You’re in the right place if you want to know what is content marketing, how to develop a content marketing strategy, and how your business can reap the benefits of this amazing digital marketing strategy.
Having a content marketing pipeline is becoming an inevitable part of a company’s strategy to stay relevant — but more importantly — profitable.
With consumers turning to their smartphones for all of their needs, content marketing has become the way many companies are able to generate leads, increase engagement and improve sales.
If you’re just starting out on the journey to content marketing it’s important to understand what content marketing is and how to develop a strategy that will meet your goals.
In this ultimate guide, we’ll discuss everything there is to know about content marketing and what you can do to elevate your brand above the competition in 2022.
What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is the practice of creating, publishing, and promoting relevant, valuable, and shareable content through various channels such as blog posts, social media, videos, infographics, white papers, case studies, emails, press releases, podcasts, and many more.
The main goal of content marketing is to attract and convert lead customers, increase brand awareness and create positive word-of-mouth buzz.
Content marketing is a necessary part of a go-to-market strategy for businesses.
Every company, from small, local businesses to large, multi-national corporations, relies on content marketing to attract leads, communicate with customers, and grow their brand as well as their revenue.
The reason companies engage in content marketing is because they know it’s an effective way to drive results — and they want their business to be profitable.
Many studies reveal that the number one reason companies invest in content marketing is because they understand the value of having an asset that will continue to generate revenue even after a first purchase.
Finally, content marketing creates an opportunity for companies to build relationships with their target audience.
And by creating valuable content that supports the company’s goals, they can establish a consistent level of trust with their audience, which can be the difference between having just one or two customers, or thousands of loyal customers who continually bring in revenue.
Why is Content Marketing Important?
Content marketing is important because it is a way to reach your target audiences, establish a credible voice and build relationships.
For you to see the need to invest in content marketing for your business, you first have to understand how powerful it truly is.
Content marketing has become one of the most significant components of any business’s marketing strategy.
It covers a wide range of platforms and is utilized by nearly every brand, big and small.
Moving forward, content marketing will play an even larger role in a company’s strategies than it already has today. Here are five reasons why:
1. Content Marketing Increases Direct Sales
According to HubSpot, companies can increase their website traffic by 31% by creating content that is rich in value and has great visuals.
However, a content marketing strategy does more than just provide your website with increased traffic — it also increases conversions.
When you engage in content marketing, you’re able to learn more about your customers and create content that is relevant to their needs.
This increases your chances of converting a visitor who might have walked away un-converted into a buyer.
The most effective way to convert leads is through content marketing. A study made by Curata showed that 74% of business owners confirm that content marketing is the most efficient marketing channel when it comes to lead generation and sales.
Getting more visitors to your site and increasing sales is only one part of the equation; getting those leads back out the door is where it really pays off.
2. Content Marketing Is Affordable
Content marketing is one of the most affordable methods for companies to implement in their marketing strategy.
When you compare the cost of content marketing to other digital marketing strategies, it’s quickly apparent that content marketing is an affordable, powerful option for small and large businesses of all kinds.
Demand Metric has published a study that proves the return on investment (ROI) of content marketing is 62% cheaper than traditional forms of marketing.
That study reveals that content marketing can produce 3x more leads than traditional marketing. Isn’t that exciting?
3. Content Marketing Helps You Stay Current
Content marketing helps keep your brand relevant in today’s rapidly changing environment.
As technology continues to advance, so do the platforms your audience is using to find information, enjoy entertainment, and shop.
It’s important for you to stay on top of what future trends are predicted to be and how you can integrate them into your content marketing strategy.
This is why keeping up with what’s new in content marketing isn’t just good business — it’s essential.
Now that more people are doing business online, it’s easy for your customers to find you when they’re ready to buy by putting in front them amazing and convincing content.
4. Content Marketing Creates a Personal Connection
We’re all familiar with hearing testimonials of how a good product or service has changed someone’s life.
However, testimonials are only effective when the person giving them knows how to effectively tell the story in a relatable way so they can be understood by others.
Through content marketing, your brand can stand out from the rest and tell your story in a way that establishes trust and builds relationships with your potential customers in an authentic way.
