As a marketing broker, I hear the term “content marketing” all the time. Funny enough, this blog post is a form of it.
If you are a business owner, whether it’s big or small, you’ve likely had people pitch “content marketing” to you, but what does that really mean?
Let’s get started
What is content marketing strategy?
Content marketing is typically defined as “the process of creating and distributing content to attract and retain customers”.
The content marketing strategy is the plan you create to increase the chances of your content getting out to the right customers at the right time.
To put it simply, that means creating and sharing content with the end goal of building your brand, attracting customers and increasing your revenues.
The term “content” is extensive. It can include anything from blogs, videos, infographics, podcasts, ebooks, and a whole variety of other things. So long as it has the end goal of making your business stand out from the crowd.
When people have a problem, they begin by researching it, identifying the key players and the actions they need to take. If you are able to capture customers’ attention and trust throughout this process, you earn customer’s loyalty and trust. Which in the end allows your business to grow.
Why content marketing matters?
To reach new customers, you used to put an ad on the radio, tv, or newspaper. You may still do this and that is great.
The trouble with this method is that you might reach thousands of people, but how many of them are ready to buy from you now? Typically with those traditional methods, you are building your brand recognition.
With content marketing, you are targeting every aspect of the funnel. Top to bottom. From people who don’t know your service exists, to people doing their research, and people ready to buy. Having the content in the correct format and the right platforms gets you constant exposure. Let me illustrate.
One of our customers sells high-end jump ropes.
At the top of the funnel, people are looking for information, such as what is the best way to lose weight? Or what are the best workouts at home? So, write a blog explaining the benefits of using skipping as a form of exercise. A customer, let’s call them John, reads the blog, learns something, and moves on.
The next day, he clicks on your ad and watches a YouTube video where you share results of someone’s fitness after just one month of skipping rope and using your app.
A week later his wife tells him, “Hey John, your pants are not fitting the same.” John pulls out his phone, searches for your website, and buys your skip rope. Signing up for the app later.
A week later his wife tells him, “Hey John, your pants are not fitting the same.” John pulls out his phone, searches for your website and buys your skip rope. He later signs up for the app.
This is an extremely simplified example, but you can just start to imagine the power of a strong content marketing strategy.
Content marketing formats
How to pick the right format?
When making your content, it’s crucial to pick the correct format.
For example, if you’re explaining how someone can use your SaaS application, you could just write up the steps in a blog, or you could put it in a video that can visually show users how easy it will make their lives. There wouldn’t be much point in doing it as a podcast.
People like to digest their information in different ways. Sometimes someone who prefers audio may be on the bus and only be able to read the content. So make sure you give them the option to digest it in the form that suits them best.
What are some popular formats?
Which format is best for you will depend on several factors, but here are some of the main ones you might want to consider.
These are very quick and cheap to make. But you might be limiting your reach as most people do not read blogs regularly, unless they want to have specific questions answered.
Brilliant for when you want to have a long, in-depth chat with someone. You might need to spend a fair amount of time on it, but podcasts are becoming an ever-increasingly popular medium.
Creating a YouTube video can be a lengthy process. You’ll need a scriptwriter, presenter, editor, and potentially a videographer and audio technician.
But, they are popular because people can sit and watch them without reading.
Posts on social media channels:
Many don’t think about it but content marketing includes what you do on social media. Here is a tip. Join a Facebook (Meta) group and provide valuable content to the community in the form of a post. Some businesses and brands do extremely well doing this on platforms like Twitter, Reddit, etc.
Content creation vs content marketing
So far, we’ve spoken a lot about content creation. But there is a difference between content creation and content marketing.
It’s all well and good making an inspirational video, interesting podcast, or engaging article. But, you need to make sure people click on it. This is where content marketing comes in.
The most common way to do this is to use Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to get your content to show up in Google search results.
You could use paid ads in the beginning to boost your visibility. Social media posts are another way, but this will only reach people already aware of your brand. Which once again requires some ads to get things going.
SEO is the best option for content marketing. They typically go hand in hand.
SEO in content marketing
Find topics relevant to what you’re selling
When creating your content, the most important thing to keep in mind is your brand strategy and the keyword topics that support it. Assuming you have your strategy, when it comes to keywords there are multiple “keyword finder” websites that you can use.
You can also type a word into Google to see what people search for. Use either the auto-predict or the questions that sometimes show up.
For example, let’s say I’m selling razors for men. I might type in, “should men shave”. I see that Google is auto-predicting “should men shave their chest”.
So based on how many people are looking for that, I could choose to build out the content for that.
If this seems like a lot of work, it’s because it is. It takes time to build a proper keywords strategy like the one I have below for my website, which has been done done by one of my own marketing agencies. I can’t thank them enough for how much time they saved me.
You can learn more about our marketing strategy partners and services.
Think carefully about what to write about
When you make content, the four questions you need to ask are…
1. What are people searching for?
If there is a question or topic that many people want to know about, it could be wise to create content around that.
2. How can I meet the wants and needs of the searchers?
What can you offer people who want to learn about said question or topic?
3. What are other sites doing?
Look at the sites at the top of the Google search. What do they all have in common? How can you build on their ideas?
4. How can I use this information to encourage people to buy from me?
For example, suppose you notice many people wanting to learn a language quickly. You can create content that shows people tips on learning a language fast. Then linking it to your language-learning app.
What is a content marketing agency, and how can they help?
If you need help with content marketing, you can hire a content marketing agency to help you.
The agency will look at what you’re selling and develop a marketing strategy around that. They will decide what content format will work best for your brand and use SEO optimization to ensure your content is seen and linked too.
The content they create and distribute will lead to more people buying from your company.
Not all content marketing agencies are great, and the truth is many aren’t. As I’ve vetted hundreds of agencies, it is clear that the best ones are those who pay attention to the details. They think ahead and build strategies that allow for your business to stand out. The strategy changes over time as you target different niches, regions, and customers.
And that is your ultimate guide to content marketing. I hope this article has been helpful, and if you have any questions or want to be linked to some strong content marketing agencies, reach out below.