The modern consumer is complex. They no longer become mesmerized by advertisements. Instead, they rely on educational content to make a purchase decision. Did you know that 90% of customers enjoy custom content from their favorite brands?
With consumers becoming less and less responsive to traditional ads, content marketing has become a game-changer. However, if you don’t have the right plan, methods, and tools for content marketing, your efforts only become futile.
If you need help with digital content creation, read this guide and learn everything you need to maximize the benefits of content marketing.
Table of Contents
What is Content Marketing in Simple Words?
Content marketing is a savvy, long-term strategy. You consistently share valuable info to build strong bonds with your audience. It’s not about hard selling; it’s about being their trusted expert by offering helpful content.
Unlike one-time ads, it shows you care about customers, a key to success in today’s noisy world. It’s not like copywriting, which focuses on immediate sales. Content marketing builds an audience; you can use both strategies to educate and sell.
If you’re new, check our beginner’s guide or read on for deeper insights.
Importance and Benefits of Content Marketing
Content marketing can be a lot of work involving various platforms like blogs, videos, guides, and more. But it’s totally worth it because, when done correctly, it brings these benefits to your business. Here are some of the importance of content marketing:
1. Improved Search Engine Rankings and Increased Organic Traffic
Content marketing boosts your website’s search engine ranking by using the keywords and questions your potential customers use in their research. This brings in more organic traffic and quality leads.
2. Enhanced Conversions Leading to More Leads
By crafting top-notch, freely accessible content like articles and pillar pages that address your readers’ inquiries and assist them in solving their issues, you establish trust and move them closer to becoming customers.
3. Boosted Engagement with Your Audience
Good content marketing gets more clicks and views and keeps people on your site, scrolling and clicking to see more. It means better content makes visitors stay and engage longer. Plus, it helps build better customer relationships and boosts your search engine ranking.
4. Accelerated Sales Cycles
Effective content marketing can speed up sales cycles by educating and qualifying leads, making them more likely to close deals quickly. You can also create sales support content tailored to assist your sales team in closing more deals.
5. Reduced Costs and Increased ROI
Content marketing is budget-friendly, costing 62% less than traditional methods like paid ads and billboards, as reported by Demand Metric. It’s affordable because it relies on free or low-cost tools like blogging, SEO, and social media.
6. Establishing Trust with Your Audience
When your business educates instead of just selling to your prospects, you can show your expertise and make your brand more relatable. This builds trust with your audience, which is the key to big growth.
Types of Content in Content Marketing
Content marketing goes beyond blog posts. Here, we’ll explore various types, including offline, online, and hybrid approaches.
1. Offline Content Marketing
Offline content marketing, though less prevalent today, offers inspiring examples. Netflix, a streaming giant, excels in this area. To promote its series and films, Netflix creates offline experiences.
For instance, they transformed their hit show “Money Heist” into interactive billboards and murals, immersing people in the heist world. Netflix also cleverly advertises its original shows in unexpected places and employs ambient marketing techniques.
2. Online Content Marketing
Content marketing has always had a strong online presence. Brands excel in this realm; a prime example is using lead magnets. A lead magnet is an irresistible content that users exchange their email addresses for, often in the form of eBooks, cheat sheets, or white papers.
WordStream, an online marketing tool, provides numerous free resources to help users tackle challenges like optimizing Google Ads and improving keywords. Users simply fill out a short form to access these valuable resources.
3. Content Marketing Hybrids
Some companies embrace hybrid content marketing, blending online and offline elements within a single campaign. Adobe’s MAX conference illustrates this concept well.
The conference itself serves as a remarkable offline content marketing initiative. However, Adobe goes a step further by uploading hundreds of conference sessions for free on their website, making them accessible to everyone. This hybrid approach maximizes their reach and impact.
The Success of Content Marketing
Certainly, content creation and marketing play a vital role in audience building, engagement, and achieving various business goals. Need evidence? Consider these key statistics as part of your content marketing metrics:
- 63,000 Google searches every second
- Over 4 million internet users, with 3 million using mobile internet
- Over 3 million social media users
- 26% of adults are online constantly
These stats validate the success of content marketing and help you tailor your content strategy by understanding how consumers use the web.
Still not convinced? Check out more content marketing stats that highlight its effectiveness:
- 60% of marketers release daily content
- 93% of B2B marketers use content
- 57% of marketers say custom content creation is their priority
- Unique website traffic rises 7.8x higher with content marketing
- Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing strategies
- 39% of a marketing budget is spent on content marketing
- 82% of marketers who blog see a positive result from their ROI
- Conversion rates are 6x higher with content marketing
- 78% of CMOs believe content creation is the future of marketing
- 41% of large organizations and 48% of small organizations have a content marketing strategy
- B2B marketers use an average of 13 different content marketing tactics
- 64% of marketers outsource their content writing
- 72% of marketers produce more content this year than they did the previous year
These stats make a compelling case for content marketing being one of the most valuable tools at your disposal.
