Traditional marketing is becoming more and more ineffective and inefficient in delivering the message to the consumers. This is where Content marketing starts playing a role.
What does content marketing mean?
As per content marketing institute “, 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.”
As per Wikipedia, Content Marketing is a form of marketing focused on creating, publishing, and distributing content for a targeted audience online. It is often used by businesses in order to, Attract attention and generate leads, Expand their customer base, Generate or increase online sales, Increase brand awareness or credibility and Engage an online community of users.
Content marketing is a long-term strategy and helps connect your brand/service with the customer by providing them Useful and relevant information on regular basis ultimately resulting into customers loving your brand and buying your product or services.
The purpose behind content marketing is to provide relevant content to solve consumer queries/issues instead of pitching your product/services.
When we think about content typically what comes to mind are blogs, twitter, Facebook and Viral Videos on Youtube. But content marketing has been around much longer than recent times.
Content marketing is all about “Storytelling” and we human beings have been experts at this skill for a long time.
What are the Benefits of content marketing?
While content marketing as a long-term strategy works well but the pertinent question is what are the benefits of content marketing? Why should a company do content marketing? Let’s take a look at that
Benefits of content marketing are:
Stickiness with your brand:
More content on your website would result in stickiness with your brand. This will result in more time spent on your website. It gives you an opportunity for you to add them to your sales funnel and expose them to content that will help them to move forward with the product purchase. This will surely improve your brand awareness, brand recall, and visibility.
Another benefit of content marketing is that you get better rankings on search engines which results in more organic traffic to your website.
Seen as Expert/Subject matter expert:
Due to content marketing, people keep coming back to you to research more about the topic/product/service/industry for which you are writing. This makes your brand a domain expert in that category.
More Social traffic:
With more content, you will experience more social traffic as people share your content with friends and other people in their professional/personal network. This will improve your social traffic.
Improved brand reputation:
With increased conversations about your brand people form a reputation for your brand. This helps improve your brand reputation over a period of time. As people start depending on you for more information about the particular product/service industry it helps you become the primary source of information and hence loyalty in long terms is guaranteed along with the purchase.
Decreased cost of marketing:
Over a period of time, your content generates more and more traffic without any incremental effort or promotions. This results in ever-increasing sales hence making your business less dependent on promotions and marketing. So the cost of marketing comes down and can be put to expand into newer territories and markets.
Attract ideal audience:
With the right content, you can attract the right kind of audience for your product or services. This is the best outcome of content marketing. You can create content using your target audience personas and get them to your website. These leads can be nurtured further and convert into sales.
What are the new emerging trends in content marketing
New emerging forms of content marketing that have are interactive content marketing and real-time content marketing. Even though they can’t really be called new as they started emerging on the horizon with the advent of social media, they are still relatively new given marketers have started using them more often now only.
Interactive content marketing?
What is interactive content marketing?
Interactive content marketing is one in which content requires participant’s active engagement. Types of interactive content are as follows:
Real-time content marketing
What is real-time content marketing? Let’s first understand what is real-time marketing? Real-time marketing is “a way of thinking and philosophy that requires business to meet the demands of an always-on digital world, Instead of giving strict clarity in the perception, it is implied as being present and fluid in the activities of marketing and business. Real-time content marketing is about generating content in real time. It is different from preplanned marketing activity. Real-time content marketing requires creativity, speed, and relevance.
What is B2B content marketing?
B2B content marketing is content marketing in Business to business context. B2B Content marketing is again a strategic marketing approach to strengthen your brand, build customer affinity and recall that results in sales over a period of time.
How is B2B Content Marketing Different from B2C Content Marketing?
B2B consumers are more discerning about the quality of content and its relevance as compared to B2C content. So as a B2C content marketer you may get away with an occasional content piece that may seem irrelevant, bad quality, controversial at times but in case of B2B content consumer backlash can be pretty damaging. So due care has to be exercised in producing relevant content on regular basis in case of B2B scenario.
B2B content marketing results in a bigger business. So your Return on Effort would be significantly lower as compared to B2C.
In case of B2B content marketing results may come after a much longer period so one has to be patient as a B2B content marketer.
In case of a B2C content marketing your content will be focussing on the mass audience and may follow the brand’s imagery. Eg a brand could be fun-filled, sports etc. This will require the entire content writing approach to be a casual, fun-filled type content and imagery also will follow the same path. Whereas in case of a B2B Content marketing, content will not only be formal despite brand being sports etc, it will have to look professional both in written content but also imagery and customer interactions.
