What is content marketing?
If you’ve ever asked yourself (or someone else) this question, you’re not alone.
Many small business owners know they must produce and publish content to grow their businesses.
But they don’t really understand the nuances of what that entails.
They don’t know how to create relevant content and distribute it on the right channels to reach the right people.
That’s what content marketing is in a nutshell.
And if you do it right, your content will become both a marketing and sales machine that will help grow your business.
In this post, we’ll dissect what content marketing truly means and why it’s crucial to your business success online today. We’ll also delve into different types of content that can effectively attract audiences and drive traffic to your site while highlighting practical tips on creating compelling posts across various media platforms.
What is Content Marketing?
Looking for an easy-to-understand content marketing definition?
Here it is…
Content marketing is a strategic approach to marketing that focuses on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and engage a target audience.
The goal of content marketing is to build trust with your audience, establish your brand as an authority in your niche or industry, and ultimately drive profitable customer action.
Types of Content Marketing
Content marketing encompasses a wide range of content types, each suited to different purposes and preferences of target audiences. Here are some common types:
- Blog posts/Articles
- Video content
- Social media posts
- Email newsletters
In many cases, a prospect may engage with several different content types before finally converting. This is why it’s important that your content marketing strategy includes as many content formats as possible.
7 Benefits of Content Marketing
Why should you invest time and effort in content marketing?
Let me give you a few reasons why every business, especially small businesses, should leverage content marketing as their primary marketing channel.
1. Increases Your Online Visibility
One of the most important reasons you should embrace content marketing is because it helps increase your online visibility. This is because well-crafted content can rank high on search engine results pages (SERPs) for relevant searches made by users. For this to happen, you must follow SEO best practices during your content creation.
2. Helps Build Meaningful Relationships with Your Audience
Another reason to embrace content marketing is that it helps develop relationships with your target audience. This is essential to business success as those relationships can lead to repeat customers.
Content marketing helps in this regard, as well-written content will keep readers/viewers returning to your site for more information.
3. Powerful Lead Generation Channel
They say leads are the lifeblood of any business. And content marketing is a fantastic way to generate leads. Studies have actually shown that businesses with blogs get 67% more leads than those without blogs.
The best part is that it brings in inbound leads. These are leads that willingly come to you. These are the best kind of leads as they convert better.
If you can create content your target audience finds valuable, your content can become a powerful lead-generation machine. In fact, with a robust content marketing strategy, you can generate sales without even making sales calls.
4. Fosters Product Education
Product education plays a huge role in converting prospects into customers. That’s why creating content that helps readers solve a problem with your product is essential. Instead of promoting your brand, focus on developing content with your audience in mind.
5. Boosts Your Credibility and Trust
Credibility and trust are the two most powerful currencies in the business world. People buy from credible and trustworthy brands. And in the digital age, both are hard to earn since your customers can’t directly interact with you.
This is where content marketing comes in.
You can use your content to build credibility and trust, establishing you as a thought leader. A great way to do this is by writing case studies about customers who have succeeded with your product.
6. Increase in Sales & Cost Savings
An excellent content marketing plan could increase sales and boost business growth. When people find useful insights from brands consistently over time (be it through blog posts or white papers), they’re naturally inclined to purchase from these sources because they’ve already built up credibility and trustworthiness.
Furthermore, content marketing offers significant cost savings compared to traditional methods. Traditional marketing methods can burn a hole in your pocket, but content marketing is often more affordable and has longer-lasting benefits.
7. Improves Customer Retention
Gone are the days when making a sale was the end goal. Today’s marketers understand that retaining customers requires as much effort as attracting them – if not more.
So, how does content marketing fit into this picture?
An excellent content strategy can ensure better customer loyalty by continually providing valuable information tailored to their needs even after purchase.
In conclusion, from attracting potential customers to retaining existing ones while saving costs and boosting sales – the impact of content marketing on businesses is profound. But remember, like all good things, it requires patience and consistency to reap these rewards.
Understanding How to Create an Effective Content Marketing Strategy
Now that you know what content marketing is and its importance, you’re probably wondering how to design your content marketing strategy. Here are a few things to consider:
Understand Your Target Audience
The first step to a well-designed content marketing strategy is understanding your target audience. These are the people who will benefit the most from your content, products, or services.
A great way to do this is to develop a buyer persona or representation of your ideal customer. You can use this buyer persona to direct the type of content you create and the platforms you distribute it on.
Understanding your target audience also helps you understand their pain points. Addressing these in your content is a great way to win their loyalty. They’ll see you as a friend who understands them.
Set SMART goals and Determine your KPIs
Successful content marketing starts with goal setting. Determine what you want to achieve with your content marketing. Don’t just create content blindly and hope for some good results.
Besides setting goals, you should also define a way of measuring your progress towards achieving those goals. That means determining your key performance indicators (KPIs). These are the metrics tied to each of your goals to help you measure your performance. For example:
- If your goal is lead generation, your KPI can be unique visitors.