How to Create an Effective Content Marketing Strategy
Now that you grasp the essence of content and content marketing, let’s dive into crafting a successful content marketing strategy. Here are key steps to consider:
1. Know Your Goals
Start by defining your mission. Outline your content’s overall objectives, such as increasing traffic or boosting sales. Break these down into smaller, achievable goals, like publishing a set number of articles each week or experimenting with various content types.
2. Identify Your Audience
Before creating content, understand your audience. Tailor your content to resonate with those who engage with your brand. Speak directly to their needs and preferences. For instance, if you run a political podcast, tailor your content to your specific political audience’s interests and beliefs.
3. Audience Insights
Consider gender, age, income, education, location, and language to understand your audience better. These insights guide content creation and customization.
4. Plan the Process
Establish a clear content creation process for efficiency. Define responsibilities for creating, updating, and maintaining content. Create a publishing schedule or content calendar, allocate necessary resources, outline the content production workflow, and establish who has final content approval.
With these steps, you’ll be well-equipped to develop an effective content marketing strategy tailored to your goals and audience.
Alternative Forms of Content Marketing
Now that you know the basics of content marketing and how it guides customers from awareness to conversion, let’s explore other content types.
- Social Media: Leveraging various social platforms to disseminate content and engage with your audience.
- Live Video for Content Marketing: Using live video broadcasts to connect with your audience in real-time and share valuable content.
- Paid Advertising and Content Marketing: Combining paid advertising strategies with content marketing to expand your reach and impact.
- More Content Marketing Tips and Tricks: Additional strategies and insights to enhance your content marketing efforts.
- Use Analytics: Employing data analytics to gain insights into your content’s performance and audience engagement.
- Use A/B Testing: Experimenting with different content variations to determine what resonates best with your audience.
- Organize Your Content Schedule: Develop a structured content calendar for consistent and effective distribution.
- Build More Targeted Landing Pages: Creating specific landing pages to cater to different audience segments and campaigns.
- Segment Your Audience to Build Engagement: Dividing your audience into segments based on their interests and behaviors to deliver more personalized content.
- Implement Adaptive Content: Crafting content that adapts to the user’s preferences and behavior in real time.
- Consider the Hedgehog Model: Focusing on your brand’s core strengths and expertise to create content that aligns with your niche.
- Invest In Topic Training Modules: Develop educational modules to deepen your audience’s knowledge on relevant topics.
- Conduct a Competitive Analysis: Research and analyze your competitors’ content strategies to identify opportunities and gaps.
- Inject Emotion into Headlines: Crafting compelling headlines that evoke emotions and capture your audience’s attention.
- Build Engagement onto Your Own Space: Encouraging interactions and discussions on your website or platform.
- Repurpose Your Own Content to Get the Most Mileage Out of It: Recycling and repackaging existing content into different formats to reach a broader audience.
- Encourage User-Generated Content: Inviting your audience to create and share content related to your brand.
- Hijack Trending Topics (When It Makes Sense): Capitalizing on trending topics and conversations to create timely and relevant content.
These alternative approaches offer diverse ways to elevate your content marketing strategy and engage your audience effectively.
Mastering Content Creation for Content Marketing
Now that you have your strategy down, how do you create content? Here’s some advice to know.
1. Know Which Type of Content You Want to Create
There are many forms of content. While many brands will benefit from utilizing all content forms in their strategy, different brands will stick to one form of content over others. In short, content is in audio, text, or visual forms. Content creators can write an article, host a blog, create videos, or host a podcast.
2. Create a Topic
One of the most challenging parts of content creation is knowing what to write about. This is where a content calendar comes in. You think of content ideas and plan when you will release them so you always have content you can create and release.
Still stuck? Most forms of content follow one of these types:
- Case studies
- Industry news
- Expert advice
3. Research Keywords
To optimize your blogs, research keywords that your audience uses in Google searches. Look for keywords with high search results, low competition, and low difficulty. Using a keyword research tool can help you find the right ones.
4. Audit Your Blog
After creating content, it’s time to audit your blog’s performance. Check if your titles are compelling, your blog design is user-friendly, and your content aligns with your audience.
Ensure your blog is up to date, encourages engagement from subscribers, and is SEO-optimized. This audit helps you identify areas for improvement in your content strategy.
