Are you looking to improve your business's online presence? A great way to do that is through content marketing. By creating and sharing high-quality content, you can attract new site visitors, build brand loyalty, and establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry.
But what exactly is content marketing, and how do you create a successful strategy? Keep reading to find out more about content creation and how it can work for you. Plus, learn specifically which platforms will work best for your content marketing strategy.
What Is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is the process of creating and sharing valuable content to attract and retain customers. The goal of creating a piece of content is to drive profitable customer action by creating and distributing relevant and engaging materials. This new content could include blog posts, social media posts, videos, eBooks, infographics, or any other type of digital asset.
Ideally, the purpose of content marketing is to drive conversions. Content marketing requires a substantial investment of time, so you should not expect to slap a blog on your site in an hour and see instant results. You’ll need to invest in high-quality writers, SEO tools, partnerships with videographers and photographers or a stock photo membership, web hosting, a website, social scheduling tools, and more. In addition, it takes quite a bit of content to get the ball rolling on the sales you hope to see.
Fortunately, once you have a lot of great content on your site and social media platforms, you should start to see traffic increase. You can check this in Google Analytics or other traffic-monitoring tools. Some of these tools may even be native to your website builder. (Wordpress, for instance, partners with a number of services, like Yoast, to offer SEO and traffic information.)
The key to winning with content marketing is to be willing to invest in the time and resources to research your industry, find the right topics and keywords that will rank with SEO, create a solid editorial calendar, and create a number of content types.
From there, consistency is key. In time, you should start to generate the conversions you are seeking. (Don’t forget about having plenty of lead generation forms and top-of-funnel forms, downloads, and freebies to capture information from those who do find your site.)
Why Is Content Marketing Important?
In today's digital age, consumers are bombarded with content from every direction. In order to stand out, you need to create content that is not only relevant and engaging, but also valuable to your target audience. By doing so, you'll be able to attract new customers and build loyalty with your existing ones.
Content marketing helps potential customers see the benefit to working with your brand. It helps to establish thought leadership, gains customer loyalty, showcases your brand's features, and illustrates the sorts of experiences a prospect can expect to have when purchasing your product or service.
A solid content marketing plan can easily set you apart from your competition. By setting up this sort of strategy and then engaging in frequent content audits, either internally or with your marketing agency partner, you can find the success you seek.
How to Create a Successful Content Marketing Strategy
Now that you know what effective content marketing is and why it's important, it's time to start creating your own strategy. Here are a few tips:
1. Define Your Content Marketing Goals
The first step in generating a content marketing strategy is to sit down and define your goals. What do you hope to achieve with your content marketing plan? Do you want to increase brand awareness, drive traffic to your website, or build thought leadership? Are you looking to do some of each of these things? Once you know what you want to accomplish, you can create digital assets in a variety of content formats that is aligned with those goals.
2. Know Your Audience
Who are you creating content for? It's important to have a clear understanding of your target audience before you start producing any materials to use online.
Think about you who you would, in an ideal world, like to sell to. These are your customers. You might be familiar with the concept of creating buyer personas. Buyer personas are fictional characters that represent your ideal customer. They are detailed outlines of the people you are seeking as prospects.
You should describe who you’re targeting, from basic demographics and location to hobbies, interests, education, and spending power. What are their interests and needs? What kind of language do they use? By answering these questions, you'll be able to create content that resonates with your readers.
Talk to your content team about mapping the buyer’s journey. This is another important facet of understanding your audience when publishing content. What research tools will your readers use before making a buying decision? How long does it take them to commit to a purchase?
Many services, particularly those sold to businesses, require 8 to 9 interactions before a customer will be ready to buy. With the right content on your site, you can usually reach the buying stage more quickly.
3. Evaluate Your Competition.
Once you know who your target audience is and have created buyer personas to help you further understand their needs, you should take a look at your competitors. See what kind of content they're creating and how it's performing. You can use tools like SEMRush, Google searches, and other SEO resources to get this information. This will give you a good starting point for your own strategy.
Are your competitors using mostly long-form content that provides step-by-step information or case studies? This is likely very useful to addressing your customers’ pain points. You will need to match this sort of content if you want to enjoy similar traffic and conversion rates.
4. Choose the Right Channels.
Where will you distribute your content once it is done? Will it just live on your website? Will you share video content on YouTube, graphics on social media, and long-form articles or step-by-step guides on your blog? There are countless strategies you can choose, but you should definitely diversify the platforms that you use. You should definitely include social media platforms, email marketing newsletters, blogs, guests posts, videos, ebooks, quizzes, podcasts, webinars, and more in your content marketing strategy.
It's of course important to choose the platforms that make the most sense for your buyer persona. Where do your readers hang out? If you’re selling mostly to business owners, LinkedIn may be the place to share a lot of your long-form blog articles. If you are selling sneakers to Gen Z buyers, TikTok or Instagram might be a better bet. Diversifying your content creation efforts can work well, as can repurposing existing content for other platforms.
Ultimately, conversions will be highest when you are able to effectively reach your audience where they hang out. This is the key to an effective content marketing campaign.
