What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing refers to a strategic marketing approach that involves creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and engage a target audience. The goal of content marketing is to build and nurture a relationship with the audience by providing them with useful information, entertainment, or inspiration, rather than directly promoting a product or service.
Content that is authentic and attracts consumers forms the core of digital marketing. Be it social media marketing, e-mail marketing, affiliate marketing, in-app marketing, etc., content is the core of all the digital marketing techniques.
Table of Content
- 1 What is Content Marketing?
- 2 Objective of Content Marketing
- 3 Importance of Content Marketing
- 4 Content Building Process
- 5 Platforms for Content Marketing
- 6 Content Marketing Funnel
- 7 Best Practices for Effective Content Marketing
- 8 Content Marketing Strategy
- 9 CRM and CX in Digital Marketing
It is important for brands to publish content on websites or social media that engages the audience instantly or over time. Content marketing is conversion-based marketing or influential engagement and needs to be integrated with the overall business strategy to attain the attention of the prospects.
Nowadays, buyers are more interested in content that makes them knowledgeable and smart. Content marketing aids in building a strong brand as customers and prospects use the search engines to find your brand through the content. Therefore, marketers try to create content that answers questions or provokes a reaction of the target audience.
Objective of Content Marketing
The main aim of content marketing is to generate profit by educating consumers or prospects. Offering high-quality content that is interesting, relevant and educational is the foundation of content marketing.
There are various objectives of creating and publishing content, some of which are lead generation, brand awareness, virality and shareability. The aim is to educate, inform, entertain and inspire the audience through content for engagement, lead generation, nurturing leads, sales, cross- sell or upsell.
Content marketing creates something interesting and valuable and then publishing it online. Content that is helpful, authentic, entertaining, timely and relevant should be published so as to get the best result. It aids in building trustworthiness and a sense of connection with the audience.
Content marketing is an important component of content strategy. Content engagement helps in building trust among the audience. Trust, quality communication and shared values play a pivotal role in the overall brand reputation. Therefore, content marketing is important for brands to create a long-lasting relationship with existing consumers and prospects.
Importance of Content Marketing
Content marketing offers value to consumers in the form of useful and knowledgeable content. There are various reasons why businesses have started adopting content marketing. Some of them are as follows:
Achieves the reader’s attention
Content plays a important role in capturing the reader’s attention, especially creative content obtains higher attention span. Content helps in creating brand awareness and engagement by educating the audience. Thus, it helps in making a smart purchase decision.
Creates brand loyalty
Content helps in building credibility and a strong online presence. Online content such as reviews and testimonials builds trust in the audience. Such factors aid in brand reputation.
Valuable content attracts high traffic to a website that provides more chances to connect with prospect buyers. Content marketing is a pull medium that fosters better SEO which drives rich and valuable leads.
Retains existing consumers
Creating engaging-content for the existing consumers is a powerful retaining strategy for brands. On social media or websites, involving consumers and making them feel valued is important.
Content Building Process
The content building process is a strategic path that is followed in alignment with an organisation’s goal and Unique Selling Proposition (USP). This process is a part of content marketing plan. Some organisations hire content writers to create engaging-content while some build their own internal content team to write content.
As consumers want more and more information about the products and services, brands are becoming more conscious for creating and publishing content. Let us study various stages involved in the content building process:
At this initial stage, content is accumulated from various sources about the demographics of the target audience and keywords that are typed on the search engines related to your business.
Tools such as SEMrush for keyword analysis, Google Search Console, and Analytics can be used to perform research for on-site data. Fostering data-driven decisions can help in creating qualitative content. At this stage, you decide who you want to tell the story about the brand or product.
Analyse the Collected Information
After collecting key insights into the data, the next step which is taken by a content marketer is analysing the data to break it down into actionable information. Competitors’ performance in terms of back links or quality of those pages, etc., are important factors to look upon to know which type of content they are publishing and what are the results to outrank the competition. Online tool ‘Ahref’ can be used for competitive analysis.