Every content audit is different for every brand. But these are general factors that can help you accomplish your goals.
Additional Expert Advice for Content Creation
As you delve into content creation, you’ll discover it’s more intricate than expected. Here’s some essential advice for all content creators:
The debate about content length abounds, but quality is paramount. Longer, in-depth content (around 2,000 words) often ranks higher, but don’t pad your article with fluff just to hit a word count.
Experiment with both short and long-form content to find what suits your writing style and yields the best results.
2. Exploring Nontraditional Content
While we’ve covered common content types, exploring nontraditional and unique formats is beneficial. Consider options like eBooks, webinars, reports, courses, and quizzes.
These engaging content types require less frequent production and can add variety to your content strategy.
Advanced Tactics for Content Marketing Success
As you create more content, you’ll notice your content marketing efforts will need a boost. This usually comprises one or more additional content marketing tactics. These include:
- Gated content
- Guest blogging
- Content curation
- Repurposing content
- FOMO content
Use one or more of these tactics to further entice your audience.
How To Get Started with Content Marketing
Content marketing may seem daunting, but it doesn’t need to be. To launch a successful campaign, follow these manageable and sustainable steps:
1. Know Your Audience
Understand your readers’ needs, challenges, and preferences. Create profiles for your target audience and focus on 1 or 2 segments if you can.
2. Choose the Right Format
Pick content formats that match your place in the sales cycle and effectively convey value. Whether it’s a video or a checklist, ensure quality content creation, even if it means getting a proofreader.
3. Decide on Distribution
Consider where your audience hangs out – on your website, in their email, or at events. Match content formats accordingly; emails work for articles, social media for checklists, and buyer’s guides for pitches.
4. Sustainable Schedule
Create a short-term plan (3-6 months) that aligns with your budget and resources. Avoid overambitious goals and factor in the time it takes to create each piece of content.
5. Best Practices
Keep content clear, jargon-free, and packed with actionable how-to advice. Short, relevant, and useful content is your goal.
Starting your content marketing journey with these steps will set you on the right path to engaging your audience effectively.
5 Content Marketing Examples
Here are five examples to spark your creativity:
Infographics are informative visuals packed with stats, charts, and data. They can go viral on social media and websites, providing long-lasting value.
Transforming a regular webpage into content marketing means offering valuable resources for free. Consider Moz’s “The Beginner’s Guide to SEO,” viewed millions of times, driving countless customers to their services.
Podcasts like Michael Hyatt’s “This is Your Life” offer valuable content for free, boosting visibility and attracting new audiences. The podcast itself may not directly generate revenue, but it can lead to book sales, course signups, and speaking engagements.
Gary Vaynerchuk’s YouTube channel demonstrates the power of video content marketing. It’s more accessible than you might think and can effectively promote various products and services.
Books aren’t just products; they can be powerful marketing tools. Authors like Michael Port use books to drive customers to coaching and speaking services. Self-publishing has made this strategy more accessible.
These are just a few examples of content marketing. Many more options include white papers, ebooks, apps, public speaking, presentations, and blogs.
How to Promote Your Content for Maximum Reach
You must use additional strategies to ensure a large audience finds your content. Some of these promotion strategies include:
Not only will you build a larger blog following, but these tactics will help your business grow as a whole.
For example, you can promote your blog on your social media, but you can also promote your social media on your blog. This ensures you have a wider reach in general.
Avoiding Common Content Marketing Mistakes
Now that you know what to do, you should also know what to avoid. Here are some common mistakes that even content marketing experts make.
- Not creating an email subscription list
- Not promoting your content
- Engaging in spammy content marketing practices
- Not creating a content marketing process
If you make these mistakes, don’t worry. You’re not immediately destined for failure. Just keep these mistakes in mind when creating content.
Content Marketing: The Future of Marketing
As mentioned, the modern customer wants valuable information, not high-pressure sales tactics. The easiest way to provide this is by creating content.
Customers not only make educated purchasing decisions, but your content also helps make them feel confident in their purchase. This creates a customer who is devoted to your brand and who will continue coming back to support your business.
Build Your Success Story Today with Content Marketing
Content marketing stands as an enduring pillar of success in the ever-evolving landscape of digital marketing, and as we step into 2023 and beyond, its significance continues to grow. To truly thrive in this dynamic realm, you need more than just knowledge; you need expertise.
Let BrandLume shape your brand’s success story. Boost your reach and credibility with our Press Release Writing & Distribution Services, making your announcements resonate across the digital landscape.
And don’t forget the critical foundation – optimize your web content with our On-Page SEO Optimization Services to rank higher and attract more organic traffic. Contact us today.