Content marketing is all about creating and sharing valuable content to attract and engage customers. It’s a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing engaging, relevant, and useful content to attract and retain a target audience.
Content marketing can take many different forms, including blog posts, social media posts, articles, infographics, photos, videos, webinars, e-books, podcasts, white papers, and case studies.
Although the goal of content marketing is not always to drive immediate sales leads or revenue for your business, it can lead to increased traffic, greater visibility online, help with search engine rankings, improve customer engagement, build trust in your brand, increase loyalty, etc. These are often an end result of this practice but are also results that are hard to measure directly by simply looking at ROI.
What are the Benefits of Content Marketing?
- It increases awareness of your brand. Content marketing turns strangers into customers, and prospects to leads.
- It drives traffic. By offering helpful advice or ideas you can direct people towards you via content marketing – instead of having them run in the other direction by just selling to them.
- By offering helpful advice or ideas you can direct people towards you via content marketing – instead of having them run in the other direction by just selling to them. It builds trust. Content tells your story and demonstrates your expertise, which will make people more inclined to do business with you.
- Content tells your story and demonstrates your expertise, which will make people more inclined to do business with you. It’s cost-effective. Quality content doesn’t have to be expensive – it can be created with little expenditure, as long as it is engaging and relevant.
- Quality content doesn’t have to be expensive – it can be created with little expenditure, as long as it is engaging and relevant. It supports other marketing efforts. When used in conjunction with other marketing activities, such as SEO and PPC, content marketing can be extremely powerful.
Content Marketing Step by Step Guide
Content marketing is one of many modern methods for promoting your business and developing a loyal following, but it’s not easy to do well. Content marketing campaigns require planning and work in order to be successful.
This guide can help you get started with a step-by-step approach that you can adapt, depending on your resources or time constraints.
1. Establish your goals and objectives:
The first step in planning your content marketing campaign is to map out your goals for the project. After all, why are you creating this campaign? What are you hoping to achieve over time? Will it be used primarily as an educational resource that will eventually lead to more customers? Or, is the goal to increase brand awareness and loyalty among your current customer base?
Once you’ve determined your goals, you can start planning the type of content that will help you reach them. For example, if you want to increase website traffic, you might invest in creating more blog posts or developing new white papers. If you want to increase leads, you might create more e-books or case studies.
2. Know your audience:
Understanding your target audience is essential for creating effective content. Who are they? What do they want or need? What are their interests? Once you have a clear picture of your target audience, you can create content that speaks to them directly.
3. Choose the right channels:
Not all channels are created equal when it comes to content marketing. Some channels work better for certain types of content than others. For example, blog posts tend to work well on social media, while infographics are more likely to be successful on Pinterest. Figure out which channels your target audience uses most and focus your content distribution there.
4. Create great content:
This one should go without saying, but unfortunately, it doesn’t. Many businesses create content that’s lackluster and don’t really offer anything new or valuable to their audience. If you want your content marketing strategy to be successful, you need to invest time and effort in creating great content.
How to Find and Create Content Ideas?
Creating a content calendar can help you plan out how you’re going to create and distribute content. But where do you come up with your ideas?
Here are a few different methods for finding great content ideas:
How-to Guides: These pieces of content walk readers through the process of completing a specific task, like setting up an email marketing campaign or optimizing your website for mobile.
Data and Analytics: From new stats on how customers search online to research reports on industry trends, data can make for great content and help you establish credibility as an expert in your field.
Expert Interviews: Get insights from thought leaders in your industry by interviewing them and publishing their responses on your blog or site.
Industry News: Keeping track of what’s going on in your field will help you find stories that are related to your business, but aren’t directly about it.
Industry Data: The success of your content is partly dependent on its uniqueness. If you can find data or statistics that are specific to your industry, that might set you apart from other publishers in the space.
Customer Questions: Your customers are a valuable source of content ideas. Take note of the questions they’re asking you and then write blog posts, create e-books, or design infographics that answer them.
Once you have a few content ideas, it’s time to start creating your content. But don’t forget to promote it too!
5. Promote your content:
The best piece of content in the world is useless if no one ever sees it, so it’s important to promote your content. There are many ways to do this. No promotion method will work for every piece of content, so start by testing different channels to find which ones work best for you.
Email Marketing: Use email marketing to promote your latest blog posts, e-books, and other pieces of content.
Social Media: Share links to your content on social media sites like Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.
Blogging Platforms: If you manage a blog for another business or organization that has its own platform (like Tumblr or Posterous), use that to promote your content.
Paid Advertising: Use paid advertising, like Google AdWords, to drive traffic to your content.
Offline Promotion: Promote your content offline by distributing flyers or postcards at trade shows or other events in your industry.
No matter which methods you choose, make sure you track how well each one is performing so you can continue to improve your content marketing strategy.
6. Measure performance:
When creating a strategy for any type of advertising campaign, measuring results is key to success. Make sure that whatever results you’re seeing is real and not just due to chance by tracking everything before, during, and after your content goes live. This will help you to determine what’s working and what isn’t, so you can make changes as needed.