5. Develop a Content Calendar.
Planning and organization are key to any successful content marketing strategy. By creating a content calendar, you can ensure that your content is timely, relevant, and consistent.
Your content team should prepare this calendar on a regular basis, as decided upon by your team. This could be weekly, monthly, quarterly, or even annually. As long as you stick to your schedule for creating content, and then also post consistently, your content calendar will serve you well.
6. Promote Your Content
Once you've created some great content, it's time to promote it! There are a number of ways to do this, but some of the most effective include using social media, email marketing, and paid advertising (such as on Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and more).
Paid advertising can get pricey very quickly, but tools like HubSpot have powerful ad platforms that allow you to look at all of your paid campaigns in one place. From there, you can best determine which are giving you the conversions you want and which need some work. These metrics go a long way in helping you to determine ad spend.
7. Analyze Your Results
Last but not least, don't forget to analyze your results. Keep track of your goals and metrics, and see how your content is performing. You should establish key performance indicators (KPIs) and refer back to the frequently. Staying close to your metrics and SEO is essential, and doing so will help you to fine-tune your strategy and ensure that you're getting the most out of your content marketing efforts.
What are the Best Social Media Platforms to Use?
The social media platforms you use will depend on your goals and target audience. Here are a few of the most popular platforms to consider:
With over 2 billion active users, Facebook is a great platform for building brand awareness and driving traffic to your website. Consider your buyer persona when deciding whether Facebook is the right choice for you.
Twitter is a great platform for sharing timely and relevant content, as well as for engaging with your audience. You can share several types of content on Twitter, from text-only tweets to images and videos. Threads are a powerful tool for sharing more than one tweet will allow.
LinkedIn is a valuable platform for thought leaders and businesses looking to build B2B relationships. LinkedIn Sales Navigator can help you to find leads that may be a good fit for your business. Messaging via LinkedIn InMail can also be a useful tool in your lead gen arsenal.
Instagram is perfect for visual content, such as product photos or infographics. It’s also increasingly powerful for video content. If working on Instagram, you’ll want to choose wisely. A high-quality piece of content can go far on Instagram, but something subpar will likely tank and bring down the reputation of your brand. Since all images are easily viewed on your Instagram profile page, customers will have frequent reminders of the bad content.
Pinterest is a great platform for driving traffic to your website or blog. It is a powerful search engine in its own right, so do keyword research before posting to Pinterest just as you would before posting on your website. This can help you to be found. It’s particularly useful if you are a B2C business.
Snapchat is a popular platform for sharing behind-the-scenes content, such as sneak peeks or event coverage. It is more popular with younger audiences.
TikTok is a popular platform for sharing short videos, particularly among younger groups. A very creative content team can work wonders with this platform.
No matter what platform you use, it's important to create engaging content that your target audience will enjoy. This will lead to improved conversions!
How Often Should You Post?
Wondering how often you should post on your blog, website, or social media? Some tools, like Hootsuite, will make suggestions for you based on when your posts have historically been the most popular. You can also look for up-to-date-advice and information from resources like the Content Marketing Institute.
In generally, though, how often you post really does depend on your goals and audience. A good rule of thumb is to post 1-2 times per day platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or TikTok. You can post more frequently on Twitter, as the half-life of a tweet is quite short.
B2B companies may wish to post less frequently, particularly on platforms that their target audience doesn’t spend much time on. B2C companies should carefully analyze KPIs and metrics from their social posts to inform their ad campaigns and use retargeting whenever possible.
What are Some Types of Content to Create?
There are many different types of content you can create, but some of the most popular include blog posts, infographics, videos, images, and social media posts. The types of content you choose will depend on the buyer persona you have outlined, the budget your company has, and the skills of your content team.
In general, you should try to use as many of the below types of content as possible:
What are the Best Social Media Tools for Content Marketing?
There are a number of social media tools that can be used for content marketing purposes. Here are a few of the best:
HubSpot offers users an all-in-one look at their social platforms, and you can even link your accounts to it and it will automatically post your website content to your social channels for you. Plus, it links your lead generation forms and detailed metrics on site traffic and advertising KPIs in the same place, so you can really get a holistic look at how your content team is doing and which conversions are directly attributable to your content marketing efforts.
MeetEdgar is a tool that helps you to automate your social media posting. It's great for sharing evergreen content and reducing your workload. When you add a piece of content to MeetEdgar, it allows you to create up to 5 variations on that content to keep your queue filled. This is a hugely efficient and powerful tool that your content team will likely love.
This platform allows you to manage all your social media accounts in one place. It's great for scheduling posts, analyzing your results, and more.
Another great tool for managing your social media accounts, Buffer also offers some helpful features, such as content suggestions and analytics.
Sprout is another excellent option for managing your social media presence. It offers a variety of features, including reporting and team collaboration tools.
CoSchedule is a great tool for content creation and promotion. It helps you to plan, publish, and optimize your content for the best results.
Quuu is a great way to find and share content that is relevant to your audience. It offers a variety of content categories and allows you to customize your content feed.
