What is content marketing?
If you’ve ever asked yourself what is content marketing? then take a seat, because we’re going to explain everything you need to know.
The first thing to understand is that you already know what content marketing is. In fact, you’re probably really familiar with it. If you’ve ever read a blog on a business’s website, or watched a webinar, or signed up to an email newsletter – then you’ve engaged with content marketing. Content marketing is a way businesses engage with their audience through providing value-added content. The purpose is usually to entertain or inform – and of course to sell – but doing so without really selling at all.
Why do I need content marketing?
Now we’ve answered the question what is content marketing? (pretty straightforward, huh?), we can ask the arguably more important question why do I need it?
Studies are suggesting that traditional marketing methods – although effective when used correctly – are becoming less and less appealing to consumers. Think of it this way: do you have an ad-blocker installed? Do you switch the television over when the adverts come on? Do you get rid of most of the flyers that get posted through your door?
Providing consumers with interesting content is about building relationships between the brand and its audience without obviously trying to make them buy something. Blogs and videos, for example, are a great opportunity to educate your audience on a relevant topic and build up a reputation as an expert in your field.
Plus, because of the internet, consumers are now able to research products and brands extensively before they purchase. By providing the content, your business will be able to influence what kinds of things your audience will discover about you. Think how-tos, books, and social media posts that offer advice. These things are the perfect opportunity to provide additional insight into your business and increase your audience’s knowledge about what you do.
How do I do it?
By now you’re probably thinking Okay, now I know what content marketing is, and why I need it, but how do I get started?
The answer is that depends. You’ll need to figure out a few things first. In other words, you’ll need a strategy. In order to create a content strategy, ask yourself the following questions.
Who is my audience? What are they interested in? What kinds of content do they share? Where do they share their content? How can I reach them?
Identify your audience and find out what they’re interested in. Do your research. For example, if you’re a restaurant you could do a survey to help you figure out if your audiences follow other restaurants on Instagram, or whether they regularly share recipe blog posts on Facebook.
What kind of content should I produce? Are regular blogs or videos more suitable to my business? What is my audience likely to enjoy? How will I turn my target audience into customers?
This goes hand in hand with finding out your audience’s interests. If you find out that your target audience loves looking at pictures of food, or looking at how-to videos on fixing bikes, then you know where to go. How will producing the right kind of content turn audiences into customers? Produce quality content and figure out how to drive traffic back to your website – link to other pages on your blog, offer content as part of an email newsletter where you can also email out special offers etc.
How will I create my content? What can I do to ensure my content is good quality and relevant to my needs?
Decide who is responsible for ideas and the execution. Consider if you’ll be able to produce your content yourself, or if you will have to outsource it. Create a schedule that suits your audience’s demand for new content, and decide on a process of writing, editing, and reviewing. Make sure your process works for your business and your team, and you’ll end up with great content.
How will I promote my content? How will my readers find it?
This is arguably the important bit – it doesn’t matter if you’ve got great content, if it doesn’t reach your audience, it’s useless. This is where social media and SEO come in. Promoting your content on your social media channels should be easy and straightforward because your content should already appeal to your followers. However, you’ll need to consider things like how often you share your content, and whether you want to promote it using paid ads. SEO is all about using key phrases so that when your target audience searches for something, they find you. Check out our previous blog on the importance of content and SEO.
How do I measure the effectiveness of my content?
Measuring your content’s effectiveness is going to depend on the form of content you’re creating. Use things like social media analytics to track engagement, Google analytics to track web traffic, and email metrics to see what things were opened the most. Do they measure up against your generated leads? Most importantly, use this data to review and refine your content.
If you need help with your content creation, or you’re unsure what kind of content is right for your business, get in touch and see what Digital Glue can do for you.