Content is king, right? Well, content is really only king when it helps you grow your brand. Content marketing is queen. And she wears the pants. Content marketing is a popular buzzword these days and for a good reason. Behind every great brand is a wealth of high-quality, relevant, and valuable content that builds a relationship and connects with the audience. Not only is content marketing a way to set yourself apart from your competitors, but it has now become a necessity for any modern brand and successful digital marketing campaigns.
Have you been thinking about how to take your digital marketing strategy to the next level and reach your business goals? Content marketing is an efficient method to achieve this goal, capable of attracting and engaging your target audience, increasing your SEO rankings, and boosting your revenue, all while being cost-effective. If marketing is a relay race, consider content marketing to be the baton.
There’s a reason why content marketing is a must for businesses of any size—it’s a proven money-maker, and we’re going to show you exactly how to shake it. Ready to pick up the baton? Tune in for some insider scoop on everything you know about content marketing and how to make the best of it.
What Is Content Marketing?
What if there was a less expensive way than traditional marketing efforts to ensure your customers are well-informed, engaged, and ready to get to the next level in your sales funnel? Luckily for all content marketers out there, there is!
Traditional, hit-the-pavement marketing is becoming less effective by the minute and word-of-mouth marketing takes too long. While they were put to good use in their time-restricted formats, they don’t scale to a modern digital audience. Consumers don’t want to be overwhelmed with irrelevant ads – they are looking for solutions they need. This is where content marketing emerges victorious.
Content marketing is a state-of-the-art marketing approach to creating and distributing relevant content to a defined audience to derive a desirable action. It focuses on building customer relationships and loyalty by providing them with free media-type value in exchange for their attention. Content marketing doesn’t just promote a brand but is rather designed to encourage its audience to act and engage in the buying process. The ultimate goal is getting the readers to take a step toward becoming a customer.
Unlike traditional advertising which interrupts customers to get noticed, content marketing provides content that customers actually want in exchange for permission to market a product or service. As a marketer, your task is to make sure to create high-quality content that provides value both for the brand, as well as the consumer. It’s all about offering content that engages, as well as benefits and deals consumers can’t refuse.
Why Is Content Marketing Important?
If you’ve been asking yourself “Is content marketing important for my business?”, the answer is a resounding YES! Content marketing has gone from an exciting new marketing concept to an essential marketing powerhouse for pretty much every business. The era of the internet has completely disrupted the way customers research products and make purchasing decisions today. The key to digital success in modern times is creating content that is genuinely valuable to your prospects.
Brands that neglect the importance of content marketing today will have to play catch up tomorrow. Gone are the days of boring ads and information overload. Today, people seek advertisements that cut through the digital noise, engage and resonate with them on a personal level. And, what helps people, helps businesses. These days, it’s not about what you tell – it’s how you tell it. Do it right and you’ll find traffic and revenue right at your fingertips.
Why Use Content Marketing?
Because the benefits of content marketing are basically endless.
When it comes down to it, most businesses have a common goal: growth. Less subtly, profits. Content marketing is one of the most effective ways to bring in leads, convert and delight customers, cultivate customer loyalty and maximize sales. It also impacts audience decision-making more than any other marketing technique. Traditional marketing focuses on pushing out promotional messages across various channels. This “in your face” approach is what made people dread promotional content and ads in the first place. Content marketing enables your ideal customer to come to you, not the other way around.
Content marketing makes it possible to create an immersive environment for the potential customer to discover how your product or service will solve their problems or realize their desires. They are actively looking to solve a problem or seek specific information about a product or service they want to find. They come across your informative content – and boom – the connection is made! Over time your audiences will come to trust and rely on you as a source of subject matter expertise and will reward you with loyalty toward your brand.
Top 5 Types of Content Marketing Formats and Channels
In the old days, you’d probably be walking door-to-door armed with a briefcase and a smile, praying you’d end up on the front porch of someone with a genuine need for your product or service. But this isn’t the old days – it’s where content marketing steps in and becomes queen. Being present on various media channels serving some hot and heavy content is the way to win coverage.
Since the internet is such a dynamic place, seeing only one type of content all the time can be tiresome. So, the more your brand invests in diversifying content the better. This way, you can explore each format, making sure it is adequate for the information you are trying to deliver and the audience you’re targeting. Another benefit? By diversifying your content, you’re making sure your audience is never bored. Using the right channels and types of content marketing, your company will be able to get much more engagement than if it only did blog posts or social media constantly.
Because content marketing can take so many forms and speak to so many audiences and buyer personas, there are endless possibilities for what a single piece of content that is to be promoted might look like. Using different types of content marketing in your content strategy isn’t exactly obligatory but can make a difference in your numbers. It’s ultimately about what type of content marketing promotes your business most effectively.
Here are the most commonly used channels to promote content, spanning various formats and buyer stages you might consider when building out your content marketing campaigns to make a splash:
1. Content Is Fire, Social Media Is Gasoline
Content is fire. Social media is gasoline. A day doesn’t pass by without people scrolling through social media. With billions of active users every month, social media channels may be a key tool in your content marketing arsenal. The main benefit of social media content marketing is direct engagement with your audience. It’s a real-time feedback loop to help you understand what your audience cares about, and interacts with them to dig deeper.
Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Linkedln, Snapchat, and even TikTok are perfect for promoting valuable, engaging, and compelling content. All of these platforms allow you to easily connect with your audience, earn social media shares and drive them to your blog or website.
