Content marketing is a marketing strategy that focuses on creating and sharing valuable, relevant content with the purpose of building trust and driving traffic to websites.
There are a wide range of tactics that are used to create this content. These include: blog posts, video, infographics, podcasts, eBooks, white papers, guides and more.
The goal of content marketing is to drive traffic to your website so that you can convert those new visitors into customers. The most successful content marketers spend time creating high quality content that is highly relevant to their target audience. They then share it on the most relevant social media platforms.
When done right, content marketing is a very effective way of attracting new customers, some of the advantages are:
Content marketing is cost effective when you have the right strategy in place and your website is in a good place with its SEO efforts.
Content production can be very cheap, especially when we are talking about blog content or articles on websites. These are normally specialist topics about the business you work in that should come quite naturally to you or your staff.
Conversely content marketing can also be very expensive, if you hire writers and don’t implement a suitable strategy to align with your goals you may find that you do not get the correct return on investment.
Creating relevant content to your business or specialist topics can be incredibly niche, this in itself puts you in a position where you are unlikely to have much or any competition for the specific topic you are writing about which leads to almost a monopoly on searches for that sort of content on search engines.
When promoting your content on social media or with other websites you hold something of value that people want to see. In essence content marketing is all about creating the right content that people want, it can take a little creative thinking to come up with what exactly that is.
As a professional it is sometimes easy to take what you do for granted, but the knowledge you have is privileged knowledge that comes from having a background or experience in what you do.
When you start to put your thoughts down into a written medium you will find that you have insights and knowledge that many people don’t and are searching for. Demonstrating your expertise in a well presented format, be that written, video or audio, you are building up a pool of resources around your industry that people can see and understand.
There is a difference between a brand saying they do something, and a brand that actively shows they can do it.
Content marketing is arguably the only way to be found online. Whether people are searching on Google for articles, or YouTube for videos, ultimately what they are looking for is the content that you make.
Without content generation you cannot have SEO since there is nothing to promote and you can’t add value to social media campaigns since there is nothing to give your followers.
There are a number of different content types that you can use to create your content marketing strategy. The best type of content for you will depend on your business and your goals, although you may find a lot of success in the following formats.
What are they?: Articles are content pieces often of expert information related to your industry
How can you use them?: Articles can pull in very targeted visitors to your site, create the kind of content that your audience is likely to require and this will make a natural introduction to your offering to turn your visitor into a customer.
What are they?: Podcasts are short segments often in an informal spoken style that may be video or audio formats.
How can you use them?: Podcasts can cross over between informational and entertainment to give a personal touch to the information you deliver. This can be used in the style of product reviews, facts worth knowing or story telling related to your industry.
What are they?: Video content is usually a clip of recorder or animated content, with spoken dialogue or voiceovers. Videos are highly engaging and depending on the topic may be the preferred media format of visitors.
How can you use them?: Videos can help to make your content easier to digest, or where the visual sense is important, for example if someone wanted to take apart their TV they would probably prefer to see someone perform the steps on video for them to recreate rather than following written steps in an article.
What are they?: Infographics are usually graphical representations of data that help to tell a story, in that sense they should really be called “Data Stories” rather than “Infographics”.
How can you use them?: There is a large focus on appealing visuals so the help of a graphic designer is pretty critical to creating an effective infographic that will be well received.
What are they?: eBooks are often reserved for longer-form content, usually a complete guide to something pretty comprehensive. They are meant to be taken away and used over a longer period of time.
How can you use them?: eBooks benefit from staying with the reader for a slightly longer time, you can expect to get a little more engagement and focus from someone reading through your eBook. Where relevant it can also be advisable to include conversion paths back to you in the form of a phone number for help, or reminder of where to buy your products.
What are they?: Guides work in the space between a website article and an eBook, the content works to serve a purpose so you can expect it to be quite detailed and focus a lot of supporting imagery or references. The purpose is to help the reader achieve a goal.
How can you use them?: Guides are a great way to build credibility and trust, they can be especially useful on social media where you can help people when they are asking for it. Helping a potential customer with pressure to buy creates a relationship of trust.
Content marketing limitations are most commonly based around the ability to create content, if you are in a particularly crowded content space such as a game reviews you may find it very difficult to compete or even stand out in the noise.
There are ways around this such as providing content in a new or less common format to differentiate yourself but this may become expensive or require a lot of expertise to perform.