Every Youtube shorts video, blog post, or Instagram picture is a part of your content marketing strategy. This quick guide on content marketing for beginners will discuss what’s content marketing, what are its benefits, and why you need to make use that you’re leveraging the strategy for your business.
Content Marketing Definition: What is Content Marketing?
If you’re lost in the world of marketing due to countless concepts, we don’t judge you. Here’s a definition of content marketing that I personally like:
Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content (articles, videos, podcasts, etc) to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
This definition of content marketing highlights the most important aspects. It’s not enough just to create any content, it must be valuable and relevant. And it’s crucial to have a system in place for consistent content production. Assuming you have a great product, when you hit all 3 content marketing requirements, it will become a digital goldmine that can generate a shameless amount of leads and sales.
Content marketing is a type of inbound marketing that has become increasingly important as businesses migrated online in 2020. Instead of focusing on your products or services, which are great of course but not always relevant for your audience, you’re focusing on solving the pains and issues of your target audience, building trust, rapport, and ultimately loyalty.
Why Is Content Marketing Important?
First of all, long gone are the times when prospective bought off your store or your website
Various pieces of research show that nowadays a potential customer needs at least 8-10 touchpoints with your business before they make a purchase. That’s at least 10 types of different content that will help them to get expertise on the topic, and make a decision.
The stakes are even higher for high-check products. Typically, the more you charge for your products and services, the more research is needed for a potential buyer to justify spending it on your services.
Here’s why you might want to seriously consider developing a solid content marketing strategy, according to the Demand Metric research:
- 90% of organizations market with content
- 80% of people appreciate learning about an organization through custom content
- 70% of people would rather learn about a company through an article than an advert
- 78% perceive a relationship between them and the company using custom content
Therefore, if you’re not using content marketing or using it without a proper strategy, you might be missing out on building a solid online presence and scaling your business.
Benefits of Content Marketing
As a result, the long-term content marketing benefits are:
- Makes you visible and unique. The first thing people see about you online is some piece of content. It can help them to fall in love with your company or never visit your resources again before they even consider purchasing from you. You can start by educating your audience about a topic they’re interested in.
- Generates leads and sales. To sell more of your products and services, you need people to trust you. Content marketing creates and nurtures your relationships with potential customers. Using a content marketing strategy, you can develop trusted relationships with your customers.
- Boosts loyalty. Content is king, we know. The only thing omitted here is ‘great’. Great content is king. It’s also very hard to find. Once your customers know that your content is top-notch, they’ll be back for more.
- Builds thought leadership. The more value your content brings, the more chance there is that you can become a thought leader. Consistent high-quality content will gradually bring recognition from your peers.
How Content Marketing Works
Content marketing can help you to dramatically increase sales if it’s aligned with the stages of your customer’s journey. Make sure your content covers a variety of intents.
Stage 1: Awareness
To run a business, you need to connect with your audience via some form of content. Getting the attention of your potential buyers is the primary task of the awareness stage. From the buyer’s perspective at this stage, they may not even realize that they have a problem or a need. They are not ready to hear any offers or learn about you in particular, and they’re mainly investigating the field.
Let’s say you’re a surgeon and have a practice. Not everyone needs an operation right now. Much more people are just investigating whether they would want some types of surgeries to be done somewhere down the road. They’re interested to know about their options, like whether surgery is the only solution for their issue. The risks, of course.
Thus, the best content type at this stage is educational. Be on their side. Helping your potential buyers to understand the field and make the decision gives you the best chance of engaging with them. Some content types you can consider at this stage are blog posts, videos, e-books, videos, and newsletters.
Stage 2: Consideration
In the consideration stage, content should offer a hybrid of helpful information and marketing. It should educate the reader about what features or functions to look for and how various features address their needs. Of course, your content should lean toward what your business offers.
The best content for this stage includes case studies, product videos explaining the benefits, how-to articles, research reports and checklists.
Your goal at this stage is to stay top of mind when it will be time to make a purchase. Anything that will
Stage 3: Sale
Whenever a person is about to make a purchase, they mostly make the final decision based on the content they read online. At this stage a prospect is ready to buy so don’t hold back all the good things you have to say about your product.
Focus on your product features, highlight how it’s going to be better than a competitor’s product
The best types of content for this stage include but are not limited to case studies, buyer’s guides, product videos, research reports, user-generated content, testimonials etc.
How to Get Started with Content Marketing
Content marketing is a hot trend that’s been around for almost two decades. But the truth is, it’s still not easy to get started. If you’re a small business owner or entrepreneur who needs help getting your content marketing off the ground, this article will walk you through the steps. One thing to mention before we start is that you need to have a solid product positioning before creating any content.
