What is content marketing? Though we are surrounded by it nearly 24/7, defining exactly what it is may be difficult for the most people. We decided that a great starting place would be Google, so we Googled “what is content marketing.” Below is the definition we received:
If we dissect this definition, there are a few interesting things:
1. The goals is to “attract”: The content you create should act as a magnet, attracting your target audience. By creating interesting, entertaining and/or valuable content, your business will begin attracting potential leads and positioning itself as an industry leader.
2. It requires a “clearly defined and understood target audience”: Attracting people is great, but this definition makes it clear that you must attract the right audience. To do this, you must first define who your target audience is. The more specific you can make your target the better.
3. The long term objective is to “drive profitable customer action”: In order to drive profitable customer action, you must make it clear to customers what action(s) you want them to take. Include call-to-actions to encourage certain behaviors.
4. There is no mention of your product or service: Even though content marketing’s long term goal is to lead to sales of your product or service, this definition purposely neglects any mention of it. Customers are bombarded with marketing everyday and have begun to completely tune it out. In order to get their attention, you must focus more on providing value and less on pushing your business on to them.
Why Is Content Marketing Effective?
In the last 10 years there has been a major shift in consumer behavior. Consumers are responding less than ever to traditional marketing, thanks to inventions like the DVR and ad blockers. Smart marketers are now shifting to non-traditional marketing in response to this new trend. What makes content marketing effective, where traditional promotional content is not, is that it allows businesses to show off their expertise, and even their products, without coming off as overly promotional.
By creating content about topics that interest their target audience, businesses are able to attract new leads. Once these leads engage with their content, businesses have several ways to turn them into customers. Simply put, pushing promotional content is no longer an effective strategy. Instead, businesses now have turned into media companies, creating original content to answer their audience’s questions, solve their pain-points, increase their website traffic and, ultimately, increase sales.
Stats About Content Marketing
- 70% of content marketers are creating more content than they did a year ago (cmo.com)
- 57% of the buying decision is completed before potential customers are willing to talk to a sales representative (CEB)
- 93% of B2B marketers are using content marketing (Business 2 Community)
- 57%of organizations now have two or more people dedicated to content marketing (Contently)
7 Benefits of Content Marketing
1. Establishes Your Business As A Thought Leader: Why should customers choose your business over one of your competitors? One reason is that you are an expert in your industry. This is why companies have blogs, entrepreneurs guest post for top news sites and CEOs try to land speaking appearances. All of these things help to position the person or business as an expert, which in turn leads to trust. Content marketing is a perfect way to educated people while proving you are an expert and can be trusted.
2. Attracts New Leads: Think of your content as a giant magnet. When written well it will begin attracting potential customers (new leads). An important things to keep in mind is the relevance of your content. If your content is attracting the wrong leads then you are wasting your time.
3. Increase Your Followers On Social Media: Content marketing and social media are a match made in heaven. You write your content and then use social media to distribute it. The leads you attract with your content will hopefully start following you on social media. The benefit of this is obvious: they will continue to see your new content when you post it to social media.
4. Improves Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Americans alone conduct 20,000,000,000 searches per month. Needless to say, search engines will play a major role in your business being found on the internet. Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s unpaid results. Content marketing plays an integral role in SEO. By creating content and using content marketing strategies (like 10X content marketing), you can increase the chances of a search engine showing your content to searchers.
5. Increases Sales: Yes, content marketing can make you money. The benefits listed above should make it clear how sales can and will increase with a well executed content marketing strategy.
6. Cheaper Than Traditional Marketing: Digital marketing, content marketing specifically, is much cheaper than traditional marketing and generates significantly more leads.
7. Helps With Recruiting Top Talent: Over 90% of recruiting professionals plan to use social media to help them recruit top talent. Content marketing shared on social media is a great way to attract top talent. We have had several job seekers approach us thanks to the content we have produced.
Interested in learning about even more benefits of content marketing? Check out this awesome influencer roundup blog post compiled by Nectafy:59 Benefits Of Content Marketing From 50 Expert Marketers
Examples of Content Marketing
GoPro and Redbull are two companies that have found great success with content marketing on social media. Below are two videos that show off the type of content they are producing. They are in two different industries, yet you will see a common message.