Various Types of content marketing:
Various types of content that are used in content marketing are as follows:
Social Media Posts
GIFs and Memes
Data from surveys
Quizzes and contests
How to develop a content marketing strategy?
Before developing a content marketing strategy important question to answer is where to start from.
We always recommend starting with WHY?
Why write content?
What is the objective of content marketing strategy?
What problem are we trying to solve using content marketing?
To develop a content marketing strategy following questions should be answered:
Buyer Persona, their content needs, and preferences:
It is important to have clear buyer personas ready before you start developing your content marketing strategy. With the buyers’ personas ready next step is to figure out the content needs of the target audience, their preferences for various content channels, content formats that work for them etc.
While developing a content marketing strategy one needs to be clear on what organizational goal is intended to be achieved using the content marketing. The end goal will not only help define the content marketing strategy direction but also help you in developing what metrics to use for determining the success of your content marketing strategy from an organizational perspective. This is very important due to the fact that content marketing strategy would always deliver in the long term but in short term, it would be prudent to have the clear idea of directional in which your content marketing strategy is headed.
Your organizational structure and processes should be helpful in you achieving the goals outlined above. How will your existing processes need to be changed/altered etc. to ensure content strategy is flawlessly executed. Which organizational processes, competitor data, management goals, customer insights, business stakeholders, teams, external partners, marketing priorities, etc. do I need to know in order to succeed? Before even thinking about content strategy, content production, these crucial questions need to be known.
Steps to Content Marketing Strategy:
Analyzing what content is required:
You can look at not only your company’s marketing strategy to draw that out but also look at competitors in the market to figure out content gaps
Making a list of existing content that can be repurposed:
There are seminar videos, product brochures, old blogs on your website. All of these can be repurposed to create content that is relevant to your content marketing strategy today.
Setting up a content calendar:
Draw out daily, weekly, monthly calendar to draw out the content calendar. This will help align your content development team to be abreast with what’s next and what content they should be prepared to churn out in advance.
Creating content for various channels:
Your content formats will have to adapt to various distribution channels. What will get published on facebook can’t be published in the same format on your organization’s blog. So horses for courses here!
Measure content sharing and other key metrics:
Start measuring what is important for your organization. What can be measured only improves!
Optimize content keeping in mind the success/failure of existing content:
Basis the metrics of your content, figure out blogs which are not generating enough attention and start optimizing them. The ones which are working well may need to be amplified further across various other channels to draw maximum mileage out of them
Integrating marketing promotions with content:
What content can support your marketing promotions around various products/services? This will integrate your existing promotion strategy with the content being produced.
How can social media help in content marketing?
It is obvious that there is a lot in common between your social media strategy and content marketing strategy. Eg. Buyer’s persona, Product, and overall marketing strategy. By aligning your social media strategy and content marketing strategy you will be able to get more mileage out of both of them working individually.
You can translate your business deliverables into content strategy deliverables which can be further linked with your social media deliverables. Eg. if your business is looking at launching a new product and generate incremental revenue for your organization, your content strategy’s objective would be to create awareness and drive demand for that product using content marketing. Your social media strategy here could be to create awareness and drive demand for that product by promoting that content to relevant social media channels.
What are the latest tactics in content marketing?
Creating a landing page optimized for the applicable keyword
Run A/B testing consistently
Start small and grow from there
Give a sneak peek to your audience on what’s coming next
Use remarketing to ensure that your content gets the right number of exposures.
Personalize your content
Use short form blogs for social media sharing and long form for organic search.
Create video content and have the same converted in the blog and other forms
Why is content marketing essential for SEO?
For a lot of people, content marketing and SEO may appear same or different depending on how they have understood how the search engine rankings work. So let’s understand the difference between content marketing and SEO before understanding why content marketing is essential for SEO.
SEO stands for search engine optimization and its primary aim is to rank for keywords. Content is the source from where keywords come in for ranking. So content marketing and SEO work together to give us search rankings. Search engine optimization includes a lot of other technical nuances which help keyword rankings like header tags, webpage speed, image alt tags, shareability etc. So it can be said that content marketing is essentially the source, from where keywords rank. Hence content marketing is essential for SEO.