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Content marketing is when you create valuable, relevant content to attract and engage with your audience. With a well-formed and thoughtful content marketing strategy, your business will be one of the best in your niche. By providing helpful, educating and entertaining content, you can strengthen the bond between your brand and customers over time.
Traditionally marketing was about paying other media to display ads on websites, booths at trade shows, email lists and other media platforms. But content marketing allows you to become a publisher by building your own audiences and attracting their attention through creating and sharing content that customers find useful. This increases your brand awareness and forms a relationship with your customers.
Furthermore, the cost of a content marketing strategy is cheaper than other marketing strategies. Though be aware that it can be slower to start with, but while your content library grows, it will reach a larger audience with more effect.
How can content marketing help a business?
Through the years content marketing has evolved into a vital marketing form for businesses globally and it is still growing. It makes your customers treat your brand more like a trusted and well-known brand than the regular brands that just want to attract customers. The customers will have greater confidence in your offering and expertise, so when they want to buy things, they will choose your brand they know instead of others.
This marketing form goes a long way to reduce cost while building your business brand awareness, increases conversion rates and it is all due to growing your content to be informative and trustworthy.
Many companies have been producing content for decades, but have been using them as supporting acts to their products through channels such as flyers, direct mail, websites, podcasts and videos. And a lot of companies are still doing it but in recent years the concept of content marketing has been taking over and redefined. It is shifted from support content to a highly profitable way to promote your products with complete strategies, budgets and long-term plans.
Through studies we can see that the impact of content marketing had revenue on a global scale to be worth US$ 300 billion by 2019. Which indicates that is a good reason to take content marketing more seriously than ever and also shows that content marketing delivers real returns.
Why priorities content for your company?
Many studies show that people in these ages are turning out of TV as our main source of news and information and instead find our news online through social media, blogs and search. We expect something more accessible, authentic and relevant from brands that we follow through our mobile devices at hand.
Which leads us to three reasons why your company needs content marketing:
Content marketing has a low cost but generates 3x the leads than other outbound marketing:
The tide has shifted, now people do not respond well to having a lot of promotional messages pushed in their face every day. Now people prefer content they can use and access on the terms. Which means when and where it works for them.
This means you can grow your customer base while improving your brand-equity (brand profile). That is why more marketers are putting more efforts in diversifying their channel plans. More companies today spread their content across multiple platforms to generate and boost lead generation through social media, ebooks and videos. This makes them continue to make an impact and after several years of delivering consistently high returns.
Higher search engine indexed pages through website and blogs:
The most effective way to deliver your content is by spreading it over a range of online platforms which will lead more people to your site. Basically, you will hit two birds with one stone, so instead of sweating and focusing over SEO as a single strand in your marketing strategy, choose to get your content strategy right and let it do the work for you.
Higher conversion rates than traditional marketing:
Content marketing is six times more effective at converting from leads to customers. One study revealed that more than 60% of US online consumers purchased products after reading about it on a blog. Content marketing cultivates trust and it is one of the reasons B2B marketers use content marketing in their marketing strategies.
How does content marketing work?
Fundamentally content marketing works by offering readers informative and useful material that gives insight and value. This is done by using blogs, eBooks, social media posts, graphics and videos. Basically, content marketing attracts potential customers by keeping them engaged and moves them further through the sales funnel.
A lot of marketers in 2019 use a strategic approach to managing content. They used an approach that formalizes the processes, people and technologies to scale and deliver content with the goals of a content marketing strategy to, improve the customer experiences, generating and nurturing business leads and supporting their organizations’ goals for achieving a return on investment.
How content marketing drives sales?
Content marketing drives sales by creating value for buyers before they make a purchase and sometimes even before the customer has considered making a purchase. It is done by using content that answers questions, addresses pain point or provides the customer with relevant information. Which makes brands that can provide helpful and insightful content more likely to be attractive to consumers who are ready to buy a product.
Basically, content marketing supports your sales goals by:
- Attracting relevant customers to your website.
- Revealing important information to leads.
- Growing brand awareness and recall.
- Increasing customers trust and engagement with your brand.
- Nurturing personalized customer experiences.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, B2B marketers have increased their spend on content creation in 2019. The most successful marketers spend 40% or more of their budget on content strategy, which makes sense considering the benefit.
For these marketers to be successful, they had to think about how their content pleases their reader’s interests and how they appeal to their audience to move them further to the sales funnel. Which means content without a strategy behind it is not helpful, so you have to consider the facts above.
When to use content marketing?
Content marketing is used when you want to brand editorial content across multiple media channels and platforms to deliver engaging relationships. consumer value and measurable success for your brand.
There are many reasons why many companies with strong brands use content marketing, but for the must the companies want to:
- Increase sales
- Content marketing provides companies a shop window to sell products to their customers. Recent studies from CMA research have found that over 50% of content marketing has a positive impact upon purchase decisions, and 61% agrees that this increases brand positivity.
- Retain customers
- Many companies are placing importance on retaining their existing customers by offering both entertainment and information, which content marketing does by rewarding the customer with engaging update information on new products or services. You do this by regularly communicating with your customer and this way you will keep the customer coming back to your business.
- Branding or rebranding
- Most people can fast and easy access the internet and search engines. Therefore many companies who wish to transform or build their brand, need a method of communication to get their message across quickly. With content marketing these companies can engage with the customers through websites, emails, mobiles and other platforms fast and easy. By using the online platforms you can ensure your message gets out to an exact demographic and giving you the best possible return on your investment.