By following these six steps, you’ll be able to create an effective content marketing platform that gets results.
So there you have it – a basic guide to content marketing! It may seem like a lot of work, but if done correctly, content marketing can be an incredibly effective business tool.
Content Marketing Tools
By using a variety of different tools, you can gain a better understanding of what content is resonating with your audience and how you can improve your content marketing strategy.
1. Social media:
social media is a key component of content marketing and can be used to distribute your content in a variety of ways. You can post links to your content on your social media profiles, share photos and videos, and run social media ads.
How Often Do I Share on Social Media?
The amount and frequency of your content distribution will depend on a variety of factors, such as your target audience, the type of content you’re creating, and the channels you’re using. However, a good rule of thumb is to share new content at least once a week on social media, and more often if possible. You can also share content more than once if it particularly resonates with your audience (for example, try sharing new and old blog posts on social media several times after they’re published).
2. Email newsletters:
email newsletters are another great way to distribute your content. You can send out a weekly or monthly newsletter with links to your latest blog posts, photos, etc.
3. Your website or blog:
you should also include links to your content on your website or blog so that people can easily find it. You can also use your website or blog to write about your content and give readers a little more detail about what it’s all about.
if you’re able to get press coverage, this can help your content reach a wider audience and gain more visibility online.
5. Other websites or blogs:
you can also submit links to your content on external websites or blogs that are relevant to it in some way. However, make sure not to abuse this process by submitting links too frequently so as not to annoy people!
What kind of content you should produce?
The best way to answer this question is to think about what your target market wants to know, then give it to them. Isabelle Bajeux White suggests seven types of content that businesses should produce:
This type of content is typically made up of white papers, research reports, and ebooks. They are helpful resources for your target market, which will engage them and demonstrate your expertise in the process.
This type of content is similar to informational, but not so much about you as it is about your target market. You can explain concepts or processes, or educate readers on the industry in general. Isabelle Bajeux White points out that this form of content marketing is especially powerful when combined with other types of content.
This is where you showcase success stories from your customers or give advice on how to solve problems in an entertaining way. It’s important that whatever you do, make sure it’s high quality and inspiring.
Content marketing should be about connecting with your target market, not selling to them. This is where you can get creative with your content, and include humor or interesting facts to make it enjoyable for your readers.
This type of content might be similar to educational, but instead of focusing on processes or theories, you’re sharing opinions, answering questions, and providing another point of view.
This type of content is where your readers can get involved, such as contests or polls which encourage participation. When your readers feel like they’re a part of something, they will be more committed to seeing it through to the end.
Images and videos are easier for people to digest, and will therefore hold their attention longer. You can use this type of content to explain concepts or support your other types of content.
A list of the most helpful tools for creating and distributing content marketing material.
Content marketing is a long-term strategy that should not be rushed. Make sure you have an established brand before you begin any form of content promotion, as it takes time to build the reputation and authority that is essential to your success.
Here I describe a few tools that help create and distribute the content.
1. Google Analytics
tracks website traffic through monthly reports, demographic data, time on the web page, etc., with an easy-to-use interface
2. Adobe Creative Cloud
a subscription service that provides users with access to a collection of software for graphic design, video editing, web development, and more
an online tool that allows users to manage all their social media accounts in one place, schedule posts, track mentions, etc.
a browser extension that helps users plan, publish, optimize, and measure their blog posts and social media updates
a suite of tools that helps website owners increase traffic and engagement on their site through pop-ups, email capture forms, social sharing buttons, and more.
a social media management platform that helps users schedule posts, track analytics, and more
A tool that helps users find the most popular content related to any topic or competitor.
8. Sprout Social
Social media management software for teams. Tracks engagement, manages multiple accounts & delivers reports.
9. Google Trends
Finds keywords to research further & discover what people are using to search for them.
10. WordStream Free Tools
Generates targeted traffic by finding the best keywords for PPC campaigns & SEO success.
Finds relevant long-tail keywords for content marketing using Google Autocomplete.
So there you have it! A basic guide to content marketing. As you can see, there are a lot of different things to consider when it comes to creating and distributing content. But if you take the time to plan and execute your content marketing strategy correctly, it can be a very powerful tool for your business.
Perhaps you’re a marketer who has been looking to build a sound strategy around content marketing. Or perhaps you’re a content creator trying to decide between collaborating with clients on either paid or organic distribution of their content. Whatever the case may be, marketers from both sides need a helping hand sometimes—and we at TECHOUSE say: “Welcome!”
The tips and strategies mentioned in the article above are meant to help any business or brand make informed decisions about their own approach to creating and distributing relevant content. Our aim is to arm you with the knowledge required to think critically about your approach, and also to make it easier for you to get started if you’re just joining in on the content marketing game.
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Content marketing is a great way to connect with customers and create a valuable resource for them. By publishing original content, promoting it effectively, and tracking its performance, you can create a successful content marketing strategy for your business.