Although most marketers have heard of content marketing, executing a successful content marketing strategy is easier said than done. In fact, only 57% of marketers have a documented content marketing strategy planned, and only 42% reported they are taking their first steps in content marketing.
If you’ve been wondering ‘what is content marketing?’ and you’re ready to learn how it can help your brand outdo the competition, today is your lucky day.
Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about content marketing.
How Does Content Marketing Work?
Content marketing works by giving readers information that adds value by addressing their pain points and answering their questions. By creating this kind of content, you can help move them along the sales funnel.
With that said, here are four main reasons and benefits for using content marketing:
- More customer engagement
- Better brand awareness
- Lead generation
- Sales enablement
Content such as blogs or other landing pages can boost organic traffic from searches, social media platforms, and other sources such as live events. Creating different types of content for different platforms can help to draw in an audience and create more user engagement.
Provides readers with what they’re looking for
Create high-quality content that addresses things your target audience is already interested in. Here are a few tips to get you started:
- Conduct keyword research to get an idea of what your target audience is searching for online (by using marketing tools)
- Be helpful and authentic
- Create a consistent schedule to publish your content
- Be authoritative
- Keep your content readable and skimmable by avoiding large blocks of text
- Refresh/repurpose older content (find the best performing content using Google Analytics)
Allows content to reach a wide audience
When you create content on relevant topics, people can find your business easier and learn more about your company and what you have to offer. As a result, they may spend more time on your page and get to know your brand. This increases dwell time and improve click-through rates.
Here are some tips on how to get more eyes on your content.
- Ask your audience to share your content
- Make it easy to share
- Use basic SEO practices
- Use images or videos
- Write listicles or “How-Tos”
- Create rich headlines
- Create long-form content for your blog
- Share on social media
Boosts brand awareness
Here are a few good ways to boost your brand awareness:
- Be a guest blogger
- Be consistent on social media
- Develop a “voice” for your brand
- Create a podcast or mini series
- Be in a brand partnership
- Use incentives
Earns more conversions
After finding their answers in your content, leads can follow CTA links to contact your business to learn more about what you have to offer. With content marketing, you need to keep your business in front of your customers, that way you can earn more sales and conversions.
Here are a few additional ways to boost your conversion rate:
- Add a “pop-up” CTA to your site
- Add reviews or testimonies to your website
- Make it easy
- Add live chat to your website
The 5 Steps to Content Marketing
Step 1: Define your goals
The first step is to decide what you want to accomplish with your content marketing.
If you miss this step, you may end up creating a ton of content that doesn’t produce results, so it’s imperative to define your goals clearly.
The top goals of content marketing are:
- Improving customer experience
- Generating leads
- Supporting your business goals for success
Here are some examples of goals to think about:
- Promote a new product or service
- Attract more of a certain type of customer
- Address common objections that are preventing sales
- Gain trust with proof
- Attract links to your site
- Rank for large volume keywords
Step 2: Identify your target audience
Spend a little time creating an ideal customer avatar. Think about who your ideal customer is, including any personal facets that allow you to speak to them in a way they understand and connect with your content.
Some things to consider might be the average age range, financial status, interests, and any other information that can help you market to the right audience.
Step 3: identify their pain points and interests
Once you have decided on your target audience, identify their pain points and interests.
Think about what questions they have before they want to buy?
What kinds of doubts might they have that you could explain?
What are the common misconceptions that you could break?
After you identify these pain points and questions, you can move on to creating the content.
Step 4: Develop a content creation plan
Decide how often you will create content, what type of content you will produce, and how you will come up with content ideas on a consistent basis.
A couple of ways to create content on an ongoing basis include:
- Do keyword research to discover keyword phrases that your target audience is searching for and create content around those keywords. (Need ideas? Here’s how to get 100+ in 3 minutes with a Content Gap Analysis)
- Monitoring your competitors and creating content based on what performs well for them.
Step 5: Create a content promotion plan
Guest Blogging or guest posting, influencer collaborations, social media sharing, and paid advertising are a few ways businesses can promote their content and earn backlinks.
Businesses that are successful and consistent with content marketing will see a steady rise in inbound traffic, a growth in sales, and improved brand awareness. This is a long-term strategy and organizations that commit to it will reap the rewards.
Does Content Marketing Actually Work?
The data shows a resounding YES!
According to Hubspot’s State of Inbound Marketing Report, 82% of marketers who use blogging to grow their business see a positive ROI (return on investment) from their inbound marketing.
A study by Kapost shows that content generates 3x as many leads as paid search per dollar spent. It also generates 3x as many leads as outbound sales while costing 62% less.
Publishing content also drives more website traffic and attracts inbound links. These links not only help the site’s content rank in the search engines, but it also boosts domain authority which can allow websites to rank for the keywords that attract paying customers.
