What Is Content Marketing in a Nutshell?
Well, content marketing represents an internet marketing technique that serves the purpose of attracting high-quality traffic to websites by providing and distributing valuable content. As part of this guide, we will delve deeper into the importance of content marketing, the most effective content marketing techniques, and some of the most common mistakes and main disadvantages associated with the practice. Our goal here is to add more depth to the general content marketing definition we’ve just given, while providing some tips and suggestions.
Content marketing requires more effort when compared to other techniques, given that providing and distributing strong content that appeals to readers is no easy feat. Unlike other marketing strategies, with content marketing you aren’t trying to show off your brand but rather offer customers essential information that then leads to conversions.
Understanding the Importance of Content Marketing
No online marketing strategy would be complete without focusing on content marketing, search engine optimization, and social media marketing.
To kick things off, an effective content marketing technique and a detailed understanding of the content marketing definition will lead to increased traffic—as long as you’re creating and sharing valuable information that’s going to attract readers’ interest. A higher amount of targeted traffic then leads to an overall increase in the number of sales, better brand loyalty, and even cost savings in the long run. In fact, a well-thought-out content marketing strategy can drastically reduce the budget required for other types of marketing, given its effectiveness.
So far, tens of thousands of businesses throughout the world engage in some form of content marketing, including some of the biggest companies. After all, there’s a reason so many experts consider content marketing the past, present, and future of internet marketing. As we can see, there are numerous benefits of content marketing.
How to Carry out Content Marketing and Develop a Content Strategy
Without further ado, it’s time to share several tips that if applied, will enhance the quality of your traffic while also increasing potential customer leads, conversion rates, and the overall profitability of your website.
1. Choose your content marketing mission, business goals, and key performance indicators.
One of the first and most important steps for creating your content creation marketing strategy is finding your mission and goal. This process is essential, as readers will better understand what your content is all about, and how it can benefit them. Additionally, setting up a mission and goal will help direct your content marketing strategy. Generally, the primary business goals include increasing traffic, improving the targeting efforts, generating leads, increasing conversions, and driving up profitability.
You might have heard about key performance indicators (KPIs) before. Implementing KPIs is essential for better understanding whether your marketing efforts are paying off. Based on this, common KPIs include the conversion rate, number of subscribers/readers for your blog, traffic goals, and ad revenue. Any data capable of tracking success rates qualifies as an effective KPI and is mandatory for content-driven marketing.
2. Understand the needs of your audience.
Numerous companies engaging in content marketing fail to understand who their audience is and what their needs are. This often leads to failed campaigns that don’t bring in extra traffic or improve brand loyalty. Therefore, to understand your audience, try to put yourself in the shoes of your customers. If you knew next to nothing about the niche you work in, what would you be interested in learning about? Internet marketing only works if it’s relevant to the reader and provides some form of value.
Fortunately, there are several tools—and a content marketing wiki should also help content marketers understand more about their audience and their needs. With this in mind, start by collecting relevant data, like web analytics, demographics, and email analytics. Alternatively, another good tip is to try and get actual feedback from your customers. Asking them a simple question will often yield valuable answers that you can then integrate into your content marketing efforts.
3. Fully organize your content marketing strategy.
As part of our content marketing explained guide, we must also dive into the organization of content strategies. Since content marketing is an on-going process that requires a significant allocation of resources, it’s important to organize your strategy as thoroughly as possible. Doing so will ensure that quality content is constantly being published at the right time and to the right websites. In the long run, good organization brings in an increased number of leads and an overall positive impact on your business’s content marketing strategy.
With this in mind, as a business owner, you want to coordinate marketing strategies, yet you also want to avoid having too much work on your shoulders. First and foremost, you need to understand just what does a content marketer do. The trick here is to delegate tasks accordingly and decide who the content creators are, what the publishing schedule is, where each type of content is supposed to be published to, your monetary resources for content marketing, and who is responsible for managing the entire operation (this also entails publishing, editing, approving, and maintaining the content that goes out).
If all these tasks are allocated, as a business owner, your only job will be to monitor the activity and make sure that your content marketing strategy provides satisfactory results.
4. Decide what types of content marketing to focus on.
Most content marketing campaigns are carried out via the company’s blog. This is the main channel through which readers will end up on your website, so make sure you have a good-looking blog featuring different types of content.
Generally, successful content marketing strategies take several types of content into account. These include tutorials, whitepapers, opinion pieces, reports, courses, news articles, interviews, expert insights, interviews, how-to articles, and more. Some websites also choose to publish videos as part of their marketing campaigns.
Regardless of the type of content you choose to publish, your main goal is to provide value. Readers are always on the lookout for content that proves to be educational, entertaining, and of course, useful. This is the main purpose of content marketing.
Try to avoid marketing your products and services too much in your articles; otherwise, they’ll end up looking like sales pages meant to lure customers in. Remember, your main goal isn’t to sell, but rather to keep readers interested and generate fully organic leads.
It’s also worth having some brainstorming sessions, where you think up interesting topics that readers will enjoy. The best choice is to put yourself in the shoes of your audience and show them that you know about the industry you’re focusing on. These sessions often lead to interesting topic ideas that can certainly be covered in your content marketing strategy. But if you still need to better understand just what is content marketing, finding some examples should give you a better idea of what other people are doing.
