In terms of return on investment, content marketing is arguably the best long-term marketing strategy. That's because it generates three times more leads than traditional marketing methods and is extremely cost-effective.
Despite new marketing strategies and the hype of paid advertising, content marketing is tried and true method that still delivers exponential results. In fact, 80% of marketers plan to spend more on content marketing because they see its value, and 72% of businesses say that their content marketing strategy increases leads.
So what is content marketing, and why should you care? Content marketing is an inbound strategy that involves creating and distributing content to an online platform. It's designed to attract your target audience and build brand awareness, eventually leading to sales. Blogging and SEO still remain the most popular despite the rise in other types of content marketing like video and social media. Let's cover the types of content marketing and their importance of it!
Types of Content Marketing
Nowadays, you'll find content plastered everywhere online. There are so many types of content that businesses may get bogged down by the decision of choosing the right type of content marketing.
We'll cover the different types of content marketing and the advantages of each one.
Most people associate content marketing with blogging. Blog posts that are properly optimized and rifled with relevant keywords will draw people who have an interest in the topic you're covering. People are looking for solutions to their problems, and your blog can position your brand as the expert who has the ability to solve their problems with your product or service. The traffic from your blog is completely organic, meaning you won't have to pay to have it appear on the search engine. Blogging has many great benefits such as:
- Long-term growth (people can find your content months and years down the road)
- Builds trust leading to higher conversions
Attention is perhaps the new currency of the world. With so many trends popping up daily, it can be difficult for businesses to capture their audience's attention. Video is one of the primary ways to engage your audience better. In fact, 83% of video marketers reported that their average time spent on websites has increased by incorporating videos. Furthermore, 78% of users received more traffic after using videos. There are plenty of ways to use video content in your business, such as a lecture style, demonstration, animation, and more. The benefits of video content marketing are:
- Video marketing puts a name and face to your brand, which builds trust
- Engages audience better
- Appeals to users who prefer to consume content by watching and listening instead of reading
Many platforms exist like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, and Twitter. These platforms typically allow users to post text, pictures, and videos. Although users search based on keywords and hashtags, most users find businesses through other platforms like Google or word of mouth. The benefits of social media are:
- Short-form content meaning its easy to produce
- Allows you to produce content faster, so you can post more
- Increasing post frequency lets you stay in front of your audience and keeps your brand relevant
A long blog post can sometimes feel daunting to readers. Visual content like infographics can convey your message quickly. With instant notifications, your consumers could be pinged every minute, which can disrupt their focus. As a result, they might be reading your blog post one minute and then hopping off to do something else right after. Infographics complement blog posts very well because they can give an overview or summary of the main ideas in your post with one simple visual representation. It's especially useful when explaining complicated processes. The benefits are:
- Easy and quick to consume
- Engages readers well
Case studies are best suited for an audience that already understands their problem and is looking for a solution. For example, an agency that offers marketing services might show off its client's success. They may share their client story of how they went from 0 traffic visitors to 10,000 traffic visitors per month. Case studies can be replicated across all industries and niches. Fitness trainers can provide case studies of how their clients lost weight or added muscle. Photographers can show off their portfolio samples. The benefits of case studies are:
- Easy to consume
- Improves conversion
- Works effectively for people who are already in the middle of a funnel (already aware of the problem but looking for a solution)
eBooks work well as lead magnets that capture your audience's contact information. After reading your blog post, you can offer to send them an e-book that gives them more in-depth information about a particular topic. Businesses can distinguish themselves with eBooks because they show off your expertise in a field, building trust in your audience. The benefits of eBooks are:
- Shows your expertise and builds trust
- Great way to capture leads to convert into sales eventually
User-generated content is an overlooked channel that most businesses fail to incorporate. In essence, this is content that consumers produce that a business promotes. For example, a company like GoPro might share videos from their customers about the crazy adventures they've been on that were captured using their camera. Another example is featuring guest posts from other writers or brands. Consumers are more likely to trust other consumers, making it a highly effective strategy. The benefits are:
- It doesn't require any work on your end
- Builds trust among your audience
Many users are looking for a quick step-by-step guide to solve their problems. Websites like WikiHow have built their entire brand based on step-by-step checklists. Consumers are looking for a quick answer or action steps. Also, Google may reward you by giving a featured snippet, especially for blogs that concisely answer the search query. Here are the benefits of checklists:
- Easy to consume
- Engages users quickly
- Usually easy to create this form of content
Importance of Content Marketing
Content marketing is vital for any business because it helps drive traffic to their website, build trust with their audience, increase conversions and generate more sales. Here are reasons why it's important to your business.
Long-Term Traffic Source
When done properly, content marketing can increase traffic month over month. That's because as you improve your brand reputation, Google will begin to increase your domain authority. As a result, your rankings on the search engine will grow. Furthermore, posting blogs with relevant keywords will allow you to rank for more keywords. Your content can continue to rank for months and years at a time, especially if the content is evergreen.
Nurtures and converts lead.
