Let’s talk about content marketing. Your customers, leads, and audience want to hear from you, but they don’t want to be bombarded with disruptive ads. That’s where content marketing comes in – it’s all about giving your target market the valuable content they crave in a natural, organic way.
With a solid content marketing strategy, you can seriously up your game. Think increased conversions, better brand awareness, more revenue, and being known as an industry leader.
Whether you’re just starting out or sprucing up your current plan, it never hurts to reassess and come up with new ways to share the content your audience loves. This guide will give you the lowdown on all things content marketing, including the different types, examples, and how to make your own strategy.
What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is all about creating and sharing helpful and relevant content like blog posts, emails, videos, and social media updates with your current and future customers.
The goal is to show off your expertise and let people know that you care about them and their success. And the best part? When you consistently use content marketing, you build stronger relationships with your audience.
So, when it’s time for them to make a purchase, they’ll think of you as a trusted partner and go-to source for advice.
Benefits of Content Marketing
If you’re looking for a marketing strategy that works, look no further than content marketing. Not only does it give you an edge over the competition, but the numbers speak for themselves. Check this out:
- Blogging for your business can bring in 67% more leads than those who don’t.
- 72% of B2B marketers say it boosts engagement and leads.
- A whopping 88% of folks say branded videos sold them on a product or service.
The benefits of content marketing are endless. When done right, content marketing can help you:
1. Increase Online Visibility
When you’re running a business, attracting customers and website visitors is crucial. With the right content marketing strategy, you can increase visibility online, draw in more leads and develop a loyal customer base.
2. Drive Traffic and Generate Leads
By offering educational and informative content about topics that your target audience is interested in, you can start to build trust with potential shoppers. This can lead to more leads and even start the process of forming relationships with these people.
3. Build Trust and Loyalty with Your Customers
By educating customers through your content, you can position your brand as a thought leader in your industry. This will help to establish trust and increase customer loyalty, leading to more repeat purchases from your customers.
4. Become a Thought Leader in Your Industry
Creating content is a great way to improve your authority and establish yourself as a thought leader. This can help position your brand as the most authoritative source on a particular topic, further building trust and increasing customer loyalty.
How Does Content Marketing Work?
Content marketing is a powerful tool for attracting leads, showcasing your product or service, and closing sales. To make the most of it, you need to tailor your content to each stage of the sales cycle.
Here’s how companies use content marketing to engage and sell their products and services at each stage of the sales cycle.
Stage 1: Awareness
In the first stage of the sales process, your goal is to educate and engage your audience by addressing their top concerns. You want to build trust and show your expertise by providing helpful, educational content that answers their questions and addresses their pain points. Stick to non-salesy content that provides value to the reader, and save the selling for later stages.
Examples of great awareness-stage content include:
- Blog posts about common problems and how to solve them
- How-to videos and tutorials
- E-books with useful tips and advice
- Newsletters that provide valuable information to your subscribers
Stage 2: Consideration
In the consideration stage, your content should be a mix of helpful information and marketing. Your goal is to educate your audience about what they should look for in your product or service and how it addresses their needs. You want to provide value while also highlighting the benefits of your offerings.
Examples of great consideration-stage content include:
- Case studies that showcase the results your product or service has delivered
- How-to articles and videos that show how to get the most out of your product or service
- Checklists and worksheets that help your audience evaluate their options
Stage 3: Closing
In the closing stage, your focus should be on sales, but with a twist. Instead of just talking about how great your product or service is, you want to show why you’re the best choice. Highlight your expertise, knowledge, and unique benefits to convince your audience that you’re the right choice.
Examples of great closing-stage content include:
- Research reports that prove the effectiveness of your product or service
- Product videos that showcase its features and benefits
- User-generated content, such as customer testimonials and reviews
- Buyer’s guides that compare your product or service to the competition
In conclusion, content marketing is a powerful tool for engaging and selling to your target audience. By delivering the right content at each stage of the sales cycle, you can build trust, educate your audience, and close more sales.
Types of Content Marketing
Content marketing has become a staple of modern business strategies, as it helps to create and share valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a defined audience, ultimately driving profitable customer action. Here are seven common types of content marketing that you can explore:
1. Online Content Marketing
Your website is one of the most important tools in your marketing arsenal, so it’s crucial to get your online content marketing right. By creating valuable content, optimizing it for search engines, and making it easily accessible to your target audience, you can increase your visibility and credibility and ultimately drive more traffic and conversions.
2. Social Media Content Marketing
With over 4.2 billion active users on social media, there’s no doubt that these platforms offer a massive opportunity for businesses to reach and engage with their target audience. From photos and live videos to pre-recorded videos and stories, there are many ways to create and share content on social media, so you can find the one that best fits your goals and message.
3. Infographic Content Marketing
Infographics are an effective way to simplify complex information and make it more digestible and appealing to your audience. With their blend of imagery, text, and data, they can help you communicate your message quickly and effectively, whether you’re looking to educate, inform, or persuade.
