While you may have heard of the term “content marketing” many times, you are still not sure what it means exactly and are too embarrassed to ask anyone now. Rest assured, this post is just for you.
According to The Content Marketing Institute, the definition of content marketing is as follows:
“… 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.”
Still, confused? Well, let us break it down for you. The important keyword here is “valuable”.
Through content marketing, your aim is to provide your audience with engaging content, something which provides them with more insights on your products and services. After all, content is king. You have to show them that your products or services are the answer to their problems and challenges faced by their business- tell them how you can increase their lead conversions, boost sales, and much more.
Types of Content Marketing
Videos – According to the latest survey, videos are the best way to interact with your audience and they also want to see your brands through interesting videos.
Also, marketing through videos will help you in boosting conversions or more sales and will also help build a strong relationship with your customers. By sharing videos on different social media platforms, you can increase your brand’s reach. Apart from this, you can also use these videos in your content marketing, on your partners’ websites.
Infographic – When there is a lot of data and text, it creates chaos and confusion. The best way to put out this information is through infographics which are easy-to-understand and give information in a concise format. Infographics help in communicating your message/content in an effective manner. Especially when you want to make them understand a complex topic.
Social media – With digital marketing on the rise, businesses need to invest in their social media content marketing to reach out to more than 3 million global users. There are a number of social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Snapchat where brands can interact with their consumers in different ways. Social media presence is certainly required in today’s time to connect with your audience. The brands can share social media content in the form of photos, live and pre-recorded videos, and stories.
Paid advertising – If you have just started out with your business, then running advertisements will help you in growing your audience. This way, you can also drive your audience to your content.
Blogs – Blogs are a great way to do inbound marketing and sharing valuable information with your target audience. Not only that, blogs can be used to convert readers into customers, boost brand awareness, and/ or build relationships with your audience.
Why Content Marketing?
Now that you have understood what content marketing is, let us find out why it is important for your business. First, we need to understand the four steps in the consumer’s purchase decision:
Awareness – The customer is in need of a particular product or service but not yet aware that there is a solution.
Research – Now that he/she knows there is a solution, the consumer will do some research about the various options they have. For example- He wants to buy a car then he will search different car models as per his budget and the specifications he/she is looking for.
Consideration – Now the consumer has shortlisted different products or car models in this case from different companies. The comparison will be done on premium features in his budget.
Buy – After taking feedback and suggestions from friends and family, the consumer will make a decision and move forward with the purchase.
What should be your content marketing strategy?
Set SMART goals – Yes your goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound for your content marketing strategy to work. These smart goals will complement your broader marketing as well as company goals.
Determine your KPIs – Once smart goals are set, you can assign key performance indicators (KPIs) in line with them. KPIs are basically quantifiable data points that can be used to measure your actual performance against your smart goals.
Decide your content channels – Another important thing is choosing the type of content you will be creating. This depends on your target audience and buyer personas. With the help of the following questions, you narrow down the right types of content for your consumers:
What do they need from you?
What challenges are they looking to overcome?
Why do they need your product or service?
How can you help them succeed?
Decide what type of content – With a variety of content channels, selecting one which is best for your business can be daunting. But for some content types, it will be obvious what content channel you need to work with. For example- If you are creating a blog, then the channel will be a blog itself.
Set a budget – You need to set a budget as well for your content marketing. This depends on the type of content created and the channels on which your content will be marketed. You might have to run Facebook ads or boost your post.
Create and distribute the content – Consistency is the key to sharing content. So you can use a social media calendar to keep a track of your content and you can share it on a daily basis. You can post daily or alternate days or whatever works for you. Your content needs to be evenly distributed so that your audience can consume it.
Analyze and measure results – Analyzing your results is very important. If your strategy is not working then you can make changes to enhance your content marketing efforts.
After looking at your SMART goals along with KPIs, you can determine the success of your content marketing strategy.