Content marketing is not a new concept. It’s been around for a while, and believe it or not, it wasn’t developed for online, digital marketing purposes only. Remember physical brochures? Self published newspapers? Journals? Marketers have known the power of a good content marketing strategy for decades.
And after all these years, it continues to be one of the most effective forms of marketing. Only now, it’s gone digital. This means more opportunities to attract leads, win more sales, and grow your business with a strong content marketing strategy.
If you’re not already on it, you need to hop onto the content marketing bandwagon. To help you make the most of your digital marketing, this article will cover the basics of content marketing strategies and different types of content marketing.
What is content marketing?
According to Hubspot, nearly 40% of marketers say that content marketing is a very important part of their overall marketing strategy. But, what exactly does content marketing entail? Content marketing is the process of creating and sharing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract a clearly defined audience.
The aim is to inform your audience so that they trust your expertise, and then become interested in making a purchase from you and maybe even sharing your content with others.
Why does it work so well?
Instead of directly pitching your products or services, you are offering relevant and useful content to your prospective clients. Content should educate your customers to the point that they’re ready to purchase your product, because they trust your advice. You are adding something valuable to their lives, something that traditional ads simply don’t do.
Ultimately, there are three key benefits to content marketing:
- Increased sales due to brand trust
- Cost savings due to content that markets without consistent payments
- Loyal customers who continue making purchases and encouraging their peers to do the same
Great content marketing bridges the gap between your products/services and your target audience.
But, knowing how to do this takes time and knowledge, which is why you need to start with a content marketing strategy to clearly define your digital marketing goals and outline how you can achieve them.
Why a content marketing strategy is important
“Content Marketing Strategy” is the most searched query related to content marketing, according to SEMrush’s State of Content Marketing Report 2019. This shows that it’s pretty important.
Before rushing out and producing a bunch of content, you need to first think about what you are trying to achieve. Having a clear content strategy will ensure that you are producing relevant content that will attract your desired target market. You want to avoid wasting your time on content that isn’t going to be beneficial.
It will also help you keep track of what content you need to produce, where you need to publish it and when you need to publish it. You need to maintain your consistency in order to get results. A plan will keep you accountable to your goals.
You can find a bunch of content strategy templates to help guide you on the process, but ultimately you need to follow the below steps:
- Formulate your digital marketing goals
- Determine the right channels
- Develop a content calendar
- Monitor your progress
- Optimize your content
- Scale content production
Your content strategy doesn’t have to be overly complicated, in fact, a simple content marketing strategy is probably better.
Popular types of content marketing
Not all types of content are made equal. And not all types of content are for your business. Make sure that your content development strategy only includes the types of content that will truly be relevant to your business strategy. Here is an overview of some of the more common forms of content that your audience may find valuable.
1. Text Content
Written content will likely form the backbone of your content strategy template as it will be used in all forms of your marketing. Written content includes blog posts, ebooks, social media posts, whitepapers and email marketing.
Blog article content is the most appealing for its SEO benefits and its ability to bring in more organic traffic.
Ebooks (short for ‘electronic book’) and whitepapers are both great forms of ‘lead magnets’ as they can both be utilized as ‘freebies’ to attract a bigger audience. Ebooks provide great value to the reader by offering long-form topical discussion. B2B products and services benefit the most from whitepapers as they are used to convey data-driven insights or case studies.
2. Graphics & images
With the help of social media, the internet has become much more visual. Numerous studies have shown that written content with images performs better than content without images.
So, apart from adding standard photographs to your written posts, you can also include:
- Quote graphics
- Slide presentations
- Animated GIFs
There’s been a massive growth in video marketing over the past few years. While they may be more resource-intensive to produce, their benefits make it well worth the effort, because they tend to give you the best bang for your buck.
Make sure to include videos not only within your website content, but also on your various social media platforms. Plus, video content is the perfect way to personalize your brand thru digital marketing.
Relatively new on the content marketing radar. Many businesses are now starting their own podcasts as an additional way to add value to their customers. With podcasts, you’ll reach an audience that you may not have ever reached with blog posts, because they find you via their chosen podcast app rather than through a Google search, for example. So, podcasts are a great way to broaden your audience reach.
Final thoughts on content market strategies
By now it’s pretty clear that content marketing has the power to transform your business. With the right content strategy, it can bring in more leads, leading to more sales. If you’re unsure on how to kickstart your content marketing strategy, it’s worth speaking to a digital marketing professional to get some advice. Without a clear plan in place, it’s easy to veer off track and lose sight of your marketing goals.