What is content marketing? You've probably heard the term before, but what does it actually mean? At the heart of it, content marketing is the creation and distribution of content with the goal of attracting and retaining customers. But it's so much more than that. Content marketing can help you build trust with your target audience, optimize your content for search engines, and even create podcasts. Content marketing strategies aren't just for large corporations; small businesses can also incorporate them!
When you're working with your marketing team, it's critical to work together to create good content. It's essential to understand what content marketing is and how it can effectively build it into your marketing strategy. Think about the companies you interact with virtually, and take a look at their content. Does it engage you? They're probably thinking about content marketing when creating their pieces of content! Let's discuss what content marketing is and how you can use it to better serve your business goals.
What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is the creation and distribution of content to attract and retain customers. In its simplest form, content marketing is about creating interesting and useful content for your target audience. The content doesn't always push to sell to potential and current customers; it can be informational or educational, helpful hints, tips or tricks for your product. The content can come in many different forms, including blog posts, infographics, videos, eBooks, etc. You can even do webinars, whitepapers for other professionals in your industry, or YouTube videos sharing some behind-the-scenes looks. There are so many examples of content marketing out there.
The content should be well-written, accurate, and original. It's important to note that content marketing is not the same as paid advertising. With content marketing, you're not paying for space or time like you would with ads. Instead, you're creating helpful and informative content in the hopes that your target audience will find it useful and want to continue reading/watching/listening. When figuring out what great content you'll be creating, Hubspot recommends asking yourself, "what do my customers need from me?" Thoughtfully answering that question will point you in the right direction.
The main objective of content marketing is to build trust and relationships with your target audience. Trust is essential in any relationship, but it's imperative when you're trying to sell something. If you want people to buy from you, they must first trust you. Content marketing can help you build that trust by providing your target audience with relevant and helpful content. By creating relevant and helpful content, you are more likely to earn your readers' trust.
How Can I Use Content Marketing?
There are many different ways to use content marketing and types of content. Successful content marketing uses a variety of quality content across platforms and apps. When working on content creation, think of ways you can make it interactive. Having engaging and interactive types of content will push your brand awareness even further.
Creating blog posts that answer common questions from your target audience is a great way to incorporate content marketing. This will not only alleviate some burden on your staff, so they're not answering the same questions repeatedly, but also provide a helpful tool for your audience. Successful eCommerce shops use blogs as a way to showcase their products. A good content marketing campaign can make all the difference for ecommerce shops.
Develop infographics that explain complex topics in an easy-to-understand way. Consider using a graphic designer to develop an infographic sheet that helps your audience understand something. This could be related to your field or even tangentially related. If you're a small travel business, you could create an infographic about current travel trends in the US. This gives your audience information that they can use in a digestible form.
You could create videos that show your products or services in action. Video marketing is a great way to engage your target audience even if your product or service is relatively easy to use or easily understood. Make sure that your videos are produced well and look good; you want people to trust your authority when it comes to your products. Video content is especially good for fashion brands with high-quality media capabilities.
eBooks and whitepapers are other formats of content marketing. This is an increasing trend amongst B2B businesses. An eBook is essentially anything that can be downloaded and read on a device like a smartphone or a tablet. eBooks can be about anything you want, as long as they provide useful information. Maybe there's an aspect of your business you're particularly passionate about, or you have interesting case studies, you should write an eBook! Marketing agencies like Wordsmyth Creative Content have experience writing and marketing successful eBooks, so don't worry if you're not a wordsmith yourself.
No matter what content you create, the goal should be to provide value to your target audience. If you can do that, you'll be on your way to building trust and relationships with the people who matter most to your business.
Why Do I Need Content Marketing?
In a word: SEO. Search engine optimization is vital for content marketing and your overall marketing strategy. For your content to be seen, it needs to rank high in search engines. And in order for it to rank high, you need to include keywords throughout your content that people are searching for. The Content Marketing Institute reminds us that search engines reward businesses that publish high-quality, consistent content. Consider what your target audience may search for and incorporate those keywords into your content. Using Google analytics and metrics will guide your keyword research and help you create the best content for your new customers.
You also need content marketing for lead generation and inbound marketing. By creating valuable content that is relevant and helpful to your target audience, you're more likely to get people to sign up for your email list or contact you for more information. Creating content is only the first step, though. To become a thought leader, you also need to promote your content so people can actually find it! That's where SEO comes in handy; using SEO will significantly increase your chances of the right people finding your content.
