Content marketing is on everyone’s lips these days, many companies suddenly publish informative videos, articles, e-books and increasingly rely on online presence through social media. But what is really behind it? What is content marketing anyway? Which aspects belong to content marketing strategy and what makes it so effective?
Before you begin, it’s a good idea to read a little bit about the topic. This article provides a content marketing definition, more about its benefits, and some examples of content marketing.
What Is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is the creation of online content that is intended to create awareness for a company and its products.
The published content does not usually advertise a brand directly but is intended to offer the reader added value. It might help them solve a problem or learn something new, or it might be just for entertainment.
Content marketing is extremely multifaceted. The most popular types include blog posts, videos, and case studies, but the uses of content marketing can be much broader, from apps and games to reports and courses.
What are the advantages of content marketing?
Good content solves problems, is useful, or simply entertaining. This means that your product or service is not perceived as advertising but rather as an aid. Customers feel addressed by it. Content marketing offers the following advantages:
Acquisition of new customers through storytelling
Long-term customer loyalty
Good content is shared (word of mouth)
With good content, you will be perceived as an expert in your field
Customers are not overwhelmed with annoying advertising, but should automatically find your company on the Internet. Content marketing works like a magnet.
What are the goals of content marketing?
Content marketing has three overarching goals.
Positioning the brand (brand building / strategic goal)
Customer acquisition & lead generation (tactical goal)
Customer loyalty (strategic goal)
In order to achieve goals, one can basically differentiate between a strongly lead-oriented approach and a brand-building strategy approach.
The lead-oriented approach follows more of an inbound marketing strategy, whereby the potential customer should be turned into a customer via the intermediate step of the lead.
When considering the goals of content marketing, it makes sense to differentiate between short-term/tactical goals and long-term/strategic goals. Content marketing strategies and campaigns primarily pursue short-term goals.
Short term content marketing goals are:
Generating reach by disseminating content via social media/word-of-mouth
Creation of social buzz
Generation of co-occurrences, co-citations and backlinks
A content marketing strategy has long-term goals as the main goal:
Development of your own communication system
Building a brand/authority
Development of owned media / own communication channels
Visibility on Google & Co search engines.
Regular readers or visitors
Improvement in completion rates
Retention of influencers
Long-term, loyal customer relationships
The long-term goals should always be in focus, according to the motto the constant drop wears away the stone. And here we are talking about periods of several years, not months. This is where the wonderful little word “sustainability” comes into play. This means that you have to make the pre-investment and sometimes wait a long time for the branches to bear fruit.
Content Marketing History Timeline
Content Marketing Strategy
In order to be able to implement a content marketing strategy optimally, it should be worked out. The first step is to find out who you want to reach with your product or with your company. Define your goal.
There are generally two factors :
Branding your brand Focus on building your own brand that acts as a figurehead for your own company. This measure aims to distinguish itself from the rest of the competition and to be associated with a specific emotion or message by the customer.
Determination of the target group
Determination of certain characteristics and properties of a target group, with the aim of defining a profile for an ideal customer. Here, factors such as age, gender, income and place of residence are taken into account as well as the needs and problem group of this target group. The target group definition is about working out the characteristics of your target group. Characteristics such as gender, age, income or place of residence are just as important as the question of what wishes, problems or needs your target group has.
If you have defined which of the two options you want to set up your content marketing for, then you also know exactly which people you want to address and thus know your target group.
Now you can explicitly research topics for this target group that are relevant and informative. So that you have a choice of topics to create content for.
Depending on whether you want to create your own content or commission an agency, the topics and the format (e.g. as an article or video) are summarized, briefings are created and the concept is worked out. For example, in the world of blog posts and articles, this can be an editorial plan.
Now the content is created, it should be of high quality and above all have great added value for the target group. Pay attention to the motto “ quality over quantity ”, because bad content can have a negative impact on your business.
Finally, as the last point, success is usually evaluated by content management systems and thus analyzed what went well and which points can still be improved.
Forms of Content Marketing
But what forms of content marketing are there that are available as an option to incorporate into your strategy as information transfer. In the following, we introduce you to the nine classic methods.
Tutorials in visual or written form are a very good way of helping the target group and at the same time marketing your own product. For example, tutorials are very popular in the cosmetics industry, as the products can be actively presented here.
We’ve all been in a position to look for information and then find it on the Internet. This is where advice pages help, where the content is explicitly designed to answer the questions of the readership. The added value is very high here, so these articles are popular in content marketing.
Especially if you want to steer a lifestyle or the branding of the brand in a certain direction, then storytelling makes sense. A certain lifestyle is also sold with a product. This is often seen with luxury products such as watches or jewelry.
Blog posts are also very popular when it comes to content marketing. Nowadays there are so many blogs that there is a suitable portal for every topic and every product. The great thing about it is that you can address your target group directly with a helpful contribution.
E-books are the longer version of the guidebook and blog posts. Here, a topic is increasingly worked out and an informative e-book is created, which is often made available for download free of charge.
The advice can appear in the form of an article or book, in this case, the typical questions and problems of the target group are searched for and the content for the answer is then created explicitly.
These articles are not only helpful in answering questions from the audience. At the same time, good and helpful content is important if you want to reach new readers. You can also use it to build up a new customer base.
Infographics are also used to pass on compact information and thus actively address the target group. It is best if these graphics are reused and spread through social networks.