Think of content marketing like your dedicated 24/7 marketing and sales employee. They work for you day in and day out to help promote your business. Once a visitor has a great first experience with your brand, they'll likely return in the future. Perhaps, you've captured their email, and they also follow you on social media. You can You can continue marketing to them through multiple channels. Slowly but surely, the prospect gains trust and could eventually make a purchase. Most sales don't happen overnight. Most experts claim that it takes about seven touchpoints for a prospect to purchase.
Content marketing educates your prospects.
A marketing funnel is defined as a process by which a person becomes aware of your brand down to the point where they purchase. It documents the entire journey from cold lead to paying customer. Before a prospect can buy from you, they have to be educated about your brand and why they should buy from you.
There are many things you might educate your prospects on, such as:
- Identifying and relating with their specific problem
- The solution
- How your product fits into the solution
- Your unique selling proposition
The sales process will vary based on the industry and business. Sometimes it takes a long time to fully educate them and get them to a point where they're ready to buy from you. Other times, a prospect can decide on the first visit. But usually, a prospect does have to be educated on those four key areas before making an informed buying decision.
Content Marketing is Cost-Effective and Provides Exponential Growth
Producing content has a compounding effect over time. This means the ROI will grow exponentially when you foster the content marketing engine. Think about how investing works. Putting $1 each day in an investment can yield exponential returns in the future. But the significant return doesn't come until years later. The more content pieces you put out, the more opportunities to rank on the search engine. And the more keywords that you rank for, the more organic traffic visitors you'll have. Since your content will stay on the search engine forever, it'll compound over time.
As you become a trustworthy source for information, your pages can climb up in the rankings, and other pages might rank faster. The effect is a giant snowball that works in your favor. Let's compare content marketing to paid advertising. Pay-per-click advertising requires a consistent budget to keep your marketing on the top. You may get results, but it doesn't have any compound effect. Putting $100 in ad budget doesn't yield more results tomorrow. Comparatively, putting in 100 hours of content marketing could lead to exponential results in the future.
What is Content Marketing in Digital Marketing?
Many businesses new to marketing online may get confused by the terms "content marketing" and "digital marketing." Digital marketing is an overarching term that encompasses all forms of promoting your business online. It includes both organic and paid traffic sources. Additionally, it includes both inbound and outbound marketing strategies.
On the other hand, content marketing can be defined as creating and distributing content to grow brand awareness and generate interest for your business. Think of content marketing as part of a cog in the entire marketing machine. The primary difference is that content marketing only focuses on inbound and organic marketing strategies, while digital marketing encompasses all types of online marketing. As mentioned, content marketing can appear in many forms like blog posts, social media, videos, infographics, case studies, and email newsletters.
Developing a Content Marketing Strategy
Once you understand what content marketing is, the importance of it, and the benefits it can provide, you now need a strategy to execute. A clear and well-defined content strategy sets the foundation for making tactical decisions for marketing.
Determine Your Goal
Developing a content marketing strategy starts with identifying your goals and understanding your audience. You'll need to know what you're hoping to gain from content marketing. Most businesses will want to increase awareness of their products, encourage free trial signups, attract more leads, get people through their physical location, and build loyal customers. The key is clearly identifying these goals to create a strategy centered around the goal. At the end of the day, content marketing is only a strategy and vehicle to help you achieve your business goals.
Understand Your Target Audience
Business is a two-way street. A customer wouldn't buy from you unless they benefit from it. Most sales reps only focus on the features of their product rather than the benefits.
You can only describe the benefits of your product if you clearly understand what your target audience wants. First, you'll need to understand their problems clearly. This means stepping into their shoes and gathering key information such as demographics and psychographics.
Demographics categorize people by data points like age, ethnicity, income, education level, etc. Psychographics is data relating to people's beliefs, attitudes, and interests. Although everyone is unique by nature, you can find commonalities in problems when you group people together by demographics and psychographics. For example, school teachers are commonly known to struggle with their salaries. A course that teaches them how to land higher-paying teaching roles could be beneficial to them. Older people or athletes may struggle with physical pain; therefore, a chiropractic adjustment might be the perfect solution.
Create Content Based on Your Unique Selling Proposition
Your business should fill a void in the marketplace. There are two voids you'll need to fill. One is the void of the customer's problem and the result they wish to have. Let's say a person suffers from back pain. Their desired result is alleviate their back pain.
The next void is to figure out a market gap to differentiate yourself from competitors. How can your business provide a solution that isn't currently available in the marketplace? Or perhaps, a solution that can be done better than other businesses. For example, a chiropractor who is more experienced or specialized in one particular field could make them the best option in their local city.
Let Universal Creative Solutions Help Develop Your Content Marketing Strategy
Creating a content marketing strategy takes strategic planning and marketing expertise. At Universal Creative Solutions, we work to understand your goals and market. This helps us create a customized content marketing strategy to execute. Without a clear plan, it'll be difficult to achieve your desired outcome since you won't have a path to follow and will have difficulty measuring your progress.
Working with a marketing consultant can help shortcut your success and achieve your goals faster and more affordably. Don't waste your efforts on trial and error. Book a consultation call with us today and let us transform your content marketing to drive more traffic and sales to your business.