What is Content Marketing? How to Create a Content Marketing Strategy?9:16 AM
What is content marketing? Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creati...
What is content marketing?Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
The key word here is “valuable.” It’s what changes this definition from one that could describe almost any form of advertising or marketing.
So what is content marketing actually?
A type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online material (such as videos, blogs, and social media posts) that does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in its products or services: "social media is an integral part of content marketing" · "an effective content marketing strategy" Source: Oxford Dictionary
Basically, content marketing is the art of communicating with your customers and prospects without selling. It is non-interruption marketing. Instead of pitching your products or services, you are delivering information that makes your buyer more intelligent. The essence of this content strategy is the belief that if we, as businesses, deliver consistent, ongoing valuable information to buyers, they ultimately reward us with their business and loyalty.
What is content marketing strategy?A content marketing strategy (not to be confused with a content strategy) analyzes the different ways content marketing can be used across the buyer’s journey, the customer life cycle and/or the different customer (experience) touchpoints but it goes beyond that. Essentially a content marketing strategy looks how content marketing (not content) can be used in a strategic way as such and for and with other marketing, customer and sales strategies.
The Benefits of Content MarketingSo let’s break down how your content will actually get your leads to the point where your sales team is ready to convert them into customers. The following are some of the benefits that your content will provide that will assist in obtaining high quality leads for your sales team:
- Increase Brand Awareness – Obviously you want as many people to know about your company as possible. The more often you release content on your website, the more exposure you’ll be providing for your company. If someone reads a piece that they enjoy, they’ll probably come back to read more, thereby becoming more familiar with your brand. There’s also a chance that they will share that content with friends and family. Their friends and family could turn around and share the content with their social circles – and so on. Not to mention that the more quality content you release, the higher your web ranking will be, exposing you to more potential web traffic.
- Increase Brand Trust and Loyalty – There are some businesses out there that release a tremendous amount of content in an attempt to draw in more traffic. But if you are writing crappy content, then who is going to read it? Readers will be able to tell if your content is bad by the opening paragraph – and there’s no way they are going to waste their time finishing it. And they’re definitely not going to come back to your website. Your content has to be good. In order to be good, it has to provide value to your readers. By giving them something they want or need, you’ll help to build both trust and loyalty over time.
- Establish Yourself as a Leading Authority – Another reason that you should focus on the quality of your content is the fact that you’ll eventually establish a reputation for knowing what you’re talking about. Not only does this help build trust and loyalty in your brand, it also helps foster a reputation as being an authority within your industry. You know you’re putting out some good stuff if other websites begin linking your content to their website. Those links are going to help tell search engines like Google that your content is good, which will boost your website in search results.
- Increase Social Engagement – By putting up a blog on your website, you’ll allow readers to comment on your content. Even if someone disagrees with your content, it’s a great way to get people talking.
- Increase Lead Captures – Good content will eventually convince readers to fill out your conversion forms, thereby capturing them as leads. This isn’t happening if they don’t trust you or your content is just bad. And obviously, the more leads you are capturing, the more potential customers you’re getting. Read: How to Write a Quality Contents for Blogs
How to Design Engaging Content
- Design means much more than color schemes and stock photos. The process will look different for every marketing team, and even for every team’s various content pieces.
Also Read: 15 Tips to Create Killer Website Content
- In general, design starts at the very beginning, as you map out a content marketing strategy. Understanding the brand’s personas and marketing goals will shape the basic style of each design—each should be useful to your personas, and true to your brand voice. A strong content marketing strategy includes a variety of content types, so as individual pieces begin to take shape, there are some specific things to keep in mind:
- Distill your content marketing strategy into your blog schedule/strategy. The company blog can and should be used to cross-promote other content, which will help keep posts on a consistent schedule. If you don’t have a marketing team member who is familiar with SEO, this is one area where you might want to consult a professional.
- Ebook content should follow some sort of narrative structure, and include a lot of good, visual design. The goal of an ebook is to educate (rather than entertain), but make sure to keep the language conversational if that is consistent with your brand and personas.