Both of these companies are after a similar target market, extreme sports enthusiasts. Instead of trying to promote their products in a traditional way, they identified the type of content their target market appreciates and started producing it. They also both share a lot of user generated content (UGC) that shows their customers in action. The beauty of using UGC is that it is free and resonates more with potential and current customers. Think of GoPro as an extreme sports media company that also sells action cameras. This mindset has helped GoPro and Redbull stand out and find success in relatively crowded markets.
Why Your Business Can’t Ignore Content Marketing
You can’t ignore content marketing, because without it your business risks becoming irrelevant. Neil Patel summed it up beautifully when he said:
What Neil is trying to say is simple. Without an investment in content marketing, businesses are at a major disadvantage. Though you can still succeed without the use of content marketing, the chances of success are greatly decreased and growing your business will take much longer. In the fast paced world we live in, the question is: can your business afford to waste time?
If you answered no, then you definitely need to double down on creating content that can attract your target customers, build brand awareness, prove industry expertise and eventually, drive sales. Let’s now dive into how to get started with content marketing.
7 Tips To Get Started With Content Marketing
1. Write For Your Audience, Not Yourself: Want to hear a secret? The best content marketers write for their audience, themselves. When your main goal is making your audience’s life easier, you will find success. Pay attention to the types of questions people are asking, the things you had to learn to get to where you are today, etc.
2. Repurpose Content: One of the main reasons businesses are hesitant to invest in content marketing is a fear of not being able to produce enough content. It is true, creating enough engaging content can be hard. A great way to lessen the amount of content you have to produce is to repurpose the content you create. For example, if you create a blog about ‘10 Content Marketing Tips,’ you could then turn it into a short video, an infographic, etc. With the research already done, creating these additional pieces of content takes a fraction of the time.
3. Experiment With Different Formats: Be sure to experiment with different types of content to see what resonates most with your audience. Though we recommend sharing several different types of content (blog, video, images, etc.), it is beneficial to identify which format has the most success and focus on producing 70% of your content in that format.
4. Outsource Some Content Creation: We discussed how repurposing content can lessen the amount of content you have to produce. Another way is to outsource it. Aside from the benefit of more content with less work on your side, outsourcing also results in more diverse content. With services like Zerys, InboundWriter or Blog Mutt you can easily find affordable content creators.
Related Article: How To Outsource Your Content Marketing
5. Write About Things You Learned: At this point you are probably an expert in your field. Try to remember back to when you weren’t. You are probably picturing a younger, more athletic you (I know I am). Now try to think of all the things you learned in your journey from beginner to expert. Write down these main topics or tricks you learned along the way and turn them into content. Basic things that are easy for you to write about as an expert will be extremely useful for beginners. When you become the source of information and learning, you become extremely valuable. Just think about Google.
6. Create “Gated” Content: The concept of “gated” content is simple: you create content that can only be accessed by entering in some type of information. One of the most common examples of gated content is exit popups on blogs. These popups appear when you are about to leave the page and usually ask for your email in exchange for a piece of content. Try to create an in-depth piece of content that you think your audience will be extremely interested in. Then ask for information like their email or answers to a survey in exchange for access to it. Use this information to improve your product or service, as well as to market to these same people more effectively.
7. Encourage Your Followers To Become Content Creators: Happy customers are the best marketers. As a business you should encourage your customers to share their experience with your company. At eClincher we have a section in our website for success stories. These stories are written 100% by our customers. The best part about user generated content (USG) is that it is unbiased and trustable. Every company says they have a great product or service, thus making their claims less credible. When potential customers see real people that are happily using your product or service, they will be more likely to become customers themselves.
What is content marketing? Well, it might just be the difference between the failure and success of your business. What is the best piece of content you have seen a company produce recently? Let us know in the comment section.