Define Your Goals
The first step in any content marketing effort is to define your goals and make sure they’re aligned with your business goals. If you’re just starting out, it can be helpful to think about what kind of impact you want this type of marketing strategy to have on your business and how it will help achieve those objectives. For example:
- Do I want more leads? (More traffic from search engines)
- Do I want more conversions? (More engagement with customers)
Once you’ve defined the purpose behind creating content, it’s time for some research! You may already have an idea of what types of posts or videos would work best based on previous experience or recommendations from other people who have tried similar strategies before but take some time now before getting started so that everything goes smoothly later down the line.
The most important question at this stage is not only what you want to achieve but also which metrics will reflect that you achieved the result.
Define Your Target Audience
Before you start writing, it’s important to know who you’re writing for. This will help you communicate with them in a way that resonates with their needs and interests.
- Define your target audience. Who are they? What do they want? How old are they? What is their income bracket? Do they have children or pets? Where do they live (city or country)? What do they like doing on weekends – watching movies at home, going out with friends, or exercising at the gym?
- Know their problems and how you can help solve them by offering solutions through content marketing channels such as blogs, white papers or webinars/online seminars, etc.
Do Keyword Research
Keyword research is the foundation of any content marketing strategy. You need to know what your target audience is searching for, and how to find it.
You can do keyword research manually or with an online tool such as Google Keyword Planner or Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer. There are also paid tools that offer more sophisticated options like phrase match analysis and search volume forecasts; however, these tend to be more expensive than free alternatives.
While searching for the keywords, stick to these guidelines to achieve the best results:
- search for relevant long-tail keywords that are not too competitive;
- determine which ones have a high potential for generating traffic from search engines;
More on this in the ‘Importance of SEO in Content Marketing’ section.
Use a Consistent Brand Voice Across All Channels
Your brand’s voice is the tone of your content, and it should be consistent across all channels. It’s important to have a distinct voice as it will help you develop trust with readers and customers. If they know what to expect from your company—whether that means funny jokes or serious information—they’ll come back for more, which can lead to more sales down the line!
Whether you’re creating an infographic about how much coffee Americans drink each year (and how much money they spend on it), or writing an article about how certain foods affect our bodies differently than others do when we’re sick or healthy, you need always keep in mind why this topic matters so much for YOUR business/blogging site/etc.
Create a Content Marketing Calendar
If you’re new to content marketing, it might be helpful to start by creating a content marketing calendar. This will help you plan out your content marketing strategy and make sure that you’re publishing on the right days of the week, at the right times of day, and with the right frequency. You can use this as a template for future content calendars as well.
To create your own editorial calendar:
- Create an Excel spreadsheet or Google Docs document in which all of your blog posts are listed in chronological order (e.g., “January 1st – February 1st” or “March 15th – April 15th”).
- Decide how often you want to publish new blog posts (e.g., weekly; bi-weekly; monthly). This will determine how many rows need to be added above each other so that all dates are covered during each period of time (i.e., if we publish once per month then there would only need four rows). Then work backward from now until December 31st 2023 next year! It doesn’t matter if some months don’t have any dates yet because those ones will get filled up later when we start writing actual articles during those time frames.”
It’s perfectly normal if you don’t have every single post scheduled. The goal is to add some clarity to the strategy, but if you can plan about 20% to 40% right away, the strategy will become much more clear to you.
Measure the Results!
This is exactly the step that a lot of people omit. After you published a piece of pillar content, measure the engagement, sales, and ROI according to your goals. Content marketing success is an important measurement for many companies to consider when evaluating their efforts in this area of marketing. However, measuring the right content marketing success means looking at more than just views and clicks—you need to consider how well your audience is engaging with your content as well as how it fits into the bigger picture of your overall strategy.
Importance of SEO in Content Marketing
Does every piece of content need to be optimized for search engines?
As content marketing is a very broad concept, SEO is not always pivotal to content creation. For instance, you don’t need to take care of optimization if you’re writing a research paper and use it as a lead magnet—a piece of content a prospect can download in exchange for his contacts.
However, SEO makes a difference when it comes to the content available to the general public. As the main goal of SEO is to make content discoverable, you can often multiply the effect of great content.
Therefore, all the SEO best practices need to be implemented every time you create a piece of content.
Content marketing is a long-term commitment and requires careful planning to be effective. But if you put in the work, it can be a powerful tool for building your brand and engaging with your customers. To be effective at content marketing, it is essential to have a documented content marketing strategy. If you’re ready to discuss a laser-focused strategy for your business, let’s get down to it today.