he was discovered by people who otherwise wouldn’t find him. And, that led to more sales of his books, invitations to be a speaker, and signups for his courses.
What makes podcasts such a great type of content marketing is that you are free to decide about the topic, style and tone of speaking, and length. Also, you get to decide if you are going to invite someone on the podcast and where you will advertise it.
Similar to podcasts, we have video content marketing. Videos are a great way to promote your products and services of offer free valuable content to your audience. They allow you to promote your business to a LARGE audience on YourTube without spending a fortune. Indeed, you can use amateur video equipment like a basic video recorder or a smartphone camera to record videos.
Videos work for (almost) every type of business, including coaches, therapists, product review bloggers, affiliate marketers, e-commerce stores, dropshippers, and all businesses that sell a product or a service. One example is Gary Vaynerchuck, a renowned speaker who used video content marketing to grow his digital marketing and social media business to grow its empire to $45 million.
These books aren’t just a great read that tells a story. Instead, they contain valuable information that will teach or help readers with some things. In that way, they set the writer as an expert in that field and drive more users to their website, blog, online store, course, or wherever they want them to go.
Think of them as blogs or web pages but put together in the form of a book, either a digital (e-book) or a printed one. Remember the Moz’s “The Beginner’s Guide to SEO”? Well, that could’ve been put together as an e-book and shared in that form.
And, last but not least, we have paid ads as a type of content marketing. While they primarily belong to PPC marketing, they are also considered part of content marketing because they feature some kind of content. For instance, clothing stores can create a Facebook Ad for their upcoming sale by combining a few photos of their items with a short text explaining the sale.
Paid ads are great because they allow you to reach your target audience and display them wherever you want them to be seen. This includes websites, social media, landing pages, and banners.
To make the most of your content marketing, you need a good strategy. That means a lot of planning, brainstorming, ad taking into account all the parts of your marketing, including your goals, buyer personas, KPIs, channels, types of content, and more.
To make sure you go in the right direction, here’s the content marketing strategy you should follow.
SMART goals are specific to the brand you promote and are:
These goals tell exactly what you want to achieve, when, and how. A good example of a SMART goal is:
“We want to boost revenue by 75% in 3 months by using social media channels and paid ads.”
You see, this is something that can be achieved, it’s specific, viable, measured in percent, relevant to your business, and limited by time.
Once you’ve defined your SMART goals, you need to set the KPIs for them. The Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) measure your performance in relation to your goal. Some examples are:
To choose what type of content you will create, consider your target audience and buyer personas and what type of content they enjoy the most. Think about what they need from you, why they need it, and how that will help them. Also, consider where they spend most of their time: is it on social media, on the internet, or outdoors? Then, think about which type of content works best for them and choose that one.
Next, you need to choose which channels you’ll use to create and share your content. Is it going to be the blog on your website, a separate blog, or a social media platform? This depends on the type of content you choose. For example, if you write how-to guides, a downloadable e-book or a blog would work the best. On the other hand, if you go for social media content, Facebook and Instagram will be your best choice.
How much you will spend depends on the type of content and the channel(s) you’ve chosen. Then, consider all things that need to be done and who will do them. For example, will you hire a freelancer to create the content or you will do it yourself? Will you need specific software to create the content or not? Will you use paid social media marketing and/or Google Ads?
Once you answer these questions (and more), you’ll be able to set your budget.
Regardless if you’re going to create the content yourself entirely or partially or will hire a freelancer (or multiple), it’s time to create valuable content. Once created, share it across the chosen channels. To make the most of your efforts, use an editorial content calendar or social media calendar.
In the end, you have to track the results of your content marketing. This will help you improve your strategy and create more valuable and useful content that will bring higher engagement and achieve your goals. To measure your content marketing success, look at your SMART goals and KPIs.