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Why is content marketing important? Content marketing is important because it answers your audience's questions and helps you build trust, develop relationships, improve conversions, and generate leads. In today's age, customers expect high-quality, consistent content from their favorite brands.What is most important content marketing? ›
"The top three goals marketers achieve through successful content marketing are generating brand awareness, building credibility and trust, and educating audiences." "The top technologies B2B organizations use to supplement content marketing are analytics tools, social media publishing, and email marketing software."What is content marketing and its benefits? ›
Content marketing helps you to: Build brand awareness, trust and loyalty - people consuming your content will start to build an impression of your brand. Publishing informative, well-researched content means your business will be seen as authoritative and trustworthy.Why content marketing is more important than ever? ›
The number one reason that content marketing is important is that your customers appreciate it. Content marketing generates 3 times as many leads as outbound marketing, drives six times higher conversion rates, and has the potential for a 7.8-fold boost in web traffic.What is content and why is it important? ›
Content not only helps you build trust and connect with your target audience, but also acts as fuel for your other marketing techniques. It's the base upon which you promote your business online, so it's essential to give it the attention it deserves.What is content marketing examples? ›
Content marketing examples include media like newsletters, podcasts, social media posts, and videos. All of these forms of content are meant to provide useful and relevant information that delights users and attracts them to your brand.What are the 4 main categories of content marketing? ›
There are four content categories used in content creation and marketing—attraction, authority, affinity, and action. It's important to note that the four content categories are not mutually exclusive, and a single piece of content will often fit in multiple categories.What are the 5 essential elements of a content marketing strategy? ›
An effective Content Marketing strategy should have these five core elements to be successful: audience personas, brand positioning, owned media value proposition, business case, and an action plan. Let's see why these elements are essential and how you can start implementing each of them.What is the value of content marketing? ›
The value of content marketing lies in the engagement between the customer and your company. Traditional advertising shouts at prospect customers whereas content marketing talks with them. Essentially, it is about the creation and participation in meaningful conversations and development of relationships.What is content marketing in simple words? ›
Content marketing is a marketing strategy used to attract, engage, and retain an audience by creating and sharing relevant articles, videos, podcasts, and other media. This approach establishes expertise, promotes brand awareness, and keeps your business top of mind when it's time to buy what you sell.
At the basest of levels, there are three purposes or reasons for writing non-fiction content: to inform, to opine, or to persuade (or sell). In modern times, the three are often conflated — with factual explanations often laced with opinion-but, the three main reasons remain.What are the four main purposes of content? ›
This diagram represents the four main purposes of content, which include to entertain, to inspire, to educate and to convince. Failure to create content that aligns with these criteria could result in missing out on attracting your potential audiences.What are the best 6 tips for content marketing? ›
- Create Content That Is Long And Lean. Longer content often performs better in searches than pieces that are shorter. ...
- Use Data. ...
- Don't Forget The Visuals. ...
- Repurpose Content. ...
- Pay Attention To Analytics.
A content strategy helps you define your marketing goals and set priorities. It allows you to plan your work and ensure that all marketing effort is goal driven. With a documented content strategy, you can ensure that every bit of effort put-in by your team translates into tangible results.Why is content marketing becoming so popular? ›
Content marketing is a scalable, long-term strategy. Content marketing helps you nurture and convert leads. Content marketing helps fuel other marketing channels. Content marketing helps to educate potential customers.Why is content marketing important for B2B? ›
Content marketing allows B2B companies to show they care about the same things as their customers. Building a relationship is important in B2B because you're rarely selling at volume in the way B2C companies can.Why is content first important? ›
In order for your website or application to succeed, you need to have the right content to meet your goals. By starting with a content-first mindset, you will ensure that proper time is given to understanding what you want to say and how to say it.What are the 3 types of content? ›
Developing a Content Approach
The best way to look at the kind of content you're using across your digital landscape, including social media and email marketing, as well as social media and your blog, is to divide it into three types. They are: Creation, Curation, and Creative Curation.
Content marketing is used by leading brands
It's also developed and executed by small businesses and one-person shops around the globe.
- Identify Your Target Audience.
- Carry Out Keyword Research.
- Identify and Allocate Resources.
- Create a Content Calendar.
- Create Content.
- Promote to Your Target Market.
- Measure Results.
Industry experts will tell you that an effective content strategy must have three core elements to be successful: brand focus, user experience, and content distribution.What is the best type of content marketing? ›
Blogging is one of the most popular types of content marketing for small businesses. And for good reason! Blogs are one of the best ways to improve SEO and drive more organic traffic to your site from search engines.What are the 4 steps of content strategy? ›
- Step one: Identify your goals. ...
- Step Two: Customer research. ...
- Step 3: Leveraging the right content management system. ...
- Step 4: Identifying what form your content should take. ...
- Key takeaways.
- 1) Know your audience. ...
- 2) Find the right channel. ...
- 3) Be relevant. ...
- 4) Create and maintain the right voice and tone. ...
- 5) Make sure there's value in the content. ...
- About the author.