- If your goal is brand awareness, your KPI can be traffic.
- If your goal is boosting sales, your KPI can be revenue.
You need to set your goals and define your KPIs right from the start so that your strategy and campaigns can be tailored to achieve your goals.
Decide on the Type of Content and Content Formats
Once you’ve understood your target audience and set your goals, the next step is to decide the type of content and content formats to use. These must resonate with your audience and facilitate the delivery of your message. For example, will you use written content, video content, infographics, images and GIFs, etc?
Your choice is largely dependent on your audience’s preferences and the industry/niche you’re in.
Choose Your Content Distribution Channels
The key to making your content marketing efforts pay off lies in mastering the art of distribution. To ensure that your content reaches its intended audience, it’s important to adopt a targeted approach.
Effective content distribution isn’t about casting a wide net and hoping something sticks. It’s more like fishing with a spear – targeted, precise, and highly strategic. For that to happen, you must know the right channels to distribute your content on.
Different types of content perform best on different platforms. For instance, video might be king on social media, but detailed white papers or case studies could gain more traction via email campaigns or direct downloads from your website.
Set a Budget
As with every business expense, you should limit how much you can spend to achieve your desired results.
You need to set your content marketing budget. Consider all the elements required to design, develop, and deploy your strategy and determine how much you’re willing to spend.
FYI, this is one of the areas where AI writing tools like Content at Scale are a godsend. With Content at Scale, you can 10X your content production while drastically reducing production costs. You can achieve the same results with one writer as a 10-person team.
So, consider tools and automation if you’re on a tight budget.
Create a Content Publishing Schedule
Consistency is critical in running an impactful content marketing campaign. To ensure consistency, you should create a content publishing schedule. This will help you and your team ensure your content marketing efforts are fruitful.
Analyze and Measure Results
Once you’ve published your content, analyze your performance and measure your results. Revisit your goals and KPIs and use them to gauge the impact of your campaign.
What about the Content Marketing Funnel?
You’ve probably come across the content marketing funnel if you’ve done some reading about content marketing. The content marketing funnel segments your visitors and creates content for each segment. These segments are based on the three main stages of the customer journey:
- Awareness stage
- Consideration stage
- Decision stage
These are traditionally called top-of-funnel (ToFu), middle-of-funnel (MoFu), and bottom-of-funnel (BoFu) stages.
But this way of segmenting visitors and creating content has a huge flaw that could cost you customers and revenue.
The biggest flaw is that you can’t tell where a visitor is on their customer journey 🤷🏼. That’s why I propose you shift from this content marketing framework and embrace the AoFu framework.
All of Funnel (AoFu) is my new approach to blogging. It was born from over 12 years of studying under the best content marketers and conducting experiments of my own.
Instead of breaking down your blog into categories to address each stage of the marketing funnel, think of all stages of the funnel and address every question, fear, and concern your customers might have.
With AoFu, you can create one blog post to address the needs of ToFu, MoFu, and BoFu readers. This way, everyone who visits your blog is satisfied.
Artificial Intelligence (AI): Taking the Pain Out of Content Creation
Finding quality writers is one of the biggest challenges many content marketers face. And when they do find them, they can be expensive and unreliable. And if you’re a solopreneur, you understand how difficult it is to produce a piece of content that’s well-researched and optimized to rank in search.
Enter Content at Scale…
Content at Scale is the only platform with a unique blend of advanced AI with built-in, strategic content marketing principles.
Content at Scale’s advanced AI can help you take the pain out of finding reliable writers and creating valuable content. It starts by taking your target keywords and, in real-time, researches top-ranking content associated with these keywords. This research gives you a deep understanding of what’s already working in your niche and forms the foundation for creating your unique, SEO-optimized content.
The AI doesn’t just generate content; it produces content that’s so human-like that it bypasses AI content detection. This means your content remains protected against future Google updates.
Moreover, you can create content from more than just a keyword with Content at Scale. Plus, you can create blog posts from other content formats. Whether it’s converting a podcast episode into an educational article or spinning up an article based on a competitor’s content, the possibilities are endless.
Content at Scale’s AI is equipped to help you talk effectively. It’s not just about churning out articles; it’s about producing high-quality, SEO-optimized, long-form blog posts that are tailored to your audience’s needs and preferences. The AI can produce blog posts that average around 2,667 words, making them comprehensive enough to cover a topic in depth.
Hone Your Content Marketing Skills
I’m pretty sure you can now answer that confidently. Not only do I believe you have the answer to the question, but you’ve also been equipped with the skills and knowledge to run impactful content marketing campaigns.
Interested in a regular dose of live learning and networking?
Explore the Content Hacker Community. I host monthly mastermind sessions, and you’ll network with top-notch professionals. You’ll get access to content marketing resources, training programs, and the chance to attend weekly events.
Can’t wait to have you on board!