Content Marketing – Your New Secret Weapon.
There’s marketing, there’s digital marketing and then there’s content marketing.
Businesses rarely rely on billboards and letter box drops to drive traffic to their sites anymore. And why would they, when measuring the influence of that traditional marketing is so difficult?
Companies now have the ability to target and track the performance of their digital marketing, right down to the gender of the consumers, their location and in some cases occupation and interests.
But something which often gets left behind, forgotten or just simply ignored could quite literally be every brands secret weapon – It’s called content marketing.
So, what is content marketing?
To put it simply, content marketing is storytelling.
But, not just any old story – a story with purpose.
Content marketing is the process of creating, publishing, distributing and sharing content to deliver a message to a target audience. It gives companies the power to organically reach its audience and provide them with information, entertainment and value.
Businesses that use this method effectively and consistently are rewarded with new traffic to their websites. A simple click, read or even a skim through content can improve brand awareness and ultimately boost sales and revenue. Above all, it connects a company to people on a personal level.
Companies that practice content marketing and aren’t seeing results or benefits need to consider the message they are trying to convey and how they are conveying it. Every company can use this powerful tool, but creating compelling content to convert your audience into a customer is no easy feat. Thankfully, there are a few avenues to consider.
Content marketing comes in different shapes and sizes
The great thing about this form of marketing is there are no limits on the style of delivery, but it’s all about the message. Different forms of content to consider are blog posts, social media, images, videos, a podcast, info-graphs and more. Let’s delve a little deeper.
- Blog Content Marketing
I would say most people are aware of what a blog is, heck you’re reading one right now. Ultimately it’s a method of sharing information through text and sometimes images or info-graphs. Traditionally found on a website or web page and ideally updated regularly.
But how does it apply to content marketing? Well, blogging should be a major contributor to any companies digital marketing strategy. And if your business doesn’t have a blog, consider this – B2B marketers who use blogs receive 67 per cent more leads than those who do not, according to HubSpot.
Blogging helps create an online presence and positions you or your brand as an expert in the industry. It gives you the opportunity to share information, educate your consumers, entertain them and add some value to their day, maybe even their life.
Blogging also allows for greater exposure on Google search with the use of strong SEO strategies, which helps to make a business more discoverable. It will help rank your company on search engines, a click through to the blog means a click through to your website, turning readers into customers.
Above all, the key to content blogging is consistency. Regular blog posts keep readers, preferably your target audience, engaged and interested in what you have to say next.
Social Media Content Marketing
A whopping 3.6 billion people use social media around the world, and that number is estimated to reach 4.4 billion within five years, according to Statistica. With these figures in mind, it’s easy to see why so many companies invest in social media marketing.
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and now TikTok – just to name a few – give users the ability to share various forms of content to catch the attention of their consumers. Their brand and the message they want to deliver will depend on the types of content delivered. These platforms give users the ability to share images, live and pre-recorded videos, stories, text, info-graphs, links and more.
This form of marketing is a creative strategy to connect with a desired audience and build a community. An important tip when using social media to connect with your audience is to maintain quality and consistency. Understanding what, when and where to post are the challenges. Social media content needs to convey a message, be engaging, scroll worthy and leave consumers wanting more.
Video Content Marketing
The stats around the importance and growth of video consumption online is phenomenal. Did you know 81 per cent of people use video as a marketing tool – up from 63 per cent since 2019, according to HubSpot. And users view more than 1-billion hours of video each day on YouTube, according to YouTube. Amazing, right?
Video content marketing can be delivered in a number of styles and on a number of different platforms. Live-stream, pre-record, animate, add music, add a voice over – explore several creative elements to capture your audience and send a message. It is also a refreshing way to explain a product, introduce a brand and captivate an audience.
Video content marketing is also great for expanding your reach with the ability to share cross platform. It can boost conversions and provide a better ROI (return on investment).
Podcast Content Marketing
Ah, the rise of the podcast. The convenience of consuming content with your ears, on the go or even with your eyes closed – it’s just too easy. Today there are over 30 million podcast episodes compared to 18.5 million in 2018 – yikes. A growing platform for content marketing for brands and it isn’t hard to see why. We know it’s convenient and easy to consume, but it’s also one of the newer platforms and nowhere near as competitive as Facebook and Instagram. Companies looking to offer a point of difference that requires little effort for both the creator and consumer, should consider a podcast series. And it is only growing in popularity, according to Statista there were 48 million weekly podcast listeners in 2018 and expected to grow to 115 million by 2021.
These are just fun! Info-graphics make stats, facts and info entertaining. They are straightforward, to the point and engaging. A mix of simple statements, clear images and numbers make this form of content marketing easy to digest. You could be talking about the most complex topic, but if you chuck an info-graphic into the mix you are opening up that information to more consumers who can understand.
What is a content marketing strategy?
Like everything in business, there needs to be a strategy in place. Uploading any photo to social media, or writing a blog on a random topic of your choice, or even sharing an info-graphic on something completely unrelated to your market can cause confusion with consumers. It also shows a lack of direction and will hinder targeting the right audience.
A content marketing strategy (CMS) is a plan for organically growing an audience by producing and publishing frequent and consistent content that educates, informs, entertains, builds trusts and inspires consumers. Why? To turn consumers into customers.
Your CMS will include a focus on your goals, KPIs, content platforms, the form of content, budget, creation and distribution, and finally, the most important step: analysis and measurement of results.
Analysing your content marketing results will allow you to make the necessary changes to areas you don’t see performing. You will also see which types of content are performing better and on which platforms, This in-turn gives you the chance to tweak things until you see the results you desire.