What is Content Marketing?
These days, traditional, outbound marketing strategies are not as effective in converting your audience as they used to be. Outbound marketing strategies are anything that interrupts your audience in order to resonate with them.
42% of B2B marketers say they’re effective at content marketing. Nowadays, there is a shift in the trends of reaching your audience. Target audience is known to feel more partial towards inbound marketing strategies. A popular inbound marketing strategy is to create a narrative for your audience. Brands that use content to tell a story ensure that their content is engaging, authentic, and tailor-made for their audience. Year-over-year growth in unique site traffic is 7.8x higher for content marketing leaders compared to followers (19.7% vs. 2.5%)
What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing stands for an extensive process of planning, creating, distributing, sharing, and publishing content for your target audience. Content marketing has been known to boost factors such as audience loyalty, interactions, reach, sales, and brand awareness. Quality content is primarily needed in all forms of marketing. We are moving towards a highly digitized age where sound content marketing strategies are a necessity in this era. 60% of marketers create at least one piece of content each day.
Why is content marketing important?
Content marketing can help your organization achieve the following goals:
- Educating your prospects and leads about the services and products you offer
- Boost your conversion rates
- Build long-term relationships with your business and customers that result in enhanced loyalty
- Show your target audience how your services and products can solve the challenges they face in your field of expertise
- Creating a sense of community for your brand with a loyal audience
Types of Content Marketing
There are numerous types of content marketing strategies that you may incorporate into your brand. Some of the most common ones are:
There are over 3.6 billion global social media users. It doesn’t come as a surprise that businesses choose to market their content on social media. Platforms such as Snapchat, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, can help you create and share various kinds of content easily, such as images, videos, stories, polls, and blogs.
Infographics are a data type that helps you share content, data, and information in a graphic and easy-to-understand format. With a mixture of clear words, brief statements, and simple images, Infographics are a very popular way to communicate your content effectively. Infographics can help you distill down a complex or educational topic for all audience members to understand. Generally, Infographics are vertically long graphics that include tables, graphs, charts and statistics, and images.
Blogs are a predominant type of inbound content. They help you add creativity in terms of their topic and purpose. With a simple blog, you can quickly promote other external and internal content, other blog articles using social share buttons, links and integrate product information. 57% of marketers reported custom content was their top marketing priority for 2014. In fact, 78% of consumers will trust your brand if you create more customized content.
According to “The State of Content Marketing 2020 Global Report by SEMRUSH”, 92 percent of global content marketing was based on blogs. Businesses using blogs have received about 95 percent more links to their website and have over 400 percent more pages indexed by search engines. Also, blogs are a highly cost-effective way of attracting customers through marketing as blogs require smaller teams and smaller budgets to reach out to the target audience.
A 2020 survey found that 49% of 12-to-32-year-olds in the U.S. had listened to a podcast within the last month, with an average of six listening hours a week. This study justifies the fact that numerous media outlets and businesses are now creating and sharing their podcasts. While podcasts haven’t penetrated as much market as blogs and video content has, they are still lucrative for many individuals from the business and digital marketing communities. Podcasts support a lot of creativity in terms of the topic of choice. You can also determine other factors associated with the podcast, like the length of the episodes, the platforms that will advertise your podcast, the guest speaker, and the cadence of episodes. A well-planned podcast series can be created quickly and gain a massive reach if distributed through popular podcast networks.
According to Wyzowl’s research, 69% of consumers say they prefer to learn about a brand’s product or service through video. Video marketing can also help your brand build a relationship with the audience members, improve ROI, and boost conversions. You can choose to share your video content on your website, the website of a co-marketer, landing pages, or various social media platforms. Although videos can be time-consuming and expensive to create, they have a high engagement rate with the viewers and generally leaves them asking for more content.
Paid ads can boost the audience of your business. They are a great way of marketing that helps you in positioning yourself precisely to all the platforms you want your content to be seen. Paid ads can be especially beneficial when they are paired with other kinds of inbound marketing. There are many platforms that allow you to share paid ads, such as on sponsored content, banners, landing pages, and social media.
Why should you opt for content marketing?
A typical customer buying cycle to convert your target audience into a customer consists of primarily four steps:
Traditional or outbound forms of marketing can help you manage the consideration and buying parts of the cycle. However, to tap into the awareness and research stages, you need to employ inbound marketing strategies such as content marketing.
Inbound marketing strategies are known to allow you to put the information out there. You can provide detailed insights and information to your prospective customers, essentially building your brand’s image online. When you make use of this form of marketing where you control what your audience knows about your products, your target audience starts to look for you. In such cases, you don’t require a high-pressure sales tactic for your business.
Content marketing can also support your existing digital marketing strategy positively by providing engaging content. You can use content in different forms to engage your target audience on multiple platforms in synchronization to maximize your ROI.
The role of SEO in Content Marketing
SEO or search engine optimization works in sync with content marketing strategies. This fact is evident by the 7th most asked question on Google in 2020 – “What is content marketing in SEO.”
While search engines are introducing more and more complicated algorithms typically designed to identify and deliver high-quality content to users, there is an increased online competition among content creators. Content creators and marketers need to maximize their efforts to generate and spread valuable and meaningful content into the ever-growing sea of information called the internet. Unique content that is curated with the latest digital marketing techniques needs to be marketed to your target audience to attract customers. Search Engine Optimization or SEO can effectively help in making your content more visible to your prospective audience. SEO is one of the highest performing strategies for content marketing. It helps brands in optimizing the sales cycle of the target audience.
Marketing strategies are continually growing in numbers and types. More and more organizations around the world are leveraging content marketing as a cost-effective way to generate leads, increase ROI and monopolize their industry. Your brand needs to employ a mixture of tools and techniques to help you maximize the immense potential of content marketing. Some skills that you can employ to make your content marketing strategy seamless are editing, research, email marketing, automation, analytics, social media management, and most importantly, SEO.
About the author(s):
Mark Blessington has served many of the world's largest corporations as a sales and marketing consultant. He has published four books, over 50 articles, and hundreds of blog posts.