- Integration with multiple media platforms
- The most benefit of a content marketing agency is that you can create and distribute content across all important marketing channels such as, print, online, digital, mobile, video and social media. Not only can you produce content to specific channels, but all the channels will also be integrated with one another, which increases the effectiveness of your marketing campaign.
- Long time engaging with customers
- By communicating regularly with your customers, you can grow and build a bond with your readers, which increases their trust in your brand and that makes your product or service the first choice in mind, when they want to buy a product. Also by having a dialogue with your reader, you can create a stream of feedback that you can use to improve your product, services and content to keep your customers happy, which leads them back to your business.
How to start a content marketing strategy?
A content marketing strategy is the goals you want your content to achieve, which kinds of content is best to use for achieving those goals, and how you are going to create, share and measure its performance. A well-defined content strategy brings focus and purpose and provides ways to help you make decisions. You have to choose where and how it will go to achieve your goals.
To create a good content strategy, you must at first think through the major inputs, both internal and external to your business. Which includes your goals, audience, competitors, your resources, your costs and how you will measure results. All these factors will shape your strategy.
Follow these 7 steps to create your own content marketing strategy:
- Define your goal:
First of all, you have to ask yourself questions such as what is your goal for developing a content marketing plan? Why? Just make sure to know your goals before you start planning. This will make it easier for you to determine the best thing for your strategy. Here is a goal planning template you can use.
- Target audience research:
The next step is to clearly define your content’s target audience, which are your buyer persona. By knowing your target audience, you can then produce more relevant and valuable content to make conversion. When you get the target audience, then you have to revisit your audience parameters by market research each year to grow your audience.
- Run a content audit:
You have to find which kind of content you want to post. Most start out with blog posts, but you can try to produce other content and then consider which ones are best. There are several types of content you can post, and we will go over some further down, but it is up to you to find what works best for you and your audience.
- Choose a management system:
To create, manage and track your content, you need to have a system in place, also known as a content management system (CMS). This is a vital part of content management; it allows you to create content, publish content and analyze content. There are variable choices when you have a CMS system, and one of them is WordPress to which you can add the Hubspot plugin for free or other systems.
- Brainstorm content ideas:
Before creating your content, you have to find some ideas for your content project. We will provide you with some tools to keep creating new content.
- HubSpot’s Website Grader, is a tool to use when you want to track your digital marketing. It shows you the vital areas of your marketing and sends you detailed reports that can help you optimize and evolve each area. This tool provides you the ability to make your website more SEO-friendly and gives you new content ideas.
- BlogAbout shows you common headline formats with blanks where you can fill in a subject in mind. It helps you put general ideas in context that would appeal to your target audience.
- HubSpot’s blog Ideas Generator gives you blog post ideas. All you have to do is enter a general topic or term you want to write about, and the generator will do the work for you.
- Feedly helps you to keep track of trendy topics in your industry and you can also find content ideas.
- BuzzSumo helps you discover popular content and ideas. The company offers a various number of market research tools, which one of them uses social media shares to find popular content you can use. Which helps you to find the kind of content that will suit your audience.
- Blog Post Headline Analyzer helps you to find ideas along in the brainstorm process. The tool analyzes headlines, titles and provides feedback on length, word choice, grammar and keyword search volume. You just have to type in your title ideas and it works out the rest for you.
- Choose content type:
There are several options for which content you can create. It is up to you to find the right one for you and for your audience.
- Share and update your content:
Another vital aspect is to organize your content and by doing that you can use an editorial calendar to create a well-balanced and diverse content library on your website. The next step is to create a social media content calendar to manage and promote your content on other sites.
Why is content marketing important?
The importance of content marketing is the reputation building great content. Now today it is vital that businesses build trust with their leads and customers, which leads to establishing a positive brand reputation.
If you create great custom content it will be the way you get to know your leads and customers while establishing a bond to them. Because when your customers read your content, they start to develop an opinion of your brand. Actually the same as you are doing right now by reading this post – you will either think god or bad about it.
Because if you find the content engaging, educational and valuable, then you will think the same thing about our website. The same thing applies, when you’re creating content for your own customers. The more value you can provide with your content, the easier you will be able to build trust with your target audience.
Also when your leads and customers begin to see the growth of the content you are publishing across platforms, they will come to see you as a leader in the industry. By publishing and sharing content through third-party mediums such as influencers, will help your content build more trust within your target market.
Valuable and great content helps influence conversions
Some of the big benefits of using content marketing is the conversion statistics. Here is a list of the stats that shows how important content marketing is when you want to improve your websites conversions:
- Conversion rates of content marketing are six times higher than other marketing methods.
- According to Content Marketing Institute content marketing creates a lot of recommendations, before consumers decide to make a purchase.
- According to 74% of companies surveyed made by (Curata), content marketing has increased their marketing leads. And 72% companies surveyed say that video content helps provide return on investment and increase conversions (Crazy Egg).
- According (HubSpot) inbound marketers are able to double site conversion from 6 to 12% because of content marketing.
Divert from your competitors
To be successful in the digital marketplace it is essential that your business differentiates from competitors. Which makes content marketing important, as it is an effective way that small businesses can show how it is apart from others in their niche.
The topics and value of the content you create is the factor that can make the difference between a consumer choosing your brand over another company with the same products. You have to determine how you want to showcase your brand and create content that is unique to your business. Which will essentially be the difference between you and your competitor and also the factor that personalized your brand and connect to the consumers.
Content marketing has grown so much that it has the power to develop businesses, with lower costs and higher returns than other marketing methods. Not only it helps you increase your brand awareness, but it also helps you build better relationships with your leads and customers.
The only way to find out if content marketing can improve your business is to work on developing a content marketing strategy that strives to provide great and informative content for your target buyers.