The 5-Minute Guide to Content Marketing
When you invest in content marketing, you increase the trust and relationship you have with your customers, grow brand awareness and generate more leads... BOOM!
Sounds good, right?
But WHAT exactly is content marketing, and HOW can you use it to achieve these business goals?
Well, content marketing is a vast subject on which entire courses and in-depth books have been written!
If you want to get a quick grasp of it, you've come to the right place!!
In this post, I'll cover the following:
what is content marketing
types of content marketing
aims of content marketing
how to track the success of content marketing
content marketing best practices
Let's get started....
What is Content Marketing?
Content Marketing primarily involves companies creating and publishing valuable, educational and informative content to a specific audience.
As we'll see later, this content can take on many different forms, aligned to the needs of your audience.
As people consume the content, they become more familiar with the brand and the level of trust increases.
This eventually leads to the ultimate goal of the customer making a decision to purchase whatever product or service you're selling.
70% of companies actively invest in content marketing - Hubspot Research Global Survey 2019
Content marketing is about educating and informing audiences - not about the product you sell.
Types of Content Marketing
There are many different types of content marketing, they include:
social media posts
My post "9 Content Types" goes into some of these in more detail and shows how they can be used by businesses to support their business objectives.
Speaking of which.......
Aims of Content Marketing (why should we do it!)?
4 key business goals which content marketing supports are:
driving traffic to your website + key landing pages
increasing brand awareness
building trust and authority
Let's take a closer look at HOW content marketing supports these goals...
#1 Drive Traffic to Your Website + Landing Pages
Whatever type of content marketing you choose, the end goal should be to direct users to your website.
Specifically a page where you want them to take an action like buying a course, signing up for a service or simply subscribing to your newsletter
Users can consume your content, with each content piece having a clear call-to-action (CTA).
Content marketing serves as great way to improve your search engine optimization (SEO) and get your product or service to appear in search engine results.
The website Search Engine Watch reported that in 2018, Google has around 90% of all web searches, and having content is a great way to help boost your search engine ranking.
#2 Generate Leads
Businesses can use content as lead magnets to generate leads.
For example, the Financial Educators Council provide access to their Financial Education Program Resources in exchange for your email address.
Subscribers will then be added to the email subscribers list which will allow the company to include them on newsletters and product updates and other content as part of their email marketing strategy.
#3 Increase Brand Awareness
Awareness precedes choice, and choice precedes results
I love this short and simple quote from Robin Sharma, author of "The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari".
If customers don't know about your product or service, how are they going to make a choice to buy from you?
Content marketing allows you to reach audiences from local to global and get your brand out there in the minds of customers.
Decide upon your brand image and what your core values are, then communicate it consistently.
Whether you choose to create and publish videos on YouTube, or start up a Facebook page - content marketing is a brilliant way to begin reaching larger audiences and gaining potentially more customers.
#4 Build Trust and Authority
By providing content which educates and informs your audience, companies can build trust and better relationships.
I'm sure at times in the past you've said, "he knows what he's talking about" - and this expression fits perfectly with content marketing.
People will always be more likely to buy a product or service from somewhere who demonstrates some skill or knowledge of their sector or field.
Now that we know the aims of content marketing, let's take a look at how you can measure its success...
Measuring the Success of Content Marketing
Hubspot's global report in 2019 found that the most common measurement of content marketing success used by companies was total sales.
I'll cover these in greater detail in a separate post, but here's a quick insight into each of them
Lead Generation: Whatever your current process is for tracking the source of lead generation, make sure you add your content marketing source to the list
Total Sales: Are your sales increasing as a result of your content marketing strategy? What is the Return on Investment (ROI)?
Web Traffic: Are you getting more visitors to your website? After all, without traffic there is no revenue!
Onsite Engagement: If you are using blogs or videos within your site, how much engagement is each piece of content getting? Look at the number of thumbs up, comments and shares for each piece of content.
Social Engagement: Similar to onsite engagement. How many likes, shares and comments is your content receiving. Which posts are the most popular? Using tools uch as Facebook Insights can help to analyse.
SEO Success: Having your website appear higher in search engine results is a key driver of website traffic. It's important to note that it takes time to see the success of an SEO campaign. Just because you start writing a blog, don't expect it to be on the first page of Google the next day!
Authority: This can be measured both online and offline. Online authority can be tracked in content shares, and backlinks to your content. Offline could include being asked to appear in industry events or roundups, and gaining attention from media outlets.
That's a quick overview of the 7 metrics.
You don't need to track all, this can be counterproductive and lead to "paralysis by analysis"!!
When you start a new content marketing campaign, clearly identify your objectives and set 2-3 SMART goals to track success.
Want to get started?
Content Marketing Best Practices
Hopefully you've got this far and have a better understanding of what content marketing is and how it can benefit your business.
So, let's have a look at 3 things you can do to start your content marketing strategy TODAY!
1. Choose your PRIMARY content type
Although you don't have to be restricted to producing one type of content, it can help to focus on ONE specific content type to begin with.
Once you've mastered that type, move on to the next.
2. Decide upon the format for your niche
As we saw previously, there are a TON of options when it comes to choosing your content format.
Consider which format works best for the message you are trying to get across.
For example, if you want to explain how to perform an exercise or yoga routine, a video or infographic will work much better than a blog.
3. Study your audience
2 things you need to consider here are where your target audience hangout online and what what type of content they like.
For example, if you're in the B2B sector, the LinkedIn is likely to be your platform of choice.
On the flip-side, if you are targeting a younger generation the Instagram, Twitter or Tik Tok might be the best choice.
Secondly, think about the type of content your audience prefers. Do they watch videos, or read blogs? Are they likely to be people who listen to podcasts?
Hopefully this post has answered some of your questions about what content marketing is and given you an idea of how it can be integrated into your overall marketing strategy and MOTIVATED you to get started.
If you are a business owner, content marketing can not only be a cost-effective marketing strategy, but also a lot of FUN!
Catch you soon guys!
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James G Media is a copywriting and content writing agency based in Bangkok, Thailand. It's our mission to support your business growth by helping you write the Words That Win through copywriting for sales and advertising, social media marketing, SEO content writing, and website design.