No matter what social media tools you use, it's important to remember that quality content is key. With the right strategy and some great content, you can achieve success with your content marketing efforts.
What are the Best Website Builders for your Content Marketing Strategy?
The website is, of course, where it’s at when it comes to content creation. It’s where you can control how you display and share types of content, and you always own anything you create. It’s easier to measure KPIs and conversions, there, too; social media giants often change the analytics they give content teams or how it is displayed. On your website, you’re in charge.
There are a number of website builders to choose from, but some of the best include:
WordPress is a popular content management system that can be used to create a variety of websites and blogs.
Squarespace is a user-friendly platform that allows you to create beautiful websites and online stores.
Wix is another great option for creating stunning websites. It offers a variety of features and templates to choose from.
Weebly is a simple website builder that is perfect for those who are just getting started with creating a website.
Shopify is a platform that allows you to create an online store. It offers a variety of features and tools to help you run your business smoothly.
What are the Best Email Marketing Services?
Email marketing can be a great way to promote your content and grow your audience. Here are a few of the best email marketing services to consider:
Constant Contact offers a variety of features, including templates, automation, and reporting tools.
MailChimp is a popular email marketing service that offers a number of helpful features, such as automation and analytics.
AWeber is another excellent option for email marketing. It offers a variety of features, including autoresponders and segmentation.
GetResponse is a great choice for email marketing, offering a number of features such as autoresponders, landing pages, and more.
What are the Best Content Creation Tools?
There are a number of content creation tools to choose from, but some of the best include:
Canva is a great tool for creating visuals for your social media accounts, website, and more. It offers a wide variety of templates and tools to make creation easy.
Adobe Creative Suite
Adobe Creative Suite is a popular choice for content creators. It includes a number of tools, such as Photoshop and Illustrator, to help you create stunning visuals.
Hootsuite Insights is a great way to research and analyze content ideas. It offers a variety of features, such as topic trend reports, KPIs, and competitor analysis.
Google Keyword Planner
Google Keyword Planner is a free tool that can be used to research keywords for your content. It's great for finding keywords with high search volume and low competition.
BuzzSumo helps you to research and analyze the most popular content on the web. This is great for finding topics that are trending and creating similar content types.
Google Trends is a tool that shows you what people are searching for on the internet. This is helpful for finding popular topics to write about.
While some of this information is free to come by, other tools require payment. Each of these paid platforms offers different features and pricing plans, so be sure to do your research to find the best option for your needs.
What are the Best Content Promotion Strategies?
Creating content is great, but if no one reads what you write or watches your video, you aren’t going to get any conversions. There are a number of content promotion strategies to consider, but some of the best include:
Social media is a great way to promote your content and reach a larger audience. Be sure to post regularly and use relevant hashtags to get the most exposure.
Email marketing can be a great way to promote your content and grow your audience. Be sure to segment your audience and personalize your messages for the best results.
Guest blogging is an excellent way to get your content in front of a new audience. Be sure to choose high-quality sites that are relevant to your niche.
Paid advertising, such as Google AdWords or Facebook Ads, can be a great way to reach a larger audience and get more exposure for your content.
What is SEO and How Can it Help My Business?
SEO stands for "search engine optimization." It's the process of optimizing your website and content to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). This can help you to get more traffic from people who are searching for your products or services online. SEO is absolutely essential in today’s digital world. There is no way around it if you want to be found online.
To improve your SEO, you should start every content project with keyword research. That is the backbone of an excellent SEO strategy. When you launch content creation, keep those keywords in mind at all times.
Tools like SEMRush, Clearscope, and ahrefs can be very helpful if your content team can learn to use them. Your web developer will also need to understand SEO best practices when it comes to site speed, loading times, metadata, and more. Google and other search engines release frequent algorithm updates, and your content team and SEO partner should stay abreast of all of them to be sure your content is up to snuff and will be seen.
Final Thoughts on Your Content Marketing Strategy
Content marketing is a powerful tool that can help you achieve a variety of business goals. By creating valuable content and promoting it effectively, you can increase brand awareness, drive traffic to your website, build thought leadership, and gain customer loyalty.
Now that you know more about content marketing, it's time to start creating a strategy for your business. Use the tips and information above to create a plan that will help you achieve your goals.
With a little hard work and dedication, your content team can develop a successful content marketing strategy that will grow your business and establish you as a thought leader in your industry. Start putting together your content marketing strategy today!
Need help? Wordsmyth Creative Content Marketing is a full-service digital marketing agency well-versed in every single aspect of content marketing strategy. You name it, we’ve done it. Again, and again, and again. We have a team with collectively hundreds of years of experience as writers, editors, SEO experts, marketers, and social media managers.
We pair every client with a dedicated project manager who will serve as their own offsite content team, setting up a content strategy, managing KPIs, and deploying entire campaigns. This allows our clients to win back their time and get back to what matters most—running their business.
Our fully remote team offers a cost-effective solution to in-house marketing departments. We look forward to the opportunity to assist you with your content marketing strategy, SEO needs, website redesign project, social media plan, and beyond.