Why Is Content Marketing Important?
In the past, brands with the biggest advertising budgets could win by placing ads on television or in the newspaper.
With the growth of the Internet, small businesses can now attract their own audience and grow their business by creating valuable content.
Content can be a great way to reach customers while they are researching your product or service (or getting information related to it). Providing genuinely useful information can help your business establish credibility and trust with your customers so that they think of you when they are ready to buy.
What Are The Benefits Of Content Marketing?
Marketers who prioritize blogging are 13X more likely to see a boost in marketing ROI. Content marketing not only boosts SEO results but also boosts your content marketing efforts.
By publishing more content, you can increase your search engine traffic. Informative articles and other interactive digital marketing can attract links and rank for keywords that a target customer might search for.
In addition to ranking for content, writing articles and blogging can also improve rankings for a website’s main keywords.
Successful content marketing can also generate more traffic, sales conversions, and leads for your brand. Content marketing campaigns create long-term results that can benefit your brand and website for years to come if done correctly.
Here are a few reasons that you should invest in this strategy:
- Improved organic search traffic from search engine optimization
- Higher website authority and trust
- Helps you become a thought leader in your industry
- A defined brand personality
- Larger audience, better conversion rates in your metrics
Your marketing team who are serious about content and other inbound marketing should know that you can’t win at SEO without a really great content strategy and other marketing tactics.
Additionally, effective content creation is basically the foundation of organic search and one of the best ways to drive more organic traffic to your website.
Helps a business build trust
By explaining all the questions about your industry as well as your product or service, your clients will start to view you as an authority. Over time, this will lead to a higher level of trust which will ultimately result in more sales.
Content Marketing Examples
Marketers are constantly trying to come up with different content marketing plans like creating an editorial calendar to match the buyer’s journey or (buyer personas).
By using consumer behavior, and human psychology, you can shape your brand content strategies and impact how your audience views your brand.
The bottom line is, that by looking at other successful content marketing examples, you can get an idea of how to build better inbound campaigns.
Here are a few different types of content marketing:
Engaging and interactive content such as infographics, video content, apps, and graphs can attract thousands of social shares and attract millions of website visits.
In fact, in 2021 Hubspot confirmed that video was the primary form of media used in marketing strategies. And infographics were the 3rd most used form of media in content marketing.
On top of that, original graphics such as illustrations are the most commonly used images in online content marketing.
Before you begin, it’s important to ask yourself these questions:
- Why do you want to use visual content for your strategy?
- How will visual content help your business?
- What do you want to achieve by using this form of content marketing?
Your answers may include wanting to educate your audience, increase your engagement, promote your brand, or even bring in more leads.
Here are a few ways to implement visual content into your strategy:
- Keep your goal and audience in mind
- Showcase statistics and case studies
- Post high-quality images and videos
- Target social trends
Brand trust and authority are everything, in fact, studies suggest that 63% of customers would only buy from an authentic brand.
With that said, what is one of the best ways to show people that you are a thought leader in your industry? Well, you could write an ebook about it!
Creating an ebook that is solely built around the theme of your marketing campaign lets you showcase your authority on the subject.
Here are a few great reasons to write an ebook for your business:
- Trust and authority
- Website traffic
- More leads
- Get an edge on niche competition
- Passive income
Here are a few ways you could use ebooks in your content strategy:
- Use your ebook to boost your brand
- Use an ebook as the core of your marketing strategy
- Use your ebook as an opt-in free offer
Webinars are convenient, inexpensive, social, and educational.
They’re one of the most popular ways that marketers can reach new customers and build up existing relationships.
Actually, according to a study by Content Marketing Institute, 59% of B2B marketers are using webinars and 61% believe that webinars are an effective content marketing tactic.
For example, SEMrush hosted a webinar in January of 2022 called 2021’s Biggest SEO Developments and What They Mean for 2022.
SEMrush is an industry leader and uses webinars to help bring in new clients and teach existing brands how to be successful in SEO.
They created a landing page to help promote their webinar and made it free for anyone to attend.
With that said, here are some benefits of creating a webinar:
- Potential audience reach
- lead generation
- Immersive and interactive
- Establish authority and trust
- Nurture relationships
- Easy and cost-effective
Here are some actionable steps you can make to create a successful webinar:
Step 1: Pick your content topic
Step 2: Write an attention-grabbing title
Step 3: Find a good speaker if you yourself are not
Step 4: Pick a good date and time
Step 5: Practice
Step 6: Document or record your webinar to share for those who couldn’t make it
What is Content Marketing? Now You Know!
There are countless studies and real-life examples that show that content marketing does work.
To increase your odds of success, be sure you are ready to commit as results often accelerate when it is done consistently.
By being able to answer the question ‘what is content marketing?’ you’re putting yourself one step closer to creating an effective strategy for your business.