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The Ultimate Guide to Content Marketing

Content Marketing
Content Marketing Guide

Content marketing can refer to any combination of content used to increase brand awareness, conversions, revenue, and engagement with an audience. Through content marketing, brands can foster and grow relationships with their demographic, making them an important staple in their demographic’s lives.

Types of Content Marketing

Any type of content can be optimized for marketing value, while the most common forms include:

● Social media posts

● Paid ads

● Blog posts

● Video

● Podcasts

By expanding your content to include any of the above content types, you can spread brand awareness, all while establishing and building trust with your audience. And when your audience trusts you, they will continue to return to your brand, participate in your services, and share with their friends.

Choosing your methods of content marketing should be done wisely. With heavy consideration of your demographic, you will need to establish guidelines for your content creation to ensure that it remains on-brand. Be sure not to overcrowd yourself. Quality first, quantity later.

Your content should be instantly recognizable as your brand and should make sense to include in your story. To ensure your content marketing is loyal to your brand while generating desired returns, you will need to design a content marketing strategy.

Step 1: Content marketing goals and KPIs

The first step to creating a content marketing strategy is first to identify what you wish to accomplish and how you will measure your progress. Establish goals that can push the company closer towards its big-picture.

Goals for content marketing could revolve around the brand, such as improving brand awareness or loyalty. They could also focus on engagement, such as increasing conversions and building a relationship with your audience. Whichever goals you choose, tailor-fit your content strategy to achieve them.

Once you have settled on your goals, establish the key performance indicators (KPIs) you will use to measure the efficacy of your strategy. KPIs can be anything from shares on social media and backlinks to the number of return customers.

When looking to achieve broader brand awareness, establishing social shares and site traffic as two of your KPIs will help indicate an increase in visibility. If looking to generate more sales leads, Content Marketing Institute recommends utilizing your landing-page conversion rate and content-generated leads as your KPIs.

Ultimately, whatever your goals are, the key is to ensure your KPIs are both quantifiable and directly related to your goals.

Step 2: Determine the type of content

With your goals and KPIs in mind, it is time to determine the vehicle that will take you to where you need to go. When deciding on the type of content to use in your content marketing strategy, consider your target demographic.

For example, creating social media content for Instagram can effectively reach a demographic under 34. According to the Infinite Dial 2020 study, 68% of Americans between the ages 12-34 use Instagram. However, Instagram is less popular with Americans over 34, with only 26% on the platform, making Instagram a less effective avenue for reaching them.

Creating a marketing persona for your demographic will help you get inside their head. Column Five Media notes that the first step to creating a marketing persona is research. Gather as much information about your demographic as you can. Determine their age, their most popular social platforms, their wants and needs and how they utilize your product or service.

Consolidate this information to create 3-5 personas of potential customers representing your target demographic.

What type of content will speak to these personas? Are they interested in social media posts, blog posts, video content or podcasts? Settle on a type of content and determine on which channels it will live.

Step 3: Create a budget

Establishing a content marketing budget depends on available resources. If, for example, you are looking to create video content, will you have to purchase additional equipment and software? Does your team need to grow to include cinematographers and editors? Is using a third-party an option?

WebFX writes that, on average, businesses invest 25-30% of their marketing budget into content marketing. Consider the type of content you will be producing and determine whether you will need to purchase additional resources, hire new staff or pay for advertisements.

Step 4: Create a content marketing calendar

Creating a content marketing calendar will help by keeping you organized, exposing content gaps and budgeting. With a clean, easy-to-read content calendar, you can coincide specific post themes with holidays, events and launches, Buffer writes.

They will also indicate when you may need additional resources to create content, informing your budget early on and allowing you to plan accordingly.

When creating a content marketing calendar, include the title of the post, the type of content, the time it should be posted and the channels it will be posted to. Determine what information is helpful to you and customize the calendar. Don’t forget to utilize color to visually separate events.

The less crowded the calendar, the easier it is to read and stay organized. You can make the calendar through Google Calendar, business collaboration tools, or create a physical copy with post-its and a whiteboard. Choose whichever method that best suits your needs.

Always track your progress

As you set your content strategy loose, continue to check-in and analyze your KPIs. Determine whether your methods are driving desired returns and if they are not, try to hone in on the reasons why.

Continue to tweak your strategy as you learn more about your demographic and the content they best respond to. Building a relationship between your audience and your brand takes time, but with an informed content marketing strategy, that relationship can develop and drive the returns and conversions you seek.

Content marketing can be challenging. A dedicated team of experts can help. Contact Wordsmyth Creative Content Marketing today for help with your content marketing needs.

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