For marketers, content is the heart of everything they do – from email marketing to product advertising; it entirely depends on how much the content can work to impress the customers. In recent years, 72% of marketers witnessed an increase in customer engagement with social media marketing. While traditional marketing “interrupts” a customer to get noticed, content marketing does it more subtly, yet never fails to be valuable, if done right.
So, what exactly is content marketing? Simply put, it is just as what it seems to be – marketing business with content. But there’s more to it. Read along, as we decode, what makes content marketing such an effective strategy in improving sales and customer experience.
What Is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is providing customers with contents they want, in exchange for permission to market products or services to them. The content can be educational, which, if a customer finds useful, is a great way to introduce a service or product relating to that.
A striking difference between traditional and content marketing is, the former “interrupts” customers, even if they don’t require specific services at the moment. The latter is a pre-written content, responding to the needs and doubts of a customer.
With content marketing, a business can:
- Inform the audience about the business
- Engage and educate with helpful and relevant information
- Turn the audience into loyal customers
- Generate leads, and sales ultimately
In short, you no more have to pitch products or services to customers. Instead, you grab their attention by helping them address their needs and offer a clear solution in the process.
Content marketing always wins by the very reason quality content wins over and over. If you feel to disagree with the “win” part, it would most probably be because you started and stopped content marketing with just blogs. Let’s look at some types of contents involved for a better idea.
What Are the Different Types of Content Marketing?
To get a better understanding, these are few of the many types of content marketing out there:
- Social media posts
- Case Studies
- How-to Guides
The list goes on…
In content marketing, what matters is providing information, usually for free, to your customers in the domains they are most active in. A combination of content and social media marketing reaps the best results, as most of us are online and active on social media, throughout the day. Social media marketing plays a vital role in promoting blogs and other contents as well, through social sharing.
Once you get the hang of what content marketing is and does, it is time to make a content marketing strategy.
How to Create a Content Marketing Strategy?
As it turns out, it is essential to have a marketing strategy to take full advantage of it – just as planning is crucial for success. Without a proper marketing plan, you might even lose the real purpose and effectiveness of content marketing as time passes.
So let’s see the vital components of a successful content marketing strategy.
You must have heard the old saying, “Well begun is half done.” Setting your goals makes the rest of the plan smooth. Make a clear list of the goals you plan to achieve, for example, better leads, sales or traffic. And finally, set Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to measure success.
Get to Know Your Audience
A crucial part of a content marketing strategy is knowing who your audiences are. Analysing factors like age, gender and geographies would help you strategise a marketing plan that can move them. You must empathise to customers’ needs for them to click and take action.
Decide the Type of Content
Once you are aware of who your customers are, choose the type of content you are going to create, as discussed before. To narrow down the right kind of content, think about how your audience will benefit from it and how you can help them with the products or services.
Choose the Content Channels
Next, choose the channels you will market your content. Yes, it will coincide with the type of content you decide to create. If it’s blog content, then the channel will be the blog itself. If it’s a social media post, then Facebook, Instagram or Twitter would be the platform.
Keyword research is the most significant part of a content marketing strategy, especially if it’s a blog. That’s because people search online with specific terms called keywords. It is with the presence of such keywords that Search Engines decide whether the content is relevant to the searcher’s query. Keywords are of three types – Short, Medium and Long-tail keywords. These keywords are included in the title, meta description and throughout the body of a blog for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).
Create and Distribute
Once the content is created, it is time to let your audience know. Along with the organic search for blogs, social sharing is a great way to gain traffic. If the content is a social media post, then use relevant hashtags and post it in social media platforms.
Finally, when your content is online, it is essential to analyse its performance. Did it perform the way you thought it would? Does it meet your goals? Analysing and measuring performance is a great way to understand what works and doesn’t. You can use these findings to perfect your next content, and produce better results.
How to Promote Content?
A good content marketing plan doesn’t stop with the distribution. In order to gain the full attention it deserves, it must be promoted in multiple platforms. Here’s how.
Social Media Marketing
Just as publishing social media posts, social media is excellent for blogs and other contents as well. Your customers can share and interact with your contents. This would further spread brand awareness, and the comments from happy customers are a great way to increase reliability and trust.
Although email marketing might seem to be an old-timer, it is one of the most effective ways to market content. Sending weekly newsletters containing the new contents is a great way to keep in touch with the customers and build a lasting association with them.
Another effective way to promote your content is through link building. Linking to your previous contents are a great way to let your customers read more, which is good for SEO. You could also include links to high authoritative sites in your content.
Content marketing is an effective way to improve leads and sales of a business. We have covered just an overview, and there’s a lot more to learn and experiment in it. If you are curious to discover more about content and social media marketing, an online course is your best bet. With Shaw Academy’s online course on content marketing, you can learn from the best and turn it into a marketable skill for high-paying jobs.
Register at Shaw Academy and upskill right away!