A Beginner’s Guide to Content Marketing
Looking to grow your business? Want to reach your audience in an effective and positive way? Content marketing can help you do just that.
If you have a new business or aren’t experienced with content marketing, this is where to start. In this article, we’ll take a good look at what content marketing is—and why you need it.
What Is Content Marketing?
Put simply, content marketing is the process of marketing your business through created content. It sounds pretty straightforward, even simple. It can be surprising, though, exactly how much needs to go into content marketing to make it an effective marketing strategy.
If content marketing is something you want to implement for your business, you’ll need to address the biggest component: content. Content is the written, audio, and visual pieces you’ve created that showcase your business.
Examples of content include articles, blogs, podcasts, interviews, and other relevant business information. Ideally, you want this content to capture your audience’s attention and keep them interacting with your business pages. This rapport can solidify your relationship with your consumers—and help your existing audience grow.
Does Content Marketing Really Work?
Even if you haven’t utilized it yourself, you’ve probably heard of content marketing before. There’s a simple reason for that. It works.
The main reason it’s so effective? It’s because of the incredible reach you have using the internet as a marketing medium. There are virtually no limits to the kind of audience you can cultivate.
Right now, nearly half of the people in the world use the internet on a regular basis. Of those, 75 percent are linked in to social media and use mobile devices. You don’t want to miss the opportunity to target this group with your content.
Have you been hesitating to get started with content marketing because you think it’s just a fad? You may want to reconsider.
According to recent data, content marketing is considered a crucial strategy for 91 percent of Business-to-Business (B2B) marketers. For Business-to-Consumer (B2C) marketers, that number is 86 percent.
What could be better than these numbers? The fact that the majority of marketers—a whopping 72 percent—find that content marketing creates greater engagement from their audience. It’s also a beneficial tool for gaining new leads and audience members.
Strategizing Your Content Marketing
Decided to move forward with content marketing? That’s a great first step. Now you’ll have to spend some time hammering out your content marketing strategy.
Don’t let this part overwhelm you and leave you paralyzed with inaction. Leaping into content marketing without a plan won’t get you the success you and your business deserve. Not moving forward because you don’t have a plan? That won’t help you either.
Use these simple steps to get a plan up and running. Once you have your plan outlined, you can begin to put it into action—and start seeing results.
- Determine your mission. You can’t create an effective marketing strategy without a clear and concise goal. Do you need more followers or a larger email list? Are you looking for more sales? This is your first priority in creating your content marketing strategy.
- Establish a marketing mission statement. Once you’ve determined your mission, bring that into a mission statement. This statement should identify your target audience, what your business brings them, and how this factors into your above mission.
- Create future goals. Go ahead and dream big. Create a marketing strategy for multiple phases. Seeing the big picture is just as important as managing the immediate future.
To effectively use your content marketing strategy, you need more than just a plan. You need a solid understanding of your business—and your audience.
- Know your target audience. Don’t just know the hard and fast facts about who you’re marketing to. You need to really understand what makes them tick. This will help you present information in a manner that your group will be receptive to. Content has to be relevant to be effective—if you aren’t marketing in a way your audience feels is pertinent to them, your marketing won’t be effective.
- Seek feedback. Don’t rely solely on your own interpretation of what’s happening. Ask your audience for information on their experience. This creates engagement and leaves your audience feeling valued. It also provides you with the information you need to become more effective.
Plan Your Marketing Strategy
You’ve taken the first steps. You’ve taken into account your strengths as a company, identified your goals, and considered your target audience. Don’t stop now.
The next step you need to take is to determine what implementing your content marketing strategy will look like. To do this successfully, you’ll need to do the following.
- Identify the person who’s in charge of creating the content. Will you be responsible for making your own content? Will you hire out to a team or an individual writer? Make a definitive plan to help ensure things are getting done.
- Determine who will be in charge of updating and maintaining your content. This may be the same person who’s creating the content. Or, the responsibility might fall to someone else. Some of this will depend on how large your operation is and how many employees you have—or how much you’re willing to hire out for.
- Plan any needed resources for your content creation. Will you need additional equipment, software, or subscriptions? Look at the total cost to really determine whether it’s cost effective for you to do yourself. You may be surprised to learn your time and money will be better spent by investing in a professional.
- Create a publishing schedule. Publishing content regularly is crucial to a successful content marketing campaign. Create a schedule and plan to stick to it.
Start the Content Marketing Process
Before you get too far into your content marketing, you’ll want to do some serious keyword research. Knowing what keywords to use during your content creation will help you make your content marketing a success.
There are three types of keywords you’ll want to use. The first is short keywords that are for a broad category. “Pants” and “televisions” are good examples of this kind of keyword. The second type is a medium-length keyword and will be moderately more specific to your product. For example, “boys’ pants” or “HD televisions.”
With your short keywords and your medium keywords, you’ll cover a good amount of ground. But don’t be afraid to get very specific with your keywords as well. The third type, long tail keywords, will draw your perfect target audience directly to you. “Boys’ jersey drawstring pants” is an example of how very specific keywords could work in your favor.
Once you’ve identified your keywords, you’re ready to get started on your content marketing.
Content Marketing Approaches
If you’ve come this far, you’re ready to decide exactly how you’re going to employ your content marketing strategy. There are many great options for implementing content marketing. Here are some you’ll see used regularly.
- Content curation. Content curation involves collecting existing content that supports your business objectives. You can think of this as a database style approach to content marketing.
- Repurposing existing content. Repurposing existing content can be a great way to get into content marketing. You’re tasked with creating a fresh interpretation of existing data. This allows you to tailor information specifically to your business and goals.
- Geomarketing. This approach to content marketing incorporates your location and the location of your visitors. This can help you reach people local to your business, which is especially beneficial if you have location-specific needs.
- Blogging. Having a blog is a great way to implement content marketing. It allows for an informal and engaging exchange of information. It also encourages relationship-building with your audience. This helps to invest them in your business and encourages engagement.
Promoting Your Content
Once your content has been created and published, it’s time to start promoting it. There are several ways to market your content, but these are some of the tried and true approaches.
Social media marketing can be an incredible tool to propel your business—you just need to know how to tap into it.
For optimal results, you might want to turn to a professional. At the very least, you may want to consider a social media optimization tool. This will help make sure you’re spending your money wisely while also getting more out of your marketing campaign.
Email marketing is a great way to reach an audience. Delivered straight to a mailbox, there’s no need to go out hunting for your audience. All you need is an email address.
To market successfully using email, you’ll need a catchy headline. It should be short and easy to scan. You’ll also want to avoid sounding like a salesperson. Seeing excessive promotional language can put your audience off.
If you’re looking to strengthen your content marketing strategy, link building can be a great asset. Creating internal links can help search engines return your business as a result—even if it hasn’t been directly searched for.
Your site will become connected to the sites you link to. For best results, you should always stick with relevant, trustworthy, and high-quality links.
Your Content Marketing Journey
Content marketing can open new doors and do incredible things for your business.
Need help getting your content marketing campaign up and running?
Our team at Clever Touch Marketing can work with you to help you achieve your business goals. Contact us today to discuss your business needs and create a plan of action.