What is Content Marketing?

January 8th, 2021 by

The digital marketing space has become inundated with various new phrases and marketing terms within the last few years, and it can be tricky to keep on top of them all. With traditional marketing becoming less relevant by the minute, it’s important to know your digital marketing terms and what they actually mean. One of the most important and popular marketing methods at the moment is content marketing. 

Content marketing is the creation and distribution of valuable, relevant and consistent content, made for the purpose of attracting and retaining a clear audience, and to drive consumer purchases. The ultimate goals of content marketing are to increase brand awareness and improve search engine rankings. The best content marketing strategy is carefully tailored to your brand messaging and audience. Customers and buyers are flooded with more and more marketing messages than ever before, so it’s crucial to have content that can break through the static. A well-crafted content marketing strategy positions your business as a thought leader and helps build brand loyalty as you educate and inform your audience. Content that entertains and educates can help form a strong relationship between brand and customer, which will only continue to grow overtime. 

Traditional marketing meant businesses had to rent users’ attention through other people’s media with ad displays on websites. Creating your own content gives you more control over your business or brand, and lets you build the audience you want, rather than relying on another business’ audience. Brands have the opportunity to establish themselves as credible and trustworthy, further developing a trusting relationship with their audiences. In the age of social media, 58% of consumers visit a brand’s social media page before visiting their website. 

Content marketing is something that is needed at every stage of the customer’s buying journey. 85% of consumers trust brands that proactively guide them to a purchasing decision and prove they are a brand worth investing in. It shows consumers you trust their ability to come to their own decision that your brand or product is something they need. In addition, content marketing is generally a low-cost method of reaching your target audience.

How To Create a Content Marketing Strategy

Content Marketing Strategy

You might be thinking “what is content creation? What is content strategy?”, so let’s look into that. Creating a content strategy involves planning the long-term implementation and optimisation of the content you create. The first step to this is understanding your target audience. 

To understand who you’re targeting, you can create customer profiles to reflect your audience. These profiles include their needs, challenges, spending habits, careers, hobbies and the types of content they like to consume. Understanding these will help you figure out their content needs at each stage of the buying process. Accessing each touch point of the journey will help you go from just another brand to a favoured brand. 

How To Create a Content Marketing Strategy

Image sourced from McKinsey

Once you understand your audience, you can start brainstorming your planned content. While you can have a general idea of what content you’ll produce, you still need to be receptive and  responsive to changing trends within your industry. If you are one of the first to cover a topic, you’ll gain the majority of conversations. An editorial calendar will help you keep track of your content marketing distribution; it also allows others within your team and business to plan other activities around the upcoming content. 

When producing your content, you’ll want to make the most out of it. Feel free to reuse ideas and topics and translate them into different content styles, for example, make a blog post into an infographic. This ensures you are able to target more potential customers as they will each have their own preferences on consuming content. 

As you publish your content, ensure you are tracking and analysing its engagement and analytics. Keeping up old or poor content can tarnish the credibility and authority of your brand. If a piece of content performs outstandingly well, you will be able to re-write and publish it again at a later date. In addition, make sure you are tracking relevant analytics and data to help you improve your content for the future.

Examples of Content Marketing

Examples of Content Marketing

The type of content marketing used will vary depending on the brand and audience. The way to find out the best content marketing strategy for your company is trial and error. You need to think about what your audience wants, and how you can relate this back to your brand aesthetic and voice; listen to the feedback your audience provides to improve and amend the content you create. This will not only help you gain more brand exposure, but will make your existing audience feel valued, further improving your relationship with them.

There is an exhaustive list of content creation methods out there, so here is just a handful of content marketing examples: 

1. Blogs

2. Videos

3. Influencer/paid ad content

4. Infographics

5. Case studies

6. User-generated content (UGC)

7. Gated content

8. Memes

9. Reviews

10. Whitepapers 

Benefits of Content Marketing

There are countless benefits to content marketing. It is a unique approach to engage with potential customers and helps ease some pain points within the digital space if done correctly. 

One of the main benefits is that it is a cheap way to convert leads to customers, and to manage your own reputation. You are in full control of your brand narrative, meaning you will directly attract the audience you want. Furthermore, you are able to fully engage your audience in conversations, and make them feel valued by taking actions from their direct feedback. Just make sure your content is directly relevant to your audience, otherwise you have wasted time and resources creating something that is useless. 

This type of marketing is easy to measure and provides actionable steps you can take to improve content to further your reach – online content accessible to everyone with an internet connection.

Content Marketing: The Takeout

Content marketing is a great way to directly speak to your customers and potential audience. By using a variety of methods you will be able to increase your reach and present yourself or brand as a thought and industry leader. It helps with a seamlessly integrated marketing plan and allows your brand to be active and reactive to industry trends. 

The more specifically targeted your content, the better the results and feedback. The type of content marketing you choose will depend on who you want to target and how you want to position your brand. It is important to listen to your audience and see what they want, rather than following what your competitors do. This will keep you ahead of the game, and position you as a favoured brand.

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