2. Blogs Connect and Inspire
Blog posts are a healthy base for your content marketing efforts. This is your platform to discuss popular industry subjects, position yourself as a thought leader, explain how your products can address common challenges, and draw potential customers to your website. Blogs can also utilize numerous keywords and make your content reach the top of the search engine results. They are responsible for attracting organic traffic from search engines.
Social media platforms got rich by allowing you to “rent” their platforms to share your brand’s message. The investment you make in building traffic to your website belongs to you. As a result, your website is a digital asset that you own. Posting high-quality, SEO-optimized, and original content regularly is key to increasing your discoverability through search engines and boosting the chances of your content being discovered by your target audience.
3. Good Ol’ Email Marketing
Email is the Jason Bourne of online: somebody’s always trying to kill it, but it can’t be done! Almost as old as the Internet itself, it’s still widely regarded as one of the most effective marketing tools at our disposal. Why? Because email has the ability many marketing channels lack: creating valuable, personal touches – at scale. Promoting your content via email is an “oldie but goldie” tactic that still pulls major weight.
In addition to being much more loyal, email subscribers are 3.9x more likely to share your content via social media than visitors from other sources. Since it’s all about organic traffic and relationships, an email newsletter is a perfect way to connect with your customers on a personal level and build trust and community. Growing an email list is not an easy task, so it’s important to attract people with compelling offers. Make sure you send valuable, engaging, and exclusive content and not only links to your latest blogs or products.
4. Podcasts As the Dark Horse
In the USA alone, over 6 million people listen to podcasts. It became a new storytelling platform – one of the reasons why it is so powerful to include podcasting as a part of your content marketing strategy. Packed with useful information and the perfect sprinkle of entertainment and light-hearted banter, podcasts are an incredibly engaging and useful medium for businesses. They are the sleeping giant of content types, though. Most businesses neglect the true potential behind podcasts. However, they’re the dark horse in content marketing channels.
Podcasts are mobile-friendly and require little effort to engage with, unlike other content marketing types. All a podcast listener has to do is hit play and listen. It’s the perfect content type for multi-tasking, which most of us are doing constantly in this faced-paced world. If you can establish a strong audience before the podcast boom in your niche, it will be hard for your competitors to attract listeners to their own shows. This loyalty also translates to other marketing channels. For example, podcast listeners are 20% more likely to connect with a brand on social media.
5. Videos Engage
Ever since the popularization of broadband connections and the rise of the YouTube era, the internet has never been the same. If you’re wondering why videos made it to our top 5 content marketing types and mediums you should be leveraging, just think of Youtube. Imagine all the endless possibilities that arise when you take advantage of a platform that is not only free but also easily accessible by millions of people.
Videos are also a versatile medium – you can create a variety of visual content that engages your market and leaves audiences wanting more. After all, people spend at least 100 minutes a day watching videos and 48% of customers rely on videos to reflect what they are interested in. If your company can create good video marketing content, it is more likely to convert and nurture leads than if it only invests in written content nowadays.
What Type of Content Marketing Is the Best?
Simply put, there is no “best” type of content marketing. Some types of content are better suited for particular stages in the customer journey or for certain audiences than others. Leveraging different channels and forms of content marketing allows you to speak directly to your prospects, no matter where they are in their journey.
You may need to experiment a bit in your marketing efforts to figure out what types of content are going to best speak to your customers, but it is not hard to see your success when you have access to analytics data.
Explore Different Formats of Content Marketing to Engage Customers
The biggest hack for success with content marketing, really, is to put great thought into it and figure out what your audience needs. Pick your content formats (visual content, audio content, written content, etc.) according to your target audience’s preferences. After all, the idea behind content marketing is to address their needs and pique their interest. The more you get it, the better that is going to translate to your audience and help address what they are looking for.
Once done, decide on your content distribution channels. Knowing where you’ll be promoting the type of content you choose to promote helps you optimize and tailor each new piece of content specifically for those channels and their audiences. While some marketers may argue that you should build content on every platform possible, the lack of focus might set you up for failure. Instead, identify a few of the most popular channels your target audience uses and find ways to build genuinely valuable content tailored to each unique platform.
How Long Does It Take for Content Marketing to Show ROI?
Content marketing is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. A long-term investment. Content marketing ROI (return on investment) measures the revenue your business earns compared with what you spent on your content marketing efforts. ROI from content marketing has been notoriously difficult for marketers to measure and track because the journey from content to revenue isn’t always straight or quick. Which is a good thing because, just like personal wealth, it compounds and builds over time.
Patience Is Key to Success In Content Marketing
Content marketing – building and growing an audience – takes time. Quality, consistency, and patience are the pillars of all and any content marketing efforts. CMI founder Joe Pulizzi has estimated it takes at least 12 to 18 months to show results. But, it’s definitely worth the leads, interactions, loyal customers, and revenue it generates.
Today’s Buyers are Hungry for Valuable Content: Market It to Them
You need to stop interrupting what people are interested in and be what people are interested in. How? With content marketing that doesn’t feel like marketing. Content marketing is no longer a numbers game. It’s a game of relevance. While there are plenty of important elements that live under the categories of content marketing, it all boils down to the quality of your content. No one likes a self-opportunist who only seeks to share and sell, but not engage.
Content marketing is the gap between what brands produce and what consumers actually want. It’s like a first date. If all you do is talk about yourself, there won’t be a second one. Make your customers the heroes of your stories and rise to digital heights.
We believe in you. Because no one was born great. They worked hard on becoming great. And you can too! With the right content marketing strategy, of course.
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