Did you know that approximately 47% of internet users utilize ad blocks on their devices? Irritation and frustration at ‘annoying’ and ‘irrelevant’ ads are at an all-time high.
Are you looking to stand out in this oversaturated ad space? If your marketing efforts fail to generate traffic and convert leads, it is for one straightforward reason.
You are likely not utilizing marketing strategies effectively.
Enter the best way to boost conversions and assert brand authority – content marketing. So, if you’re asking yourself, ‘what is content marketing,’ and how can I use it for business success, read on.
In this guide, we provide you with the low-down on using this effective program to stand out in the market while generating a return on investment.
What Is Content Marketing
Content marketing is a plan that involves creating relevant and valuable content to engage your target audience. To best reap the benefits of this process, valuable content should be at the core of your marketing. This will allow you to attract and keep an audience to market to.
Why is content marketing so relevant in today’s world? The average consumer in the U.S today is targeted to see around 5000 advertisements a day. This is compared to the approximate 500 ads a consumer in 2007 was privy to!
These statistics show that consumers are oversaturated with marketing, and most content gets lost in a sea of selling efforts.
Content marketing is an alternate strategy that allows brands to create content that is helpful to the customer and will stand the test of time.
Benefits of Content Marketing
Content marketing can involve planning, strategizing, distributing, sharing, and publishing content. This process has many benefits for your brand. Content marketing is good for your bottom line — and your customers.
Here are some of the innumerable advantages of content marketing:
- Creates a storytelling element around your brand
- Educates your intended audience about services you offer without overtly ‘selling’ them on it
- Brings in leads and generates conversions
- Establishes a community and relationships around your brand, which increases customer loyalty
- Boosts brand image and awareness through credibility
Ultimately, a successful content marketing initiative will be a great return on investment for your brand.
Who can use content marketing? Content marketing is used by leading brands for business success.Both B2B and B2C marketers can use this strategy to engage their potential customers.
Types of Content Marketing
Marketing is impossible without great content and is utterly reliant on the means of content distribution. So let’s take a look at the main kinds of content marketing that expert marketers rely on today:
Social Media Marketing
Use media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and LinkedIn to boost brand awareness. Social media marketing is a highly effective mechanism to generate traffic.
It is also a great way to test interest and figure out which media type works best for your intended audience. Mixing long-form posts with videos and blogs, POV interviews, and more is a great way to keep those follows and retweets coming!
Businesses that use blogs receive 97% more clicks to their websites and have more indexed pages for the SERPs. The most effective way to use blogs is to use them for ‘good’ rather than to sell.
Essentially, you want your blog posts to provide relevant content related to your products. This is as opposed to only blogging about how your product works and impacts its users.
Focus on genuine impact rather than pushing a product. This establishes your brand as an industry expert and helps you stand out.
Infographics are essential for every business, as they generate a lot of attention through shares and inbound links.
That famous saying that pictures speak louder than words holds true for a reason. It has been proven that our brains process visual information faster and more efficiently than typed or written words.
Infographics play to this phenomenon by creating impactful and straightforward graphics. Breaking down complicated news to the important parts is also critical for retention.
This ultimately helps your brand and brings value to the consumer. Win-win!
Definitely on the pricier side of the content marketing spectrum, video content is effortful and time-consuming. Yet, its results can’t be matched as video content is in high demand.
A well-produced video gives you many avenues to reach out to your customers. This format is excellent for explanations and how to’s and can be used in your blog posts, websites, and social media platforms.
How Does Content Marketing Work
All the valuable content in the world is meaningless until it reaches the intended consumer. Therefore, the mechanism by which you share your content is critical to its success.
Here are the main distribution channels to use for your marketing campaigns:
- Organic distribution: Ensure your content is reaching consumers and satisfies what they are looking for. Using SEO practices and strategies will be critical to achieving this. For example, a great way to ensure organic traffic to your website is to ensure that you are high on the Google rankings list.
- Paid distribution: Mixing paid advertising with organic reach is the ideal combination for marketing success. Search engine marketing (SEM), pay-per-click marketing (PPC), and sponsored content are excellent mechanisms to generate traffic.
- Owned distribution: If you post your content to your blog and social media channels, you are likely utilizing owned distributions naturally. Sharing your content to your growing audience is a free and quick way to create a relationship with your customers.
- Earned distribution: This is arguably the most challenging lead to generate. Earned promotion takes place when your audience shares your content with their network. As such, it is the most valuable form of marketing as it implies trust and credibility.
The right marketing campaign will use a mix of the above channels to generate the best results. Of course, one distribution channel can’t work wonders, but when you generate the right combination unique to your intended audience, is when the magic happens.
How to Implement a Successful Content Marketing Strategy
Creating content that works doesn’t need to be convoluted. Most content marketers utilize a distinct content marketing strategy that converts audiences.
Here’s how to plan and optimize your content marketing program:
Step One: Understand Your Target Audience
What is content marketing best known for? Providing value – both to an existing customer as well as a potential one. For this, you will need to define your audience.
Ask yourself questions about their potential needs, questions, and challenges.
Then, do lots of research on the content that would answer these questions and the best means to fulfill those needs. Expert marketers also swear by understanding the buyer’s journey or what they go through when making a buying decision. This will help effectively tailor your strategy.
Step Two: Create Your Content Marketing Plan
This step will involve lots of brainstorming and utilizing data, analytics, and strategies. Create a marketing calendar to keep track of and coordinate upcoming content.
Useful content should be at the core of your marketing. Ensuring that all the executed content is cohesive and creates a brand identity is crucial.
Step Three: Optimize Your Content
You’ve likely invested time, effort, and money in creating your high-quality content. The sad reality is it takes more than just high-quality content to be successful.
You’ll need to ensure your content is appealing to your target audience, which goes back to understanding your consumer correctly. Fresh, relevant content will always help your brand’s image, ensuring that all your content provides value.
You will likely need to rethink some strategies and change them a little bit to be better optimized. Don’t be afraid to rewrite some of your content if you see engagement or traffic dropping.
With changing times comes time to retire a strategy. Content can’t last forever and withdrawing it is sometimes the best option to keep your company’s authority and credibility.
Your Partner in Content Marketing Success
Content is the present – and future – of marketing. Gaining a good understanding of this valuable tool is one of the easiest ways to attract valuable leads and generate conversions.
Not only does this strategy provide genuine value, it increases loyalty, brand perception, and authority.
If you aren’t sure how to get started with an effective content marketing strategy, our expert team at Hays Digital can help. Our marketing gurus will also set you up for long-term industry success by resonating with your audience and boosting brand value and awareness.
For more information on what is content marketing and more lead generation tips, check out our content marketing plans. We offer programs ranging from ebook writing to email newsletter writing, all designed specifically to boost your brand’s success.