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Digital Marketing

What is Content Marketing? Why Is It Important for Every Business?

These days, content marketing is considered a necessity for every online business.

If you are new to content marketing or want to learn more about how you can get ahead of your competitors, just keep reading—we’ll discuss what you need to know.

What is Content Marketing?

Content marketing is a marketing strategy that mainly focuses on the process of creation and distribution of different types of content to reach the target audience or market.

Content marketing strategy improves sales and brand awareness as well as develops customers’ loyalty.

According to the Content Marketing Institute:

“Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience—and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”

That clearly defines what content marketing is—a strategy or a technique of attracting and growing an audience, building brand awareness, and eventually making sales.

By focusing on creating great content, you’ll also develop authority, gain the trust of your audience, and position your company as a resource in your industry.

Why Content Marketing is Important for Every Business

1. More Leads

Per Demand Metric, content marketing generates about 3 times as many leads as traditional marketing.

Content marketing can help your business by educating your audience and helping them find success with your products.

By creating content that people want to keep up with and offering additional content for download in exchange for email addresses and other contact information, you can gain a lot of leads just through your website.

2. More Sales

Sales teams used to be a bit like gatekeepers.

To get anywhere with companies (especially in a B2B environment), you had to talk to someone from sales. It wasn’t as common to have a website with so much information available to customers—it was always “call now for more information!”

And in some situations, you may still have to talk to someone from sales, especially for more personalized solutions.

However, buyers have come to expect that they’ll be able to do a bit of their own research without talking to sales.

Your website should be like a 24/7 backup for your sales team. Even if customers can’t get in touch with someone immediately, they can spend time browsing through blog posts, videos, and other resources to get more information about your products.

3. Builds Brand Awareness

Public exposure is necessary to sell a product or service to market consumers. It doesn’t just happen in the blink of an eye. Public exposure doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to go in public and interact physically with your audience for them to be aware of your service or product.

Through content marketing, the building of brand awareness has become easier with the help of many social media platforms. You can inform your target market about the benefits of your product without dealing with them physically.

4. Helps You Establish Authority

It’s easy for companies to say they’re “number one” or “the best in the industry,” and make all sorts of other claims. And it’s easy for customers to distrust those statements because of how often those claims are made—we hear it all the time.

Show, don’t just tell—content marketing allows you to do just that.

When you create articles and videos that display your knowledge (or get other more reputable experts to help you create content), you show that you know your stuff and have a genuine interest in helping your customers.

This can also help you become a resource for other businesses in your industry, building trust with people who can potentially refer even more customers to you.

5. Improves Conversions

Every piece of content, across social media and your website, can be a way to convert your audience into buyers. An audience will only remain an audience if you don’t make a consistent effort to get their attention.

When potential buyers visit your website, they usually don’t buy the first time around.

But with consistent messaging and content across multiple channels—YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, email lists, blog posts, and more—you can catch their attention again and convert them into buyers.

6. Improves Your Search Engine Visibility

A business that becomes popular through content marketing has the opportunity to be easily visible through search engines.

With the help of consistently branded content and good SEO, your audience will be able to recognize your content in the search results. With so many buyers turning to search engines for help, you want to make sure you’re there when they start their search and when they’re ready to buy.

7. Decreases Your Marketing Cost

According to Demand Metric, content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing

Combined with even a small ad budget, content marketing can deliver great results through both organic and paid efforts. Other marketing strategies can be costly and still be ineffective in getting the public’s attention.

8. Grows Your Social Media Profiles

Once you get your audience’s trust and loyalty, you’ll start getting more followers who are willing to engage with your brand and share their stories with others.

But it’s up to you to start the conversation. Gaining followers won’t do you any favors if you’re not actively seeking to engage with your audience. You’ll want to research each platform individually and find out what content works best for your audience.

Different Types of Content Marketing

Content marketing is flexible and can easily be published in many different forms. If you create lots of YouTube videos, you can create case studies, infographics, and checklists to accompany them.

Videos can also be broken down into articles. You can take lines from those articles and repurpose them for social media posts. There are tons of ways you can break down a single piece of content and repurpose them to fuel your content marketing efforts.

Here are just a few of the different ways you can publish your content.

1. Articles

Blogs and articles posted online can be an effective way to start your content marketing efforts.

By consistently publishing quality content optimized for both readers and search engines, articles will continue to drive traffic to your site without too much upkeep.

2. Case studies

Many marketers use case studies to show the results customers can achieve with their products. These case studies start with a problem and show how a solution was achieved.

HubSpot features case studies and customer success stories to show other businesses how they can achieve similar results with their product.

With these types of case studies, media outlets and businesses can attract potential buyers who are looking for more objective, factual content.

3. Infographics

With infographics, more complex content can be extracted using simple statements and images with some catchy graphic designs. This way, your audience can easily grasp what is being communicated by the content of the graphics.

4. eBooks

As we talk about content marketing, it is inevitable for us to relate it as an effective marketing strategy for the digital world.

However, even books have come to be digital as well. Aside from printed materials, eBooks have been getting the attention of most of this tech-savvy generation. In line with this, content marketing through eBooks is possible, too.