5. Content Marketing Increases Brand Recognition
Once you’ve successfully created and published valuable content, your brand will have improved its reputation and become more recognizable by the people it’s trying to reach.
A study conducted by Bewell found that a consumer’s trust in a brand is directly tied to word-of-mouth marketing through content marketing.
In fact, 74% of B2B buyers have purchased products they saw talked about on social media.
For companies, the importance of content marketing goes beyond just increasing sales and keeping customers happy; it’s a critical part of their overall marketing strategy.
By harnessing the power of content marketing, companies are able to connect to their audience in a way that it helps them grow exponentially.
Let’s have a deeper talk about the real benefits of content marketing.
What are the Benefits of Content Marketing?
For small, medium-sized, or large companies, content marketing has proven to be a successful marketing strategy.
The benefits that come from content marketing are too vast to be fully explained here, but we’ll take a look at some of the more important benefits that have been widely recognized by businesses.
The benefits of content marketing are:
1. Builds Brand Awareness
Content marketing is a tool that allows your brand to establish itself as a reputable and credible business.
The more content you create, the more opportunities you have to share your knowledge and expertise with others, allowing potential customers to learn about what you have to offer.
2. Builds Credibility
The more content you publish, the more credibility you will establish with your audience.
If you’re sharing information that is relevant to your target audience, it shows you care about the needs of your customers and want to help out in any way possible.
As you continue to add information to your blog or social media, customers will notice that your brand is dedicated to providing them with resourceful content to help solve their problems.
And that’s what builds credibility!
3. Connects with Your Customers
The best way to connect with your audience is by providing them with valuable information regularly, whether it’s by publishing new content on a weekly basis or sending weekly emails that give them value.
Similarly, the best way to keep your customers happy and engaged is to give them the information they need in a concise, engaging style that they can understand.
4. Builds a Strong Brand Identity
When people see your content on social media or read an article on your website, your brand will stick in their mind (provided your content was really good!).
Also when you are consistent with your branding efforts in your content marketing, the results of these will be a strong brand identity that will be memorable in readers’ minds.
I guess you already know what that means for your business?
5. Creates Brand Loyalty
Your brand identity becomes more recognizable when you consistently deliver valuable content and quality products.
By satisfying the needs of your customers, you’re improving their perception of your brand and building loyalty.
Whether it’s through valuable content, great customer service, or friendly employees, customers will always keep coming back because they know they can rely on your business to deliver.
6. Increase Conversions
One of the most important benefits of content marketing is that it allows you to increase your conversions such as sign-ups, downloads, sales, etc…
Thanks to the power of content marketing, you’ll know exactly what your customers want and how to deliver it to them.
That’s why publishing more content will help you attract new audiences and increase your sales.
How Does Content Marketing Work?
Content marketing is more than just creating any kind of content — it’s about developing a strategy where all of your content acts as one powerful entity to help you achieve your marketing goals.
At the end of the day, every piece of content should help move someone along the buyer’s journey.
Content marketing consists of anything that you create as a means of driving leads, increasing engagement, and improving sales.
To achieve these results, there are two key elements that every piece of content should hold:
Types of Content Marketing
Let’s now dissect the different types of content marketing that exist so you can make a decision about the type you want to build your brand around.
Although blogging started as online journals where users wrote about what they ate for breakfast, how they spend their summer holidays, and so on, it’s NOT the case for a business.
Using blogging to reach your business goals requires much more than just a few articles here and there.
In order to reap positive results from blogging, it actually demands a very well-thought and solid strategy which consists of :
- Competitor Analysis
- Keyword Research
- Content Planning
- Technical SEO
- Link Building
- On-Page SEO
Let’s briefly dissect what each one of these elements means for you, your business, and the potential for your blog.
Spying on your competitors has become a norm in the business world today.
In light of this competitive world we live in today, you need to know what your competitors are up to so that you can beat them at their own game.
If they do this…so should you! That’s why competitive competitor analysis is so important.
Since you are in the same industry, you don’t want to leave all the money to your competitors, do you? Exactly!
In competitive analysis, you need to learn as much as possible about your competitors. This includes things like:
Having all the answers to these questions will allow you to create an effective content marketing strategy that will bring results.