If you're not already using content marketing, you should be. It's an essential part of any digital marketing strategy. By creating great content that is relevant and helpful to your target audience, you can build trust and relationships with the people who matter most to your business.
What is Social Media Content Marketing?
Social media marketing is content marketing on social media platforms. The goal of social media content marketing is the same as any other content marketing: to provide value to your target audience. This can include anything from blog posts to infographics to videos. Social media even includes networking sites like LinkedIn, which can be helpful especially if you're a B2B company.
The great thing about social media marketing is that it's a great way to connect with your target audience and build relationships with potential customers. You can engage with people who comment on your posts or ask questions about your products or services. Social media provides an opportunity for you to humanize your brand and show the people behind your business.
Another benefit of social media content marketing is that it's a great way to boost SEO. Including keywords in your social media posts makes you more likely to rank higher in search engines. You can also include links to your website in your social media posts, which will also help with SEO.
What is a Content Marketing Strategy?
A content marketing strategy is a plan for how you will create and promote content. This includes what kind of content you will create, your target audience, and how you will promote your content. Your content marketing efforts should drive traffic to your site and boost your overall brand awareness.
Your content marketing strategy should align with your overall marketing goals. What are you trying to achieve with your content? Do you want to increase brand awareness? Generate leads? Increase your conversion rate? Once you know your goals, you can create content to help you achieve them. Creating a content marketing strategy can seem like a lot of work, but it's worth it. A well-thought-out content marketing strategy will save you time and money in the long run. It will also help you create more compelling content that is more likely to achieve your desired results.
Successful Brands Use Content Marketing Strategies
Now that we've gone over what content marketing is and how to create an effective content marketing strategy let's look at some brands that are doing it well.
One great example of content marketing is Red Bull's content strategy. Red Bull has built a whole media empire on content marketing. They produce high-quality, original content across multiple platforms, including TV, print, digital, and social media. This content is then distributed through their own channels as well as partner channels. As a result of their impressive content marketing efforts, Red Bull has become one of the most recognizable brands in the world.
Another excellent example of content marketing is Nike's "Just Do It" campaign. Nike's "Just Do It" slogan is one of the most iconic and recognizable slogans of all time. But Nike didn't just create a catchy slogan and leave it at that; they built an entire content marketing campaign around it. The "Just Do It" campaign includes a wide variety of content, including TV commercials, digital content, print ads, and social media posts. By creating such a comprehensive content marketing campaign, Nike was able to turn their slogan into a household phrase and boost brand awareness significantly.
Content Marketing Bottom Line
Content marketing comes in many different formats. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to content marketing; what works for one business may not work for another. However, there are some general principles that all effective content marketing strategies have in common. Consider working with a marketing agency to hone in on your most effective content marketing strategy when creating your content marketing plan.
First, effective content must be relevant and valuable to your target audience. It should solve a problem or answer a question that your target audience has. People won't read or share if your content isn't relevant or useful. You should address their pain points with compelling copywriting.
Second, effective content must be well-written and visually appealing. People are more likely to read and share content that is well written and easy on the eyes. This doesn't mean that all of your content needs to be award-winning literature, but it should be free of grammar and spelling errors. The best content is often the best looking.
Third, effective content must be original. People are more likely to read and share unique content and not like everything else out there. If you can offer a new perspective on a familiar topic or write about something in a way that no one else has, your content will be more successful. Avoid using templates, if possible.
Fourth, effective content must be timely. People are more likely to read and share content that is timely and relevant to what's going on in the world right now. Your content will be more successful if you can write about current events or hot topics in your industry. Email marketing is a great way to create timely content. You can write about current events and bring about brand awareness, all with a simple email marketing plan.
Finally, effective content must be shareable. People are more likely to read and share content that is easy to share with others. If you can make it easy for people to share your content with their friends and followers, your content will be more successful. Instead of having relevant information on a landing page, consider condensing it into a sharable format.
Content marketing takes time, effort, and planning. But if you create relevant, well-written, original, timely, and shareable content, you will be successful. Your content marketing strategy will surely be a worthwhile return on investment.
The takeaway? Content marketing isn't a new fad or a passing trend; it's an essential part of any effective marketing strategy. Creating relevant, helpful content for your target audience can build relationships, boost SEO, and increase lead generation. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your content marketing strategy today!