As I’m sure you already know, the success of business and branding is not possible without a solid digital marketing plan. But what you might not know is content is the key to navigating the marketing maze. Whether you’re writing a simple blog for SEO purposes or tackling an entire content marketing strategy alone, it’s vital to understand what it is and how it is used in order to reap the benefits.
This guide will help you get the knowledge you need to start or take your content marketing campaign to the next level.
So, exactly what is content marketing?
Content is a generic term for stuff on the internet, such as posts, articles or videos, and as the name suggests, content marketing involves the creation and sharing of this material to stimulate interest in your business. I like to think of it as the meat on the bones of digital marketing.
Outbound marketing is out and inbound marketing is in. To reach an audience in today’s market, you need material that resonates with them in a natural way, and creating targeted content is one of the most effective ways. When used correctly, content marketing acts as the driving force behind the conversion of online leads into paying customers and the overall growth of your brand. Luckily, the content marketing methodology is straightforward and implementable by creative marketers of all skill levels.
Types of content marketing
There are many different types of content marketing, but here are some of the most popular methods:
Blog Content Marketing
Nothing quite offers the same scope of creativity, SEO, and internal linking opportunities as blogs. This type of content, which is usually focused around a specific theme or topic, allows you to connect with your audience on a personal level. If your blog is successful, it will bring new leads and will help you grow your audience. What’s more, blogs are the perfect opportunity to build website authority and boost your Google ranking – so you can kill two birds with one stone.
Social Media Content Marketing
With 3.96 billion users worldwide, social media marketing is a vital part of any effective content marketing strategy. This type of content requires a more traditional approach, using one or several platforms like Facebook, Tik Tok, Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat. But don’t think of it as a passing trend – social media is here to stay. Creating content for social media platforms will increase brand awareness, foster relationships with your customers as well as generate leads and boost conversions.
Video Content Marketing
According to a Biteable survey from 2020, 74% of marketers say video has a better return on investment than static imagery. After all, video is immersive, and whatever the format, it delivers high-quality interactions with your customers. It’s a smart idea to take advantage of this by creating compelling videos that sell your products and services. And thanks to smart device technology, you don’t need a professional-grade setup to create video content.
Paid Ad Content Marketing
Paid ads are still a top contender for paid marketing, but cost is no longer the only reason why. In today’s market, paid ads like Facebook advertising offer a smarter approach to content marketing. With the right knowledge and experience, paid ads can be used to promote content that appeals to your customers and drives sales.
Develop a solid content strategy
It’s no secret that content is king when it comes to digital marketing. Without the right strategy, however, you won’t get as much out of your campaign as you could. And because it takes time and effort, it only makes sense to choose the right strategy for your business. So before you sit down and put your plans on paper, consider the following points:
Content should align with business goals
In order to set up an effective content marketing strategy, you should first and foremost consider your business goals. What are you hoping to achieve? By choosing a clear marketing goal in advance, you can prioritise the most important steps of your content marketing experience.
Consider the capabilities of your business
Because every business is different and every market is also unique, it’s impossible to create a “one-size-fits-all” content marketing strategy. Unfortunately, you can’t choose a set of tactics and expect them to do all the work for you. For example, someone who sells small electronic component kits on the internet will need to create different content for search engines than someone who sells lightning-fast sports cars. Instead, you must develop a plan that considers your business in its entirety and allows for some creative thinking.
Understand your audience
Content marketing will only be effective if you can develop a content strategy that is relevant for your customers. If it doesn’t speak to them, they won’t listen. Make sure you have a solid amount of data on the age, race, gender, sexuality and browsing habits of your audience – this information serves as the inspiration for all content creation.
Focus on quality and consistency
If you’re creating engaging content, it may be tempting to release new material as soon as possible. After all, you want to keep people interested in your brand. But it’s important not to rush into things. It’s no good if customers have to wait weeks or months before content marketing becomes interesting again. Instead, you must focus on creating quality material that is high-quality, consistent and relevant to your brand.
Content marketing in practice
Now you have a solid understanding of content marketing and have developed a strategy, it’s time to put your campaign into action. With the right approach, content marketing can transform your brand from a local business to an international phenomenon. Once your campaign is up and running, keep the following things in mind to help ensure continued success:
Create great content
No matter how detailed your plan is, or how well you know your audience, it’s pointless if you don’t create great content. Make sure you invest in talented professionals who specialise in content creation or work alongside a reputable digital marketing agency.
Analyse and measure results
Once your content is out there, it’s important to keep track of its performance. Otherwise, you’ll have no way of knowing if your efforts are working. You can do this by analysing campaign data on a regular basis – after all, statistics are there to be used.
Focus on security
The way data is handled in the digital age has changed considerably over the past decade, and data security is now a top priority for any business owner. This means that you should only use platforms and software that take data security seriously.
Measuring content marketing performance
As I mentioned before, analysing and measuring campaign performance is a vital part of content marketing practice. This is because the success of a content strategy hinges on the number of views, clicks and conversions that it generates, which in turn depends on your ability to analyse a campaign’s performance. Therefore, you need to collect data on the following:
It’s important to understand which pages are getting the most visits, how long the user stayed on the page and their bounce rate as this allows you to tweak the content to better suit user needs and encourage further engagement.
Data on organic search rates gives insight into the user’s search intent that led them to your website. And if they go back to the search engine for a second page of results, then it’s likely that their search intent wasn’t exactly what you thought it was, and you’ll need to adjust your content strategy.
This is the ultimate indicator of content marketing success. Conversion data tells you how many people have downloaded your content, shared it with their friends or otherwise converted into customers. You should aim for a 10% conversion rate – anything less suggests you need to modify your content marketing strategy.
These are the key data points that most marketers want to know as they contribute to the success of their campaigns. The best way to capture this information is by using Google Analytics, Hubspot or Mixpanel.
Content marketing is one of the most valuable tools in a digital professional’s arsenal. It allows you to create content that engages your customers and takes them on a journey that forms a stronger bond. If you have the patience, tools and organisation to create great content while keeping on top of your marketing campaign, content marketing can transform your business. Best of luck!