The term “content marketing” is a relatively new buzzword, but it’s an effective strategy for many businesses because it drives customers to websites and social media channels. Content marketing aims to attract interest with relevant content that resonates with audiences.
The goal of content marketing is not sales; in fact, some would argue that it should be the complete opposite. A successful content marketing plan, then, must focus on building trust and credibility so you can convert visitors into customers.
How Does Content Marketing Work?
Content marketing has two primary job functions: first, it serves as an introduction to your company or industry and gives potential customers an idea of what you do.
Secondly, it provides useful information or content that can be easily passed along to others via social media.
What Is Content?
Content is essentially information that can be used in some way, whether that use is to educate, entertain or persuade. For businesses, content marketing typically involves blog posts, whitepapers, ebooks and videos. In marketing, content usually refers to information provided via the internet or social media channels.
For example, it can refer to blog posts and articles that are shared on sites like LinkedIn or Twitter. Content marketing can also refer to videos and images shared using YouTube or Facebook.
Why Is Content Marketing Important?
Many of your customers will want to learn more about your business through content marketing because they will trust you to provide quality information. When they learn that you are a reliable source of information, this trust will grow.
When building trust is the goal, human-interest stories and positive reinforcement are also important because people seek out experiences that resemble their own lives and feelings. Human-interest content allows customers to envision themselves in your shoes and feel as if they have discovered something new or interesting.
How Content Marketing Drives Sales
This type of marketing drives sales by raising awareness, building brand loyalty, and through research and consideration — ultimately drives home the sale.
- Awareness: Every customer segment has a different need when it comes to content marketing. A high-level overview of your particular industry and what you offer will help you better understand what consumers want to know about your brand.
- Loyalty: All of the benefits will only help if people become loyal customers. The more loyal and happy your customers are, the more likely they are to refer you to others, even if you aren’t always providing them with the best products or services.
- Research: Creating and sharing useful information will also lead to research, and customers who find themselves in a self-help pinch will usually do the most research in order to find the answer. In this way, your content marketing can sometimes act as a stepping stone for customers in their research process, leading them from simple questions like “What does this company do?” to more specific questions like “How can they help me with X?”
- Consideration: The information you provide will also help customers make more considered purchasing decisions. By understanding your company’s mission, products and services, customers can accurately determine whether or not you would be a good fit for them. They can also determine whether your brand aligns with theirs and whether or not they should consider doing business with you.
- Purchase: As a customer, there is little that makes you happier than a purchase. Appreciation for sharing your expertise or sending valuable information to your customers over time will help them feel that you may be worth doing business with in the future.
What Is the Role of Content Marketing?
The role of content marketing is to create and/or curate content that is relevant to your target audience. Generally speaking, this will mean providing your audience with information about your products or services, but it can also include other topics that are relevant to what you do!
Which Best Describes the Content Marketing and Inbound Marketing Relationship?
Content marketing is a subset of inbound marketing. While content marketing includes any kind of company-generated content, including blog posts, eBooks and videos, it also incorporates many other aspects of inbound marketing.
This includes optimizing your website by making it easily accessible to search engines and improving SEO with relevant keywords. It also involves sharing your content through social media to attract traffic and improve visibility.
All of the following are examples of content marketing:
- A blog post about a new product that is being released by the company.
- A blog post offering some advice that will help your readers improve their blogs and attract more readers.
- An article about some trends or changes in an industry that your target audience might be interested in learning more about (This could be a market report or even a personal story about how you learned something new after working in a specific industry for so long)
How To Create a Content Marketing Strategy
The best way to implement a content marketing strategy is to do it systematically and with a timeline. This will help you stay on track and keep your priorities straight.
It will also make it easier for you to manage the time that you put in so that you don’t overextend yourself or suffer from burnout.
Determine What Your Goals Are
The first step to make in creating a content marketing strategy is to determine what your goals for that particular business are. Are you trying to attract new customers? Are you trying to get them to commit to purchasing certain products? Is your goal attracting returning customers?