At this stage, what story you want to tell and at which platform you want to share your story is decided. A proper content plan is developed comprising the type of content to be shared. Content can be in the form of news, entertainment, announcements, e-books, videos, podcasts, answering questions, etc. An editorial calendar is also formulated to schedule the timeline to share the content.
This is the action-oriented stage, where the content team or content writer writes blogs, posts, articles, promotional content, etc., as per the needs and requirement. Writing long and relevant content is beneficial as it contains more backlinks and keywords. The focus of a content marketer should be placed in creating-engaging content rather than keywords.
Optimise and Publish
This stage is all about optimisation and publishing the content on webpage. SEO is involved at this stage. Involving Meta description and title tags should be designed to increase the click-through rate (CTR).
Meta description is a snippet of characters for up to 155 characters that states the brief summary of the webpage and it is an HTML attribute. Title tag is an HTML element that states the page’s title. Best SEO practices need to be followed to publish content on websites to get higher ranking on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). SERPs are Google’s response to a user’s search query and include organic search results, Featured Snippets, paid Google Ads results, Knowledge Graphs, and video results.
Promotion of Publishing Content
This stage is important as it promotes the published content. Promoting quality content across social media is crucial to attaining the maximum reach. Every content writer should avoid getting paid backlinks. Paid backlinks are getting an internal linking from another website at a cost. Therefore, getting organic backlink through quality content is important for websites and content.
This step involves the measurement of content development efforts and performance of the content optimisation. The content building process is continuous as new content needs to be published on a regular basis to keep the brand name in notice and to increase the organic traffic.
Platforms for Content Marketing
Content marketing is a marketing paradigm wherein brands share informational, educational or entertaining content that adds value in the lives of readers and fosters an aim to inspire a purchasing decision. To drive organic traffic, social media, and on-site content play an important role.
Let us study the popular platforms where content can be marketed:
Content can be marketed on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn to gain mass reach. Today, people are online on a social networking site to stay aware and engage with trending topics or gain information regarding certain topics.
There are various directories available online such as infographics directories, video directories, and e-book directories to market your content online.
Multiple versions of the same content
Some organisations opt to rewrite the website content online through spinbot.com or skycrapper.com. Also, the same content can be presented in different versions, such as an article can be converted into Podcasts, Slideshare, Infographics, or Presentation.
Searching and finding a person belonging to your line of business, who is popular or an icon for your target audience with a high engagement rate to promote products or services in front of the audience.
Searching forums from your line of business and creating multiple accounts on those forums to help people by offering more information with your content.
Sharing your content through e-mails is an effective idea. Sending e-mails to the subscribers can build a good brand image and increase the number of leads.
Content marketing platforms
Today, there are a plethora of content marketing platforms available, such as HubSpot, StoryChief, ScribbleLive and others that offer and promote targeted and optimised content. The online content marketing platforms generate revenue and leads from content. It offers a consolidated view of online content supply chain and detailed analytics strategy.
Content Marketing Funnel
The content marketing funnel refers to the graphic which represents a system of stages (Awareness, Consideration, Purchase, Retention), each with associated content. A content marketing funnel consists of 3 stages:
- TOFU: Also called the awareness stage or attract stage. TOFU stands for the top of the funnel. It includes content formats like blog posts, Videos, Info graphics, checklists, Podcasts, and Social
- MOFU: Also called the relationship or engage stage. MOFU stands for the middle of the funnel which includes contents like case studies, e-books, live events, webinars, worksheets, emails
- BOFU: Also called the conversion or purchase stage. BOFU stands for the bottom of the funnel which includes content formats like case studies, video testimonials, comparison charts, contests, Giveaways, discount codes, etc.
Best Practices for Effective Content Marketing
Writing relevant, engaging and unique content is important to attain mass reach. It is important for content marketers to follow the best practices for effective content marketing. Let us study various practices followed by content marketers:
- Always create your online presence through Quora and Yahoo Answers. Content writers can map the questions and strategise what kind of content is required by the target audience through such platforms.