Your content marketing strategy is useless if it doesn’t have specific keywords attached to it, so let’s talk about keywords first.
The keyword research phase is a vital component that can help you discover what is working for your competitors and how to beat them.
Keyword research is a very simple but tedious process where the idea is to build a database of informational and transactional keywords around which you will create high-quality content to attract your target audience.
Doing keyword research will allow you to determine if you have a chance at ranking for those keywords on Google.
It’s not enough to just build a huge list of keywords without taking into consideration the keyword difficulty, the search volume, or if you’ll be able to satisfy the search intent behind the keywords.
The main component of content marketing is the content itself.
Setting up your editorial calendar will help you stay consistent in your content creation efforts and push out the content you need to.
Having a content plan is also important if you plan to outsource your work to a copywriter.
The most important aspect of a content marketing strategy is getting your blog ranked on Google in order to gain traffic.
This is why technical SEO is such an important facet of an effective content marketing strategy.
Technical SEO is the process of optimizing your site so that it offers the best user experience to your users and is in good shape in the eyes of Google.
Simply put, technical SEO has everything to do with the performance of your website.
A few areas of technical SEO include:
Link building is the process of using different strategies to get backlinks to your website.
Earning links from authoritative sites in your industry will bring many SEO benefits such as higher rankings, more traffic, and more conversions.
The more high-quality backlinks your site receives, the more Google starts to trust you and your content and that’s when your site has the potential to rank for competitive keywords.
On-Page SEO is everything that happens in your content to make sure that Google understands what you’re talking about.
Keep in mind that Google is a machine and it’s your job to teach it what your content is all about. A few ways you can do this are:
2. Social Media Content Marketing
Social media is a very powerful platform that can help you achieve your business goals
If used correctly, social media can help you achieve rapid growth in your customer base, increase your brand awareness and move your business to the next level.
However, shining on every social media platform is no easy task. It requires a great strategy, consistency, and loads of patience.
Social media content marketing is about leveraging social media platforms such as Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, TikTok or Facebook to get your brand in front of the right people.
Content marketing on social media is about creating valuable and engaging content that intrigues your target audience and will compel them to engage with you and your brand.
3. Video Marketing
Video marketing is all the rage these days and for good reasons
With video platforms like YouTube and TikTok invading our lives by the minute, video marketing is becoming increasingly important as a marketing tool for businesses of all shapes and sizes.
Video marketing allows you to tell your story in a way that can’t be done with written content alone.
Taking advantage of the fact that a big chunk of your target audience might prefer consuming content in the form of videos can give you an edge over your competition and when done right, can help you generate more leads and sales.
4. Email Marketing
Email marketing is one of the best ways to grow your business organically.
However, with so many email services flooding the market and a myriad of marketing techniques to choose from, it can be a daunting task for businesses to keep track of which are effective and which are not.
Email marketing is one of the best content marketing channels to build and nurture relationships online and is the most effective tool to convert a website visitor into a brand ambassador.
Email marketing is all about creating engaging newsletters that your audience will want to read, comment, and share across their social media platforms.
Building an email list allows you to keep in touch with your customers and more importantly gives you the opportunity to bring them back into your sales funnel.
5. Paid Ads
Instead of simply relying on organic traffic and inbound links, sometimes it’s easier to pay for visibility.
There are many different ways to pay for visibility, which can help you achieve your business goals faster.
Paid ads are an excellent tool to give your content the boost it needs as well as get you more sign-ups and sales.
Google Ads & Facebook Ads are the two most popular advertising platforms that are super ROI-friendly.
Here’s a detailed article about more types of content marketing.
Content Marketing Examples
Below are examples of different content marketing examples by different companies as well as some example lists of content ideas.
1. Blog Post Content Marketing Example
Here you can see how Mediavine has beautifully organized its blog section. But we’re here to observe more than just the beautiful element right?
As you can in the Ahrefs screenshot below, Mediavine.com has received over 8M backlinks, 17K domains are pointing back to it, and is also ranking for 10K+ keywords and is getting a pretty decent traffic each month.
All of these pretty rewards are the results of a great content marketing strategy! Kudos to Mediavine!
