Companies have been relying on traditional marketing for decades now, but it seems to be less and less effective.
In this new digital era, it has become essential to leverage the digital to showcase your product or services to the world. And this is how content marketing was born
So, what is content marketing?
Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach businesses use to create and distribute authoritative, relevant and consistent content that would allow them to attract and retain a specific target audience, engage them on social media networks and increase traffic to their site.
All of this could ultimately lead to higher ROI.
All of the biggest worldwide brands are using content marketing to increase their brand visibility and authority and create communities around their brand.
Content marketing is the present and the future.
- What is the purpose of content marketing?
Content marketing helps businesses increase sales, brand awareness, customer loyalty, customer engagement and interactions.
It also helps introduce your customers to the product you are selling and build a much stronger relationship with them and a community around your product.
- What is a content marketing strategy and why does it matter?
A content marketing strategy focuses on your business goals and then leverages content to achieve those goals.
For instance, if one of your goals is to increase brand awareness, you may want to use SEO to increase traffic to your website. Basically, a good content strategy will help you attract and delight your buyers and even nurture customer satisfaction.
So, if you want your content marketing approach to work, you first need to focus on your content marketing strategy. Here are a few steps you need to take to develop an effective content marketing strategy:
- Align your content with your customer journey — Determine what issues you want to solve as well as your customers’ needs. This will help you create topics that will provide all the answers to your customers.
- Audit your existing content — To make improvements, you first need to go through all of your content and clearly determine which pieces of content work and why, and then determine which content you need to update, which one should be created from scratch.
- Determine the format and the genre of each piece of content — Once you have created the topics and offered solutions to certain issues your customers may come across, you need to define what experts you will reach out to, who your writers are and who else will contribute to your content distribution.
- Metrics — Make sure you identify your key metrics. To do that, you need to know the objective of each article and the metrics you will use to measure the success of each article.
- Distribution plan — Determine what channels you will use to promote your content, including online and offline channels. Always keep in mind that you want your content to be noticed by potential or existing clients.
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- What type of content can you use?
The future of service is digital. Therefore, you should focus on producing content in digital format so that your existing and potential clients would get to know your brand better. There is a whole range of content formats you can use to promote your content.
However, it would be best if you didn’t get immediately overwhelmed with different formats. It’s more important to learn the benefits of each option and then choose a few formats that you believe will help you increase your revenue.
To start, we bring you a few essential formats you need to leverage to bring your audience’s attention to your content and brand:
- Blog Posts
- Case Studies
- Social Media
Blog posts – you are currently reading one. The most important thing when creating blog posts is to focus on producing relevant content that people would actually want to read. Another key thing is to be as consistent as possible. Make sure you publish your blog posts regularly and that their length is between 1000 and 2000 words long.
Ebooks — Ebooks are longer pieces of content that are not published as frequently as blog posts. They cover topics in more detail and are typically longer. The best thing about ebooks is that they require visitors to submit their contact information to download a white paper.
Case Studies — A case study is a great way to tell a story of a customer who worked with you and managed to solve a problem with your help. Another great thing about case studies is that they do not necessarily have to take the form of a blog. They can also be transformed into an infographic or an ebook, or even a podcast.
Podcasts — Podcasts have become one of the most popular content marketing formats, especially for people who don’t have enough time to read the entire content. If there is someone you would like to interview, consider this type of format to speed things up and increase engagement.
Social Media — Unless you have been living under a rock, you haven’t heard of the magic social media can do when building brand authority. Promoting your content on social media is imperative if you want to deliver it to your customers on the platforms where they enjoy spending their time. Social media channels you need to consider are Facebook, Linkedin, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, Twitter. Also, you need to post the type of content your visitors expect to see. While Instagram and Snapchat are ideal for building closer relationships with your customers through photos and videos, Twitter and Facebook can be used to extend your reach, increase your audience, or even open up various discussions.
Templates — Templates are a useful type of content as they generate leads for you and provide great value to your audience. Templates save much of your customers’ time and they will always come back for more. This keeps them engaged with your content.
Infographics — Certain topics that include many numbers and figures are much more digestible when presented in the form of an infographic. If you don’t have enough time to create your own, there are many templates you can use to create amazing infographics very quickly.
Videos – Another great piece of content you simply must leverage to achieve great results with your content marketing is video. Videos are easily shareable across your social media channels and your website alike. At the end of the day, based on the Hubspot statistics, it is 40 X more likely that videos will go viral across social media channels. As a matter of fact, video is currently the most preferred type of content.
If you don’t seem to have enough time to focus on certain types of content, you can always look forweb design companies that specialize in content creation and can help you achieve amazing results with your content.
- How can content marketing help your business thrive?
If you are still having second thoughts about whether to use content marketing to increase your business ROI, here are the top reasons why you should do it:
- It increases web traffic growth — more content means more traffic, and content marketers have seen 7.8 times higher growth year after year
- Higher conversion rates — based on research, brands that use content marketing can expect great conversion rates, up to 6 times bigger.
- Many internet users read many blogs on a daily basis — According to Statista, 47% of Internet users read blogs every day
- Attracting thought-leadership attention — Creating authoritative content that helps you build authority will draw in decision-makers and engage new potential clients.
- Potential buyers are looking for top-quality content that will help them in their decision-making. They would always rather find out more about the product through an article and not through ads.
To learn more about the impact content marketing can have on your business growth, reach out to custom web design Chicago companies. They will help you create content that converts.
- How can you learn more about content marketing?
There is a whole range of articles on the web where you can find an almost endless number of sources that deep dive into content marketing. And there are also many interesting books you can read to find out all there is to know about building brand visibility and awareness through content.
One of such books is Epic Content Marketing by Joe Pulizzi. Plus, you can subscribe to websites like Copyblogger, Content Marketing Institute and similar ones to stay up to date with all the relevant info about content marketing.
Whether you are a small business, trying to position yourself on the market, or a big successful company, content marketing should definitely be on your list of priorities.
Roll up your sleeve and start creating your content marketing strategy today. And, make sure you regularly stay up to date with all the latest trends.
Tomas is a digital marketing specialist and a freelance blogger. His work is focusing on new web tech trends and digital voice distribution across different channels.