- Create Relevant Content.
- Focus On Value, Not Promotion.
- Prioritize Authenticity.
- • Develop your brand voice. A strong brand voice is the key to a compelling narrative. ...
- • Engage with your customers. ...
- • Address negative feedback. ...
- Share Customer Stories.
The History of Content Marketing: 1920s - 1940s
An early example is Sears-Roebuck and Company, who purchased airtime to broadcast helpful information to the farming community. The campaign was so successful that Sears went on to start their own radio station, WLS (World's Largest Store) in 1924.
- Establish Your Goals. ...
- Define Your Audience. ...
- Research Your Competitors. ...
- Complete Topic And Keyword Research. ...
- Review Your Existing Content. ...
- Devise Your Strategy. ...
- Plan Your Resources. ...
- Plan Your Content Production Schedule.
As a content marketer, your job is to connect with your target audience by building a relationship and maintaining it. An editorial calendar is an essential tool that helps facilitate this connection. Once you gain your audience's trust, they are relying on you for continued support.What is the goal of content? ›
Content is typically produced as marketing material. That means there will always be content intended to educate an audience – that with the goal of moving potential clients and customers through the sales funnel.What are the main classic objectives of content marketing? ›
Content marketing is a multi-use tool in your toolkit. It can help you achieve many objectives, including bringing awareness to your brand, attracting new customers, fostering brand loyalty, engaging with and educating customers and developing a strong SEO presence.
Some examples of content include blogs, emailers, newsletters, social media posts, case studies, and more.What are smart goals in content marketing? ›
What are SMART Goals for Content Marketing? SMART Goals include details related to an overarching project. They allow you to focus on important information about daily and long-term decisions. SMART Goals are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, relevant, and time-bound.What type of content would help the business? ›
Video material is a form of content that is increasingly crucial for businesses and projected to be among the most popular content types. Video helps display products and services in a way that writing just cannot. High-quality videos are a great way to make your brand seem informational and fun.What are your top content marketing goals and challenges? ›
- Not Creating Relevant and Useful Content.
- Failing to Know What Your Audience Wants.
- Not Knowing Which Mediums to Use For Content.
- Not Producing Enough Content.
- Not Using KPIs For Your Business.
- Content Never Seen By Audience.
- Blogging. If you run a business, blogging is an inexpensive way to boost your marketing efforts, drive traffic to your website, and also attract potential customers. ...
- Video marketing. ...
- Case Studies. ...
- User-generated content. ...
Interactive content is always more effective at engaging an audience. 88% of marketers say that interactive content set their brands apart from their competitors and 2x more conversions than passive content.What makes a successful content strategy? ›
A content strategy is a plan in which you use content (audio, visual, and/or written) to achieve your business goals. A successful content strategy will attract your target audience at every stage of the funnel and keep them engaged even after a purchase. Say your business goals include increasing brand awareness.How effective is content marketing? ›
Not only are conversion rates higher, but the content companies are also seeing around 30% higher growth rates than those who are not using content marketing.Why is content marketing growing? ›
One of the key factors driving growth in the content marketing industry is the rise in the number of users on social media. The use of AI with social media management software is another key content marketing market trend that is expected to impact the industry positively in the forecast period.
Content marketing builds customer awareness, generates leads, and increases conversions. With the advancement of the digital age, content has become an essential part of any marketing strategy.
A content strategy is a plan in which you use content (audio, visual, and/or written) to achieve your business goals. A successful content strategy will attract your target audience at every stage of the funnel and keep them engaged even after a purchase. Say your business goals include increasing brand awareness.What are three of the most important elements of a content strategy? ›
Industry experts will tell you that an effective content strategy must have three core elements to be successful: brand focus, user experience, and content distribution. However, there's a fourth element some people overlook – content creation.What are the 4 pillars of content marketing? ›
- Understand your audience. ...
- Map the content to the sales cycle. ...
- Create the content. ...
- Promote content. ...
- Measure and analyze.
B2B content marketing is defined as a set of strategies centered around distributing content to drive brand awareness, engage your audience, generate and nurture leads, and ultimately boost sales.How effective is content marketing in B2B? ›
54% of B2B organizations most successful at content marketing say they do an excellent/very good job of aligning metrics with content marketing goals (source). 60% of B2B marketers measure success with web traffic, while 51% use sales lead quality, and 45% use social media sharing (source).