The concept of content marketing comes from John Goodman’s book ‘Marketing Essays’ published in 1954. Content marketing is the process of creating and distributing relevant, valuable content to attract, engage and inspire people.
Goodman defined content marketing as ‘the use of relevant content to attract audiences and engage them into action – whether that’s getting a free guide, calling a business, or making a purchase’. The concept of content marketing has evolved since then, but the essential elements have remained the same. Today, content marketing is the strategy of choice for digital marketers around the world.
The rise of content marketing is evident from the fact that 94% of marketers now have content strategies in place. Businesses large and small are implementing content marketing to attract customers, encourage engagement and create online communities.
If you’re looking to implement a content marketing strategy, this post will help you develop a plan for success.
Where Do I Start?
When developing a content marketing strategy, you must first decide what type of content you will use to create and distribute your material. There are a variety of options including text, audio, and visual content. Each type of content will have its perks and quirks which you must consider when deciding what is the best fit for your needs. For example, text is easy to measure and analyze, but it lacks the ability to visually engage an audience. In contrast, video content is highly engaging and can be used to showcase products, explain processes or offer tips and tricks. However, video content can be costly to produce and distribute.
Types Of Content
When developing your content strategy, you must decide what type of content to produce. There are many different types of content including:
- News articles – These are the basics of any content marketing plan. News articles can be helpful in establishing trust with your audience and providing valuable information. They can be highly effective at pulling in potential customers as 72% of those who read an article about a company’s activities will then click on those companies’s products compared to only 15% of the general population.
- Product Reviews – Honest reviews of a product or service can be extremely helpful to customers who are deciding which item to purchase. These product reviews can be published as content on a blog or website. They can be an easy way to establish credibility and build an audience because people tend to trust reviews more than general statements. Additionally, many companies monitor reviews to see how their products or services are performing online. If you plan to produce and distribute product reviews, consider focusing on a few key areas such as distribution channels, customer support and pricing.
- Features – Features are interesting tidbits about a product or service that a customer might not know about. They are often used to highlight benefits of a certain product or service over another.
- How To Guides – These are probably the most popular type of content among users. How to guides are usually short, concise articles that teach customers how to do something. They tend to work well because people usually want to know how to do something better and more efficiently. Additionally, the information in a how to guide is usually presented in a clear and concise manner to make it easier for customers to understand.
- Comparisons – It’s always nice when a product or service you’re considering buying is reviewed against similar products or services from other companies. This type of content usually compares the features, pricing and other similar products so customers have a good idea of what to expect.
- Case Studies – These are lengthy articles that usually cover a single topic in depth. They can be used to highlight the advantages of a certain product or service in comparison to others. For example, a business may compare the features of their product with those of competing brands.
- Insights – These are longer, more in-depth articles about a certain topic that typically focus on an aspect of the topic that many people might not know much about. For example, an article might discuss the psychological and physiological effects of stress on those who work long hours.
Before you begin your content marketing campaign, you must decide what keywords you will use to find your content. It is essential that you find these keywords before you start creating content because, without them, you will not be able to find your content when a customer searches for those keywords. Fortunately, you don’t need to spend a large amount of money on expensive tools to find the keywords because there are free tools available online that can help you find the right keywords without breaking the bank. For example, Google Keyword Planner is a free tool that allows you to enter some basic information about your content project (such as a URL or blog post title) and then clicks on the ‘GO’ button to get started. From there, you can choose to see a map with keywords for the content you’ve entered or you can see a list of the most popular keywords along with their associated traffic.
Now that you have your keywords, you need to decide where you will distribute your content. The easiest and most affordable way to distribute content digitally is through online platforms like social media and blogs. However, there are other ways to achieve the same goal including email marketing, text messaging and TV advertisements. Consider the platform you will use to distribute your content and how much you are willing to spend on each platform before making a decision. Sometimes spending money on one of these platforms can help you gain access to features that are not available to those who do not spend money on the platform. For example, Snapchat allows users to send pictures and videos to specific contacts but those who do not pay for the app cannot send pictures or videos to other users. Another example is YouTube Red and Premium memberships which provide content creators with additional tools to engage their audiences.
Plan Your Content Based On The Needs Of Your Audience
When developing content, it is essential that you create content that is helpful to your audience. To do this, you must understand the needs of your audience. What is it that your audience wants or needs to know? Once you know these things, you can begin to develop content that satisfies these needs.
For example, if your audience wants to know more about how to improve their cooking skills, you can create a how to guide with step-by-step instructions on how to accomplish this. If your audience wants to learn more about the psychology of buying decisions, you can create a case study comparing a few products with varying pricing structures.
This content will help them make better buying decisions in the future and enable them to become more efficient and effective cooks or business owners. They will also value and enjoy your content because it is valuable information that they can use to improve their lives.
Creating content for your customers can be both challenging and rewarding at the same time. It can be rewarding because you are helping others by giving them valuable information, but it can also be challenging because you have to consider what your customers want and need. Make sure to have fun while doing this though, because, ultimately, you are helping your customers by doing what you love.