Content marketing is the holy grail of modern advertising. The idea is to promote your brand online and generate quality leads for your business using content of all types and formats – from blogs to Tweets, videos, and even memes!
With extensive research, you can draft a compelling content marketing strategy that works in favor of your business objectives. If you want to take your business online and use content to generate leads and create brand awareness, you must know what works and what doesn’t. So, here’s the most comprehensive guide to content marketing on the internet.
Let’s get started by understanding the relevance of a content marketing strategy that helps convert prospects into loyal advocates for your brand.
Why is content marketing important?
Content marketing is the process of strategizing, creating, distributing, promoting, sharing, and conveying your brand’s message to your target audience. A content marketing strategy can streamline your efforts to generate leads and convert prospects into happy consumers.
The chief objective of your content marketing strategy is to generate loyalty by
- educating your leads about the services and products your offer;
- boosting the conversion rate of each marketing effort;
- building a relationship with your target market through quality experiences;
- offering your brand as the solution to a problem people face; and
- building a community of loyal followers for your business or brand.
With an effective content marketing strategy in place, you can scale up your business to meet the demands of users. Let’s now explore some popular forms of content marketing.
Types of content marketing
- Social media marketing
More than 4.2 billion social media users can be considered a vast market that every brand is looking to tap into. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Snapchat, Pinterest, and LinkedIn are just a few of the most popular social media platforms that can be used to boost your market share. More and more companies are investing in social media marketing for business promotions because of the prolific activities and stupendous engagement on these platforms. Using photos, videos, forms, stories, and social media ads, businesses can tap into the reach of this vast user base on each social media channel.
- Blogs and whitepapers
Blogs are an efficient way to engage with prospects, by nurturing their interest in your brand. In a highly competitive age of information, a blog is a first-hand communication tool that shows the authenticity of your brand. Blogs are also a great way of simplifying complex information for regular consumption. There are more than 600 million blogs on the internet, out of the 1.7 billion websites.
Podcasts are gaining massive popularity. The influence of Spotify, Podbean, BuzzSprout, SoundCloud, and numerous other audio-listening services have made podcasts very popular. People looking for easy ways to gain insights into various topics rely on podcasts as a source of information. There are an estimated 30 million podcast episodes online, from over 850,000 active podcasts. The Daily is a podcast by New York Times publishers, which recorded a whopping 1.1 million downloads every weekday during 2018 and close to 2 million in 2020.
Infographics are widely used in social media posts, presentations, webinars, videos, and images to convey information easily to readers. People find infographics effective and easy to understand because they communicate complex data in a simple, visual manner that is easy to grasp. Data visualization is a growing trend in content marketing, where large studies can be condensed into bite-size infographics to make the viewing experience better. The use of colors in visuals for infographics increases the attention span of users by up to 82%.
- Video marketing
Videos are the most consumed form of content on the internet. 87% of all marketing experts use videos as promotional tools. Studies show that an average user spends about 7 hours a week watching videos online. That’s a huge market that any business can penetrate with quality content that connects with its viewers.
- Paid ads
Paid ads are rising in prominence because 85% of internet users look up local businesses online. Google ads, YouTube ads, Facebook ads, pay-per-click ads, LinkedIn ads, banner ads, affiliate ads, Bing ads, Yahoo ads, and all types of ads are used by businesses for outreach. Paid advertisements accounted for more than 96% of the total revenue generated by search engine Google in 2011 and over 70% in 2018, considering the branching out of parent company Alphabet into numerous industry verticals continued into the year 2020. Notably, social media giants Facebook generated $70 billion Facebook ad revenue during which is more than 83% of their total revenue in the year in FY2020.
With increased competition, businesses require an incisive content marketing strategy that accounts for a smart ad budget for online promotions.
For any business looking to go online, here are a few simple steps that can be followed to kickstart your content marketing efforts online.
Build your content marketing strategy
Whether you want to create social media posts to regularly engage with your audience on Facebook or LinkedIn or you want a strategy to create intellectual property for enterprise consumption, you can build your content marketing strategy in a few simple steps.
Here’s what you need to consider.
- Well-defined goals
Smart goals help you assess the performance of your content as your business grows. Setting clearly defined objectives can help you streamline your time and budget to ensure the best outcome. Knowing what your ideal customer expects can help you deliver content that wins their hearts.
Examples of goal-setting plans for content marketing include:
- Creating brand awareness
- Boosting conversions
- Increasing revenue
- Fostering brand loyalty
- Nurturing customer engagement
- Lead generation tactics
- Partnerships and promotional channels
Once you have defined your goals for each piece of content that goes online, it’s important to set objectives to achieve these goals.
- Set up Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
Knowing what your ideal customer expects is not enough, you have to compete with the market for their attention. Engagement differs with each type of content. When designing a content marketing strategy, you have to outline the indicators of your content performance online. On Facebook, you may be looking to get more likes, shares, or comments. On YouTube, you may be looking to get more views. On LinkedIn, you may be looking to generate more leads for your business. On Google, you may be looking to get more clicks on your page.
Setting clear KPIs to indicate the success of your content marketing strategy is vital. Ideally, always push for more engagement with the market.
- Picking the right content for each channel
Extensive research can reveal the best-performing types of content for each promotional channel. Learning how to design visuals for Google ads and learning how to design creative posts for social media are different experiences. Each platform has a unique persona and you must analyze the ideal persona of your customer. By understanding the type of content your ideal target audience will relate to, you can choose the best promotional channel to reach them.
- Set a budget
Fixing a budget is an important part of content marketing. You have to dedicate a budget to content creation, design, social media management, paid ads, and everything that comes under the umbrella of your content plan. Never undercut the budget and always maintain a floating buffer to optimize your content marketing strategy as the requirements become clearer.
- Distribute content and examine the response
Once you have a solid content marketing strategy in place, you can begin distributing your content on channels like your website, landing pages, social media, third-party platforms, and email to name a few. Utilize every opportunity to track and analyze the response to your published content. With the latest tools, you can have in-depth insights into the performance of your content. You can use this data to improve your content and create space for more user engagement.
The goal of content marketing is to increase user engagement. Creating personalized experiences and offering seamless interactions with your brand can boost your credibility in the market. With a solid plan, you can make your dreams materialize.