You probably come across good marketing content that you find appealing and that may even drive you to action quite regularly. Such is the beauty of content marketing. By design, it isn’t interruptive or in-your-face. And that is why it works. In this article, we will explore the details of content marketing, why it is beneficial and important, and various strategies and ways in which you can use content marketing to improve your business.
What exactly is content marketing?
To begin with, let’s get the basics straight. Content marketing is an inbound digital marketing strategy that aims to attract customers through means that aren’t interruptive. This strategy mainly revolves around creating and circulating attractive content. ‘Content’ here can include anything from written materials, graphics, videos, and any other type of readable or consumable assets.
The goals of this kind of marketing are to build trust amongst your audiences, delight existing ones, earn new ones, and ultimately, drive traffic to your website and convert customers. Because of these specific aims, content is meant to be helpful in some way. Content marketing isn’t a sales pitch. Language promoting your own business, telling people why they should buy your product or service isn’t helpful. Instead, you are seeking to build trust by creating content that is usually informative, beneficial and value-adding.
How to build a content marketing strategy?
Before we get into the different kinds and approaches of content marketing, let us first discuss how to arrive at one. Those who have a content marketing strategy and plan are more likely to achieve their goals. Every business is different, hence everyone’s requirements are different. As such, it is essential to spend some time building a strategy of how you’re going to go about content marketing and what approaches will work best for you.
So here are 5 steps to follow to build your specific content marketing plan:
1. Establish your mission statement, goals and KPIs
Having a mission statement makes it easier to focus on what is important and constantly stay on track. Establishing key performance indicators that are specific and measurable will help you know when you have achieved your goals and objectives.
2. Assess your audience and current position
You need to understand and know your audience in order to know what kind of content they would want to consume. For this purpose, you can collect demographic data, conduct surveys, etc. Then you must assess your current position as many brands already have some kind of content out there. Assess what has been working for you and what hasn’t and then decide where to go from there.
3. Figure out the best content channels and types of content
This is the stage where you are in a position to analyze and decide your strategy. There are many content channels like blogs, YouTube, social media platforms, and so on and many different types of content. These will be discussed more in-depth later on.
4. Allocate resources and create a content calendar
Allocating resources means deciding who is responsible for generating the content, what tools are going to be needed, how much manpower and so on, and then obtaining it. Then you must set up a schedule or calendar to ensure that content is produced regularly and efficiently.
5. Create content regularly, distribute and market it
Once everything is in place, your content will be created and now the task is to distribute it on the appropriate channels and then market it. Marketing can involve boosting social media posts, paid ads, and so on. This will ensure that the content that is being generated is reaching the right audiences.
Once this plan has been successfully drawn and executed, you can regularly measure your results. You can check what kinds of content are performing, what is working for you, and what isn’t and then adapt accordingly.
What are the different types and approaches of content marketing?
As mentioned above, there are many different approaches to content marketing and many different types of content. Some are more suited to specific businesses than others are. So let’s have a look at these different types and the advantages of each.
By far, one of the most popular forms of content marketing is blogging. It is an incredible way of adding value to your audience as you can cover a wide range of information that can be beneficial to them. It also answers the questions your customers may have about what problems your business can solve for them and how. Blogs are also one of the most cost-effective ways of improving your SEO game. Optimizing your blog content will surely generate a boost in organic traffic.
Social Media Posts
Most businesses these days have identified the need for setting up social media channels and pages. However, populating it with content is a whole different game. Social media posts can cover a wide range of content like memes, videos, visuals, and infographics. Some of these will be discussed more further on. Social media content that your audience regularly follows relates to and benefits from helps establish a community and build consumer trust. Social media is also a great way to incorporate user-generated content, like retweets on Twitter, polls, and quizzes on Instagram and Facebook, and so on. These get your consumers to engage meaningfully with your brand.
Different forms of content come and go but the video never fails to deliver. Videos are easily one of the most engaging forms of content and according to a HubSpot report, 54% of audiences wish to see video content from brands. Videos can also cover a wide range of types, like how-to videos, product unboxing, inspirational and motivational videos, and so on.
eBooks are another kind of content that is extremely useful to audiences. They are not novels, and they are not blogs. Rather they are somewhere in between long-form content that contains a lot of useful information. They establish a high degree of trust among them for your brand. eBooks demonstrate your expertise and can help convince customers that you alone hold the solutions that they are looking for. The catch is that eBooks can take more time and effort to create than other forms of content, but they also certainly pay off.
Podcasting has gained a lot of popularity recently. A podcast is an episodic series of digital audio files that a user can download to any device and listen to. Platforms like Spotify and iTunes have podcasting easy and accessible to all. Businesses can set up a podcast where they can discuss informative content that is related to the product or service they offer. Not all kinds of businesses are suited to this type of content but those who are can reap the benefits of it.
Case studies are extremely useful for those who want to learn more about your business from other customers like themselves. With case studies, they can see the journey another customer has had with you from start to finish. They can see how you have helped people similar to them and hence are more likely to trust your brand. Case studies are a fantastic way to demonstrate your expertise in an attractive and in-depth way. They can be in written form, can be a graphical portfolio, or even in video form.
Infographics were mentioned above as a kind of content that can be used in social media posts. However, infographics can be used practically anywhere, like on your website, in blogs and more. Infographics, as the name suggests, are attractive graphical representations of information that would have been otherwise hard to digest or understand. It makes things like statistics appealing to view and easy to consume. Infographics are a great way to put out informative content for your audiences.
And finally, what are the benefits of content marketing?
What can you expect to gain out of incorporating a content strategy into your marketing plan? The main goals that can be achieved with content marketing are building a high level of consumer trust and engagement with your brand. It also increases brand awareness as useful content is more likely to be shared. Moreover, many forms of content are always live, meaning it becomes an inexpensive and easy way to constantly generate traffic to your website. And finally, results are easily trackable and measurable and the strategy is hence highly adaptable.
Many businesses are choosing to partner up with content marketing agencies or digital marketing agencies as they can help them not only create a content marketing strategy but generate a constant stream of good content. If you are just starting out with content marketing, don’t worry. As long as you have a strategy in place and stick to it, you will definitely see results.
Want to discuss how you can go about it? Get in touch! – Webrickshaw