The content does not always have to consist of a large amount of new information. Sometimes the only goal is to entertain the target audience. This is possible, for example, if you have games in your repertoire. If you offer this for free, you can present your product or brand the way you want.
The whitepaper is particularly welcome in the field of IT topics. Here you have all the important information compactly summarized and a lot of information in short form practically at hand. This is not only interesting for IT topics. In other areas, too, whitepapers give a quick and brief overview.
Content Marketing Tools
Just as content marketing grows, so do the opportunities to implement it effectively. This works best with the right tools. Nowadays there are content marketing tools for all kinds of information transfer. It would go beyond the scope of introducing everyone. Nevertheless, we want to inform you about the top 4 tools related to blog posts and editorial work:
WordPress is number one when it comes to building a blog or website. The possibilities that this platform offers, what plug-ins and freedom of design enable, is very popular with many companies and businesses. Whether through the company’s own blog or through cooperation with bloggers and journalists, the chances are good that the website will be published on WordPress.
Yoast is a plug-in for WordPress. It helps the blogger and journalist understand whether he has made all the necessary SEO adjustments. This allows you to optimize the articles so that they are particularly appealing to Google and, with a bit of luck, appear among the top search results.
Especially if you want to see whether your website gets more clicks and unique visitors through content marketing, then Google Analytics is the right address. Here you can not only see how many clicks you get but also which country your audience comes from, how long they stay on your website and how high the bounce rate is.
If you want to create informative graphics or designs such as headers, Instagram stories, etc., be it for your website, social networks or other portals, Canva is the right choice for you. This tool makes it incredibly easy to create graphics, logos, headers, and more.
Online Content Marketing
Content marketing is mainly represented online. Because it is particularly effective when it comes to addressing a large mass and drawing attention to the product or brand. Social media content marketing in particular is one of the most effective strategies here.
Social media content marketing
Social media is a MUST, especially if you want to target a younger audience. Facebook, Instagram and Co. make it possible to sell a lifestyle through targeted product placement.
The so-called “ influencers ” help with this. These are people of all ages who have a medium to large reach on social networks. For example, they address thousands of people with a photo or a video on Instagram. This is especially helpful when you want to sell products.
Influencer followers often want to imitate their lifestyle. Many companies and companies take advantage of this. Because when influencers use their products, the chance that they will be bought by followers increases.
SEO content marketing
Especially if you aim to address your target group in the form of informative texts and blog posts, then you should pay attention to the SEO content marketing strategy. Unfortunately, there is no point in just writing high-quality articles and publishing them on different portals.
These articles have to be structured in a special way that is SEO-compliant. This is the only way they can achieve a good ranking on Google and you have a chance of landing in the top positions.
This has many advantages: first, allows a good ranking that more users come to your website and, if appropriate new sales are generated. On the other hand, the general online presence of your website improves.
Thus, with targeted SEO content marketing of your website, you can boost your sales and win new customers – and expand your reach.
Examples of Content Marketing
The great thing about content marketing is that you can choose the format that best suits your marketing goals and specializations, and that best appeals to your target audience. Now that you know what content marketing strategy is, here are some specific examples.
Search engine optimization (SEO)
Content marketing is widely used for search engine ranking because of its benefits. If you answer frequent searches related to your product in blog posts or on websites, these will be shown by search engines when people search for your solution.
Make a name for yourself as an industry expert
Companies can use content marketing strategies to make a name for themselves in their industry. By creating content based on the experience, data and expertise gathered in your company, you can position yourself as an expert in your field.
The accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers has perfected this tactic. PwC recently published a study entitled “Global Crisis Survey 2019”, which interviewed international business leaders. The report then served as the basis for a variety of content, including blog posts, videos, tests and a PDF.
Many companies use content marketing to generate leads. In return for their contact details, they offer potential customers interesting and informative content.
Here at Act! we have already done that. Website visitors interested in learning more about marketing automation can download our ultimate e-book on the subject.
In order to generate leads with the help of your effective content marketing strategy, it has to be valuable enough for customers to reveal their contact details. Typically, such content goes deeper than ordinary blog posts or articles.
That was a brief introduction to content marketing including a content marketing definition, content marketing strategy and some examples of use cases. If you want to learn more, you can read our guides on creating a successful content marketing strategy and video content marketing.
Why content marketing is important?
If you are new to the topic, you might ask yourself at this point: “What does content marketing actually bring?” Let’s find out why content marketing strategy is so important in the marketing industry. The benefits of content marketing include increased traffic, more sales, and much more.
Content and good content management increase traffic: the more content you publish on your website, the more likely it is that you will also increase your online presence and visibility. Quality content is a must. Optimizing for search will give your content an extra boost. You can also generate more traffic for your website by sharing on social media. The result is clear: with more traffic, you will also increase your chances of more sales.
Content marketing in e-commerce can generate sales: The costs of acquiring new customers are relatively low with content marketing strategies. Why? If you’re already generating free traffic from search engines and social media, you can use a retargeting ad for conversion that costs a lot less than a standard ad. With a targeted retargeting of my blog traffic, I have been able to achieve a 9-fold ROI on my ads in the past.
Content creates strong customer relationships: ADDED VALUE. Are you bidding enough to Show your customers new tips and tricks? Make them laugh with interesting stories. Include your customers in your content to make them feel valued and special. Your content can be a way to connect with your customers on a deeper level. Therefore, you should always keep your customers in mind when creating content.
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