- Always get in touch with the trending topics or news in order to keep your blog posts or article topics relevant and timely. Be updated for case studies or news.
- Employ keyword research tools such as SEMrush, Google Keyword Planner, and LongTailPro.
- Try and create evergreen content such as case studies and podcasts for your website.
- Optimise a content marketing strategy that is measurable, specific, relevant, attainable, and timely.
- Use content research tools such as BuzzsSumo and Social Animal to perform a detailed research on the content being shared in your line of business.
- Publish simple and storytelling content frequently and consistently. Instead of writing content for sales, write to inform the audience.
- Use alerts, such as Google Alerts, socialmention.com and en.mention.com to track the topics that are popular and trending in your line of business.
- Have a ‘write for us’ page on your blog for guest posting so that other bloggers write for your brand.
- Write content that generates a sense of urgency in the audience.
Content Marketing Strategy
Today, bloggers, thought leaders, influencers are creating quality content on a daily basis. Content development is a consistent and dynamic process that requires a powerful content marketing strategy.
Every brand creates content that leads to brand awareness, informing and educating buyers. Therefore, developing a content marketing strategy is crucial for brands. Let us study some essential content marketing strategies:
It is a highly productive technique in which existing content is being replaced. The results of this technique are fruitful in driving high traffic on the website. Finding the top-ranking content on the Internet and rewriting and updating it is the core of the skyscraper technique.
Top content on the web can be found out through references used by Wikipedia, reddit. com, Google search, content curators, daily experiences, open site explorer, Pinterest.com, etc.
It is one of the famous and trending content marketing strategies used by fashion, health, and entertainment bloggers. Famous personalities who have a high engagement rate and a large number of followers on social media are known as influencers and the general public follow their lifestyle.
Influencers engage with their audience more often. It is important to choose influencers who have a good follower base, engagement rate more than 2.5%. Influencers create unique content through videos, posts, infographics, boomerang, etc.
Writing answers or articles on a blogger’s website is known as guest blogging. In simple terms, writing content and publishing it on other’s website is guest posting. It is an important content marketing strategy and SEO-oriented practice to drive more traffic for your content and secure a good backlink for your website.
It is a win-win content marketing strategy to get high ranking on SERP and even for the website owners as high-quality content gets published on their websites that aids in achieving more readers. Getting valuable content from an external authentic source is good for bloggers’ websites.
Building an authority blog by targeting a specific audience or group of people for like-minded individuals. Such blogs are created to educate the audience rather than persuade them to make a purchase decision.
Authority building is all about developing a niche site in which quality content is published. Knowledgeable content is the core of authority building. The main aim of authority building is to build trust in your audience by delivering them useful and valuable content.
CRM and CX in Digital Marketing
Application of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Customer Experience (CX) in digital marketing is helpful in terms of providing better user experience online. CRM is the process of gaining new customers by adding value in the marketing strategy with a better understanding of customer behaviour.
CRM data can help in driving data-driven decisions. CRM Software such as Zoho and Oracle aid inside sales team of B2B and B2C companies. A simple and cost-effective strategy of CRM helps in bridging the gap between sales and marketing teams.
On the other hand, CX is delineated as an aggregation of all the interaction of a customer with the organisation, including pre- and post-sales. Digital marketing can gain insight into CRM and CX about the micro-moments of the purchasing cycle and how the customers behave and what all touch points are available. CX also involves chat box interactions or automated sales.
The application of CRM and CX, such as how the customers interact and on which platforms, a brand can create customised messages for individual customers. Cross-selling or upselling can be done by sending a recommended product list E-mail to the targeting consumers.
Therefore, brands are now aware of the interest of the consumers with the help of the CRM and CX data. To run a successful business, customer satisfaction is of utmost importance to gain new customers and retain the existing one.
The involvement of CRM and CX insights in digital marketing is an emerging trend and the results are beneficial for both the marketing process and the customers.