4. Blog Content Marketing
Blogging is an essential component of an inbound content marketing strategy, and it allows you to showcase your knowledge, expertise, and creativity. Whether you’re sharing insights on industry trends, sharing tips and tricks, or promoting your products and services, a blog is a powerful tool for reaching and engaging with your target audience.
Featured Resource: Start A WordPress Blog
5. Podcast Content Marketing
Podcasts have exploded in popularity in recent years, and for good reason. With over 60 million listeners tuning in across platforms like Spotify and Apple Podcasts, they offer a great way to reach a wide and engaged audience. From determining the topic, format, and length of your podcasts to promoting them to your target audience, the possibilities are endless.
Featured Resource: Start A Podcast
6. Video Content Marketing
Video is quickly becoming one of the most preferred ways for consumers to learn about products and services, and with 73% of consumers saying they prefer to learn about a brand through video, it’s a trend that businesses can’t afford to ignore. From product demos and how-to guides to customer testimonials and brand stories, video content offers a wealth of opportunities to reach and engage with your target audience.
7. Paid Ad Content Marketing
Paid ads are a powerful way to reach a large audience and promote your brand, products, and services. Whether you’re running social media ads, banner ads, landing page ads, or sponsored content, paid ads are an effective way to get your content in front of the right people and drive conversions.
How To Get Started With Content Marketing?
If you’re just starting out with content marketing, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed. However, a well-planned and executed content marketing campaign can be both manageable and sustainable. Here are five steps to help you get started:
Step 1: Know Your Audience
Before you create any content, you need to have a clear understanding of your target reader. Get to know their priorities, challenges, and preferences by creating profiles of your audience members and prospects. If you already have detailed descriptions of your different segments, choose one or two to focus on.
Step 2: Pick the Right Formats
The right format depends on the stage of the sales cycle you’re creating content for and what format will best showcase value to your audience. For example, a video may be suitable for one audience, while a checklist could be better for another. Make sure to choose the right resource, internal or external, to create high-quality content, and always have a professional proofreader review your work before publishing.
Step 3: Choose a Distribution Method
Decide how you want to distribute your content. Will you post it on your website, email it, or print it for an event? Start by targeting where you know your audience is likely to be and choose formats that make sense for that channel. For example, an article is a good fit for email, while a checklist or worksheet can be posted on social media.
Step 4: Create a Sustainable Schedule
Once you know your target audience and the best formats for each stage of the sales cycle, create a short-term (3-6 months) plan. Be realistic about your budget and resources and don’t overreach. Keep track of the time it takes to create each piece of content and build that time into your schedule.
Step 5: Follow Best Practices
Compelling content should be well-written, easy to understand and avoid industry jargon. Make sure to include detailed how-to advice and keep content short, relevant, and actionable. By following these best practices, you’ll be able to create content that resonates with your audience.
In conclusion, content marketing is a powerful tool for building brand awareness and attracting new customers. By following these five steps, you can develop a content marketing plan that is both manageable and sustainable, allowing you to achieve your marketing goals.
SEO and Content Marketing
If you want to make sure the right people can find your business, start with content marketing. However, don’t stop there. Give it a boost with some search engine optimization (SEO).
Search engines are all about making sure your content actually does what it says it will. The key here is keywords. People type these words and phrases into search engines when they’re looking for a company, product, or service. Make sure you’re using the right keywords in your content so you can attract more traffic.
Here’s what you should do:
- Focus on 1-2 keywords and avoid “keyword stuffing”
- Use keywords in the title to make it clear what the article is about
- Incorporate keywords throughout naturally
- Stay on topic and provide helpful advice related to your headline.
Remember to use plain language that your audience would use, keep it relevant to your business and products/services, and make it specific.
Featured Resource: SEO Basics
Social Media and Content Marketing
So, you’ve got great content and now it’s time to spread the word. Social media is the way to go, and trust me, it’s super easy. All you need to do is write a post, add a link to your content, and voila! People will be engaged.
Here are 3 steps to get you started:
- Target the right channels: The best social media platforms for you are the ones your audience uses the most. Check out the popular channels and also the smaller, industry-specific ones. Ask your audience for their preferences and build a manageable list based on that.
- Get your tone right: Each social media platform has its own vibe, voice, and tone. Before you post, take some time to understand these details by checking out other posts. Then, add your company’s personality to your posts.
- Keep testing: Social media success is all about trial and error. Track your responses and see which channels get you the best engagement. A few high-quality engagements might mean a channel is a good fit, rather than a lot of clicks that never turn into an audience.
Featured Resource: Social Media Marketing Tips
By adopting the right approach, you can effectively reach your target audience, boost conversions, and maximize your marketing budget.
The key to success is simple – determine the type of content that resonates with your business and audience, and get creative with your delivery. Also, make the most of each piece of content you produce by showcasing your expertise and unique value. Not only will this attract your audience, but it will also engage and sell to them.
Take the time to plan and organize your content marketing strategy. By doing so, you’ll ensure you’re reaching the right people and making a lasting impression that fosters brand loyalty.