Sometimes it is easier than other times but it is always important that you define your marketing goals before you move on to the next step.
Identify Your Key Performance Indicators / Metrics
Every marketing plan should include a set of KPIs (or key performance indicators) that measure whether you are on track to reaching your goals. KPIs can be used for measuring growth, revenue or even user engagement.
You’ll also need to consider how you will measure your success with each KPI. For example, if one of your goals is to find out which social media networks are most effective in getting customers to return, you might want to use Facebook statistics like “recs” and “likes.
Decide Upon Your Content Channel & Content Type
Depending upon your goals and channel, you will need to decide which content type(s) will produce the best results. Do you want to make use of the traditional blog? How about an infographic? Or do you have something else in mind that better suits your target audience?
Set up a Budget & Stick to It
As this strategy will most likely require outside help, you’ll have to decide how much you can afford to spend on hires, subcontractors and other expenses. If you’re looking to go with a content agency, make sure they are well-researched and experienced.
It is essential that you know exactly how much it will cost before you enter into any contracts or agreements.
Content Creation & Distribution
Once your budget is set, the next step is starting on the content creation process. You should hold several brainstorming sessions to determine all of the different topics you should cover and at what frequency you want to publish them. If you have a set budget, make sure to check if it covers all of these sessions.
You can then assign content creation tasks to specific individuals or outside parties that will be responsible for researching each topic and coming up with a well-written piece.
Define a Timeline
If you are not able to employ a team of writers or outside assistance, you will need to come up with an approximate time frame for when you want to finish work on the content marketing strategy. This can help give more focus too.
Result Tracking & Analysis
It is important to stay on top of your content marketing strategy and adjust it when necessary. Make use of tools like Google Analytics to assess how people were using the content you provided.
Did they get what they wanted? Was the information helpful? Was it the kind of information that customers were looking for? Or, did they find it mundane or not relatable?
What Are the Types of Content Marketing?
There are a few main types of content marketing that companies can use to try to attract more traffic and conversions. Let’s review the most popular types.
The blog is a great way to attract potential customers. It can often be the very first step in getting your business some new traffic. Having a blog that provides valuable content to your audience regularly can help you connect with and engage readers that you would not otherwise reach through other marketing channels.
Podcasts can be a great way to get the word out about your company and products or services. If you’re not sure how to create a podcast of your own, there are lots of tools and helpful services that can help.
There are even some free ones if you don’t want to spend any money.
Newsletters are a great way to connect with potential customers on a regular basis. You can set up an automated email sequence that will help educate your audience on products they might not know about or understand yet.
Video is a great way to showcase your product or service and give visitors a little more information about it. Many people prefer to see and hear when they are trying to decide whether or not they should buy something.
You can also use videos for demonstrations, introductions, and much more.
Infographics are a great way to highlight specific information about your business and/or products. They can also be great for creating some conversation online as people like to discuss, comment on, and share interesting infographics.
Paid ads are a great way to reach a lot of people at one time. However, these ads can get pricey so you should make sure that your business can afford to do this on a regular basis.
Social media ads are a good way to attract customers to try out your products and services. There are several ways to create and share content that is appropriate for your business, you can place it on one of the many popular social media networks.
Content Marketing vs Traditional Marketing
The traditional marketing method involves paying for advertisements on television, radio, and in print. It is often used by larger companies with the resources to do so.
On the other hand, content marketing is aimed at building trust with your target audience over time through free online content before encouraging them to either buy or subscribe to products and services.
The benefits of content marketing are numerous. The strategies used can be very effective in establishing your business as an expert in your niche.
Contact Ten Twentyseven With Your Content Marketing Needs
We create useful and interesting content that helps grow the businesses of our clients. We work with world-class copywriters to create engaging blog posts, landing pages and strategies that generate sales. Our team is 100% committed to helping you build your brand.
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