Another tip worth keeping in mind when brainstorming topics is to keep keywords in mind. There are a variety of online tools available that can help determine what keywords you’re ranking for and which keywords you’re missing. As such, it’s recommended that you take these keyword suggestions into account. After all, what is content marketing if you can’t use it to boost your SEO? Don’t forget, web crawlers are always looking for engaging content that readers clearly enjoy, think about, and share.
5. Take linking into consideration.
Another goal for your content marketing campaign is to attract links from external sources. Because of this, it’s important to structure your content in a manner that appeals to other blogs and websites. Every link you get represents a new opportunity for getting the word out. To make this possible, make sure that your content is divided into sections and that it covers a variety of topics that aren’t that common. This is why expert insights and well-made how-to guides posted on a content marketing blog often provide great value.
When publishing your content, you also want to link to both external sources and internal pages. External linking shows you play fair and offer customers extra data resources, yet it can also encourage the pages you link to consider your website in future articles. Internal linking will make sure that your readers spend more time on your website, thus helping them learn more about whatever they’re interested in, while also increasing brand awareness and conversions.
As a word of warning, try to avoid artificial backlinking for SEO purposes. Search engines don’t appreciate this practice, and you risk having your website penalized. Rather, simply provide great content, and other bloggers will surely link to you. Organic links are certainly a better choice, and the satisfaction of gaining them is always better.
6. Learn to promote your content.
Our “What is content marketing” guide wouldn’t be complete without talking about content promotion. Since there are likely many other sites similar to yours, content promotion is essential for your campaign. Generally, there are three channels through which you can promote your content to the outside world. These include social media, emails/newsletters, and links.
Social media promotion not only generates leads and extra traffic for your website, it also improves the engagement rates on your social media pages. After all, numerous businesses are now exclusively available on Facebook and Instagram, so why not focus on getting traction there as well? Social media also represents an excellent ranking factor for search engines—web crawlers and search engine algorithms take social networks into account as well.
Email marketing is slightly more difficult, but it still is an important part of learning how to do content marketing, as you want to have a list of people that have already expressed some interest in your website. It’s also slightly risky, because if you’re sending too many emails, or failing to target them accordingly, your efforts may end up looking like spam, thus pushing potential customers away.
7. Visuals work wonders.
This is an essential part of our content marketing for dummies guide. Recently, the impact of visuals on content marketing campaigns has increased exponentially. While sourcing artist images, videos, and infographics is certainly more difficult, time-consuming, and expensive, readers often look for content that’s easy to read and digest.
Nevertheless, numerous website owners stray away from great visuals. Here are a couple of stats that will hopefully change your mind about visual-based web content marketing:
- Infographics have been shown to provide a 12% increase in website traffic, and up to 400% increased revenue.
- Landing pages containing videos can provide an 86% increase in conversion rates.
- When compared to text, visuals are processed 60,000X times faster by the brain.
- Blog posts that contain visuals get up to 94% higher traffic and user engagement.
- Websites containing images also pop up on search engine image results, thus providing another channel of dissemination, and a new dimension to the definition of content marketing.
- Videos can be easily shared on YouTube and social media platforms, thus massively increasing engagement.
The same principles that apply to written content are relevant in the case of visual content. Based on this, make sure that the visuals you source are of high quality and provide relevant information that’s easy to digest.
8. Consider leveraging content marketing tools.
Yes, doing so can be an extra hit to your budget, but hear us out. The benefits associated with content marketing tools include tracking social media shares, page authority, social engagement, outreach efforts, and more. Additionally, other tools can help inspire or provide great guest blogging, linking, keyword, and outreach opportunities. Any worthy content marketing institute will encourage the use of these tools.
Other tools can also help you design polls, content forms, visuals, animations, infographics, and more. Many of these tools are free, yet for better services, subscription charges may be required.
Content Marketing Mistakes
It is always important to consider possible content marketing mistakes to ensure that you won’t make them yourself. Here are some mistakes that you want to avoid:
- Misleading your audience with click-bait or content that fails to deliver on its promise;
- Not starting a blog, but rather simply posting random articles on your landing page, or on other websites;
- Using low-quality, plagiarized, or zero-value content;
- Not crediting content creators or failing to link to the original data sources;
- Failing to grasp the B2B content marketing definition and its market importance;
- Failing to optimize for leads and add a gentle amount of promotion in your content;
- Making your content marketing efforts overly promotional;
- Not tracking the results of your content marketing campaign and the overall ROI;
- Doing content marketing for the heck of it, without having a larger vision or an ultimate goal;
- Not carrying out keyword research, or using the wrong keywords;
- Engaging in anti-competitive practices to unethically promote your content.
Based on everything that’s been outlined so far, you can now answer the question, What is content marketing? As you can see, content marketing represents an essential internet marketing practice that’s bound to provide great value to your website while also increasing sales, brand awareness, trust, interest, and leads. Of course, it requires a bit of time and resource investment, plus some careful planning, but if you can accomplish that, then you will certainly increase your chances for success.