2. Social Media Content Marketing Example
If you don’t Black on Instagram, you’ve probably been living under a rock!! This is the perfect example of an effective content marketing strategy using social media.
The Founder Julian O’hayon explains his strategy behind the growth of Black as a successful brand.
3. Video Content Marketing Example
Nothing impressive here right? This is Ahrefs’ YouTube channel! They don’t have millions of subscribers or video views but one thing I can tell is that their videos are super valuable
They are not your typical “let’s go out and party” type of videos. These videos are super helpful and if you’re someone who is into SEO, you can learn a lot from them.
Not only that but they also have nice animations and effects which make the content more appealing to watch.
Pretty sure they have converted a lot through their amazing videos.
4. Infographics Content Marketing Example
Take a look at this infographic from Oberlo. Clean, organized, and to the point!
This infographic is about video marketing stats and is presented in such a simple way for the visual reader to consume the content.
And I bet out of these 6.3k backlinks, a good portion is linking to that cool infographic.
5. Paid Ads Content Marketing Example
This is an example of Rolex advertising its watches on Google.
They are paying for the visibility of their ads and getting a good return on their money by reaching out to their potential buyers.
6. Pinterest Content Marketing Example
Over the last few years, Pinterest has been shifting its focus on developing a shoppable platform more than the visual search engine it was before.
If you plan to use content marketing to show off your brand to the world, don’t forget to try out Pinterest.
But first of all, do your research and see that the keywords related to your brand and industry have enough monthly searches.
7 Steps to Create an Effective Content Marketing Strategy
Here we are creating an effective content marketing strategy that you can use to grow your business.
1. Define Your Goals
Before creating your content marketing strategy, it’s important that you define your goals and make them specific.
A goal is an end result that you aim to achieve and a specific goal is one that is precisely defined.
For example, increase the number of website visitors per month by a certain percentage or level up in the search engine result pages.
2. Competitive Analysis
To get you started with your marketing strategy, check out your competitors’ content and see how much traffic they’re currently getting
This will help you benchmark your current position to determine what is lacking in your business’ content marketing strategy.
3. Identify Your Audience
Identifying your audience’s pain points, where they hang around online, and identifying the problems that you can solve for them with the help of content marketing is a great way to start creating content that helps brand awareness.
You can also identify the problems that your audience is facing online.
4. Identify Your Audience’s Needs
If you want to be successful in valuable content, you need to identify your audience’s needs and figure out how you can use content to fulfill them
This will help you create compelling content for them which will drive more traffic and sales for your business.
5. Get the Right Tools
In order to crush your content marketing efforts, you need to be well-equipped with the proper content marketing tools.
If you’re just starting out and you don’t have a huge budget to spend on expensive tools don’t panic!
You can still get a few basic tools and as your content marketing efforts start paying off, you can acquire more tools.
These are my recommendations for beginners in content marketing:
- Ahrefs or Semrush – Keyword Research, Competitor Analysis, Link Building, etc…
- BigScoots – Web Hosting
- WordPress – Blogging Platform
- Kadence – Fast, lightweight, and versatile WordPress theme.
- ClickUp or Monday – Content Organization, Project Management, Task Assignment, Team Collaboration, etc…
6. Plan Your Content Calendar
Setting up an editorial calendar is an important process in your content marketing strategy as it helps you organize your content on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.
If you want concrete results from content marketing efforts, you can’t just do things on the fly.
With an editorial calendar, your content will be perfectly organized and you can stay on track with your goals.
7. Track Your Progress
Monitoring your progress and making adjustments to your content marketing strategy is an essential process.
It helps you figure out whether you’re on track or not.
To monitor your progress, there are important KPIs you need to track so you can adjust things to perform better in the future.
Hope by now you’ve understood what is content marketing exactly and how you can use it to meet your business goals and build an exceptional brand this year.
Content marketing is now a crucial part of any marketing strategy these days. Without a good strategy, it’s gonna be hard for your business or brand to experience solid growth.
If your competitors are using content marketing and you’re not, so you may be losing out on a huge advantage.
If you want to stop being left behind in the dust, it’s time that you think about building a skillset and focusing to content marketing.
Don’t know where to start in your content marketing strategy? Get in touch with us.