What Is Content Marketing?

Do I need a content marketing strategy for my business? In a word, yes. You may have heard a lot about content creation and digital marketing in general, but no clear idea of how it would look for your brand or company. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be complicated.

First, let’s explain what content marketing is. If you’ve ever read a company blog, followed the Instagram account of a favourite brand, or subscribed to a newsletter, you’re already familiar with the concept. Simply put, its information packaged in an exciting and relevant way by a business to engage potential customers and create loyalty. But it’s not a sales pitch.

Instead of intrusive ads that push conversion right off the bat, you’re developing a relationship with your audience. You attract their eyeballs by creating inspirational, authoritative, and entertaining content that keeps them coming back for more. Make no mistake – your ultimate goal is still conversion. But it’s a subtler approach.

So now you’re convinced, but where do you even begin? How do you get started with a successful content marketing strategy? The basics of any marketing efforts still apply.

You’ll need to determine your goals, keep them realistic, identify the metrics you’ll use to measure your success and set a timeline to launch, evaluate and refine your technique. But that’s Marketing 101. What’s different about content marketing campaign? What kind of content marketing efforts should you be publishing?

Answer Your Audience’s Questions

An excellent place to start is to figure out what kind of questions your target audience is asking that are related or adjacent to your product or service and build your content around delivering the answer. For example, a meal box delivery might opt to publish a few of their weekly recipes online if they’re finding that prospective clients are curious about the quality and variety of the dishes offered.

Providing the recipe for free might seem counterintuitive but remember: the value of their product lies in the convenience of the prepacked ingredients. For fence-sitting prospective customers, letting them see the delicious meals they could make might just convert them, no sales pitch required. In other words, what you choose to put out there should be interesting and value-packed, but still leave your readers wanting more.

While the application of content marketing lends itself well to lifestyle brands, any company can benefit from this approach. Finance, accounting, or tech firms can establish themselves as leaders in their field by offering downloadable whitepapers or regular newsletters with industry insights. Service providers in HVAC, plumbing, and the like can upload how-to videos to help viewers tackle simple tasks on their own. The possibilities are endless.

Choose the Right Medium to Speak to Your Audience

Once you’ve determined the types of content you want to publish, you can move on to finding ideal ways to deliver this content to your audience. Written content is best delivered via email or a blog post.

The most effective mediums you can make use of are the following:

Make Your Website a Knowledge Hub

An excellent idea is to create quality content, perhaps blog posts or guest blogs, case study or white papers that aim at building brand awareness, establishing your brand’s reputation as a knowledge hub. Your audience will come to rely on you to answer their queries and give them valuable information.

Blog Your Way to Visibility

Blogging is one of the most popular forms of content strategy right now for many reasons. Blogging is an excellent way to give your target audience valuable content and generating leads without being pushy trying to sell them your products or services.

When you create valuable, good quality blog posts, you’re creating shareable content. Consumers may share your content on social media platforms or link your piece of content in their own blogs. Backlinking is great for Search Engine Optimization (SEO); it’s one of the best practices to boost your visibility on search engines result pages (SERPs).

Harness the Power of Social Media

For social media platforms, short videos are a great medium. You can create video content; how-tos or explainers, while podcasts are buzzy and popular with the multitasking set – you can put one on for your commute or workout.

But the format is only part of the question. You must find out where your prospective clients like to hang out online.

Are they heavy social media users? What social media platforms do they use frequently? Are they more active on Facebook or Instagram? The next step is to create highly shareable content on their preferred platforms.

If you’ve built a good website, you can link to your website in your content; create an eye-catching landing page and you’re golden!

Ultimately, successful content marketing is about zero-ing on your user persona and creating content that helps buyer’s journey.

Use SEO to Boost Your Content’s Visibility

There’s no point of your quality content if no one gets to see it. How do you get your target audience to see all the content you’ve been working so hard to produce? Enter Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

Search Engine Optimization is your key to getting your content the visibility it needs to help your brand grow, generate conversions, and boost your return on investment (ROI).

Search Engine Optimization is the practice of creating content that is likely to rank high on a search engine result page and boost your website traffic. SEO includes adding specific keywords in your content, adding outbound backlinks, and of course; creating good quality content. There is obviously much more to SEO, but let’s save that for another day.

Infographic Content Marketing

Although words are an important part of content marketing, pictures can do the job just as well! Through pictures, you can grab the attention of your audience – and this is not just a shot in the dark, it is a proven scientific fact. About 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, which means that by employing infographic content marketing, you will be able to ensure that your content is actually retained by your audience.

Video Content Marketing

The fact that video is one of the most efficient channels of marketing is not unknown to anyone. Video content marketing is your key to increasing conversions and sales, getting the perfect ROI, bridging the gap between your audience and you!

Paid Ad Content Marketing

Another medium that a lot of content marketers swear by is paid advertising. Essentially, paid ad content marketing is the process that involves the production of content that will later be promoted on paid distribution channels like PPC campaigns or paid socials. It is a popular method of marketing because it allows you to reach your needs more conveniently, instead of waiting for organic marketing to work.

Be Consistent (But Open to Change)

One or two pieces of good content isn’t going to cut it. Map out your strategy in a content calendar at least a few weeks in advance, so you’re prepared to produce quality work on a regular basis. Carefully monitor the success of each piece of content and be ready to pivot if needed.

Alternatively, the runaway popularity of a post is a sign you’re doing something right! Take advantage of your momentum to publish similar content.

Content marketing also offers opportunities to collaborate with other brands, cross-promote by engaging outside experts and expand your reach in ways traditional marketing can’t accomplish. Once you have the basics down, feel free to be creative and test out new content formats, different outlets for publication or unexpected topic material. You may just find a win where you never expected one.

In short, content marketing is your opportunity to tell your audience that you hear them. By creating relatable, entertaining, and useful content to target their pain points, you build a sense of trust and authority in your prospective clients. It’s a feeling that you’re not just here to sell to them, but that you’re on their side, offering solutions, support, and clarity.

When done right, content marketing helps cultivate the kind of relationships that brands dream about: ones that keep customers coming in and coming back. If that sounds good to you, it’s time to get cracking! Create and execute that content marketing strategy to reap the benefits for your business.

Ready to plan out your content marketing strategy? Book a free, no obligation call with us!