- These are short (two or three pages at most). That means there won’t be a lot of room for big images, so you’ll want to use text formatting to make them easy for a reader to quickly scan through. Link or point to other resources for more in-depth learning.
Workbooks and Templates
- A great way to keep your brand in front of buyers, while also being really helpful. These resources should be designed for print and made as interactive and practical as possible.
Whitepapers and Reports
- These are similar to an ebook in that they are primarily educational materials, but whitepapers and reports are generally less graphically designed and use language that is a little more professional. They can also create opportunities to partner with other organizations.
- The name says it all: just give readers info and graphics. Use as little text as possible for the former, and let the latter tell the story. If you don’t have a killer graphics artist in-house, this is one for which you might want to work with a professional.
- Slide decks are a great format for breaking down complex ideas into simple steps or bite-sized pieces. Keep the slides simple: minimal text in one font throughout, and use big images & graphics.
- The trick to effectively using video as part of a content strategy is keeping it as timeless as possible. Otherwise, you risk wasting resources (time and money) updating videos every year. High-quality video content can also be used to expose your brand to YouTube’s large and active audience.
- Build case studies with real numbers and complete stories. This will help keep the content focused on the value and results, not the brand.
Content Marketing strategy and SEO
In the same way that you take a couple extra steps to help your content succeed on social, take a couple more to help your content succeed with search engines. Weaving some SEO best practices into your content will help make a good impression with Google and move your website up the rankings list.
- Use keywords (naturally): Identify your main keyword for the content, a few synonyms, and a few related keywords. Then make sure you’re actually using them in your content, headers, and page content. Don’t over-do it, though. Search engines have been cracking down on content that is “stuffed” with one or two keywords. Write for the reader, but do make sure those important words are present.
- Earn natural links: Links from spammy sources can actually hurt your site with search engines. Build relationships with industry professionals who will share your content, and link to their primary resources in return. Links from high-quality websites will give yours a boost.
- Media: Include images and video (with descriptive titles and alt text) on blog posts and landing pages. They improve the user experience, which decreases bounce rates and improves your standing with Google.
- The strength of a good content marketing strategy is in providing the information and answers that your target audience is looking for, but your hard work is all for nought if they can’t find it! Make sure you’re creating content for the user, but that search engines will also favor.
Why Content Marketing Is Integral to Inbound Marketing
Now you’re probably wondering, “what does content marketing strategy have to do with all of this?” Because your prospects are more informed, it’s easier for your sales team to have a meaningful conversation with them. You are basically setting up more than half of the sale. Your content helps to attract readers, educate them, and exchange some information or a special offer for their personal information (such as name and email address). This means that your sales team doesn’t have to waste resources on pitching a product to someone who not only knows nothing about your solution or product – but has no interest in it either. Instead, your sales team will be dealing with educated prospects. All because of your content! This also brings us back to “human being optimization”. The quality of your content has everything to do with the person reading it. Content is no longer just about the keywords you use being tracked by search engine algorithms. What is more important is what you are writing and whom you are writing for.
Content Marketing and Social Media
- A content hub: Your blog or website should be a key component of your content marketing strategy (as well as your social media strategy), as this is where you would direct followers to forge a deeper relationship on a media platform that you own.
- Adequate resources to keep up a consistent presence: Having an outdated presence on a social platform looks far worse that not having a presence there at all. Before committing to a platform, make sure you have the resources you need to consistently update your content there.
- A content plan: You need to understand why you are communicating on a given platform, and what you will deliver there. More details on the key elements of the plan are below.
Email Content Marketing Strategy
Essential Elements of an Effective Call-to-Action
Use actionable language
Align Call To Action copy with landing page copy
Call to Action Words
|Download Free Trial||Last Chance||Most|
|Sale Ends Tomorrow||Money Off||Now is Your Chance|
|Buy Today and Save __%||Marked Down||You Should|
|Offer Ends Soon||Price Cut||Discover Your Potential|
|Hurry||Complimentary||Make Money Now|
|Discover||Cut||Make __ Per Week|
|Avoid||The Best||__Made me __|
|Uncover||Buy and Get||Buy Now|