5. Videos

It is impossible not to see a single video when we scroll to our social media accounts.

This is the reason why videos are also effective in terms of content marketing. Videos can boost relationships of the business to their audience. As long as it is relevant and eye-catching, videos can hook the target market when posted in different social media platforms

6. Podcasting

With podcasts, businesses can be more creative and interactive at the same time.

Many media outlets are now using podcasts as a marketing strategy. Podcasts are a convenient way for your audience to tune into your content during their commutes to and from work or when they have a bit of downtime.

With the aid of automated software, you can also turn your podcasts into articles—just lightly edit and format them for your blog. This way you have even more content for your blog, and you’re not missing out on visitors who prefer reading to listening.

7. Whitepapers

Just like case studies, whitepapers are formal and objective. Whitepapers aims to educate and inform a large group of people about a certain topic. Discussed topics in whitepapers are usually accompanied by solutions that are said to be provided by a product, highlighting its features.

8. Courses

Courses can be interactive as well to the audience. Just like webinars, courses can be useful in getting the real-time responses of your audience.

However, it usually comes in the form of a series of discussions and classes. It is helpful for the audience if the business wants them to be informed about a certain topic that has something to do with their product.

9. Webinars

Online seminars are now a trend as well. This is a great way of interacting with your target market as it is more interactive and communicative. You can get the real-time response of your audience.

10. Email

61% of consumers prefer brands to reach them via email. Channels like text and social media are still seen as intrusive.

While this might change a bit with B2B audiences, email is typically the preferred method of communication. Of course, there are times when you’ll need to pick up the phone, but email is the go-to for general communications.

11. Checklist

Checklist content is listing the things that must be done in a step-by-step manner to achieve a specific goal or result.

Checklists are useful to your audience because they help break things down into smaller bits of information. They’re also easier for small businesses to create. Not everyone can start off cranking out epic infographics and detailed whitepapers.

12. Social media posts

Social media is an effective platform for different marketing strategies, especially with content marketing. There are over 3.6 billion social media users globally.

Social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are some of the widely used social media platforms where you can share photos, videos stories, and live videos that can be seen by everyone.

How to Get Started With Content Marketing?

1. Provide valuable content

Make sure that your content is substantial and informative and at the same time, creative.

Your content should aim to answer your audience’s questions in detail. Start your content marketing with the basics and work your way up to more detailed and technical content later. Address the most commonly asked questions first.

2. Build a relationship with your audience

When planning your content, always consider your audience. Consider whether or not your audience can relate to your content. The more relatable your content, the easier it is to establish a relationship with them.

3. Make your content engaging

Make sure that your content is engaging from the perspective of an audience. By asking questions that are relative to them you can engage your audience to your content, and eventually to your product.

Always leave the door open. Whether that’s inviting your audience to leave a comment or contact you at the end of a blog post, or asking them to subscribe to your email list, make sure you have something that invites them to engage.

4. Ask for your audience’s feedback

Asking your audience’s feedback is necessary for a business in all aspects.

In content marketing, the feedback of your audience will let you know how well your content serves them. In this way, you can improve other parts that need to be improved in the eyes of the audience, since they are the reason why you are creating content for marketing.

5. Be consistent

Consistency is always the key to a successful business. However, in content marketing, consistent posting of your business online can do a lot for your products and services.

Keeping your audience updated and aware of the progress of your business can eventually lead to an increased number of audience.

Appearing active and engaged is more appealing to your audience. If they see you haven’t posted in some months, they might decide to seek answers elsewhere.

Best Content Marketing Tools

BuzzSumo

BuzzSumo is an engaging platform that is useful in content marketing in terms of searching for the most shared, commented, and linked content. This platform will help you to find the most popular content through content research tools.

It can also be narrowed down to specific formats or varieties you are looking for. Moreover, its “content analysis” tool can display results for a specific keyword or domain.

BuzzSumo is useful in identifying the best-received content by the audience.

Hootsuite

Hootsuite is a tool known as a “Social Media Management System.” In this survey, Hootsuite was the top Social Media Management system. This platform makes it easy to schedule content across multiple social media channels.

Hootsuite has a great feature that lets you monitor brand mentions so you can quickly find engagement opportunities.

ClickFunnels

ClickFunnels allows a business or brand to create a page intended for getting customer information and for selling the product.

It will also give you updates about the potential customers through email, text message, messenger chat, etc.) This platform can also help you in finding new customers and increasing orders from customers.

Canva

Canva is a graphic design platform that allows the user to create social media graphics, presentations, and visual content through designed templates by professionals. It is a free platform that can be helpful to small business owners.

It’s simpler than design tools like Illustrator and Photoshop, so if you’re looking for an easy way to create stunning graphics and other marketing materials, Canva is a great place to start.

Ahrefs

It has useful tools such as Site Explorer, Content Explorer, Keyword Explorer, Rank Tracker, and Site Audit. It can help you in terms of content analysis, social statistics, and ratings of the content. This platform is more for monitoring than content creation.

MailChimp

MailChimp is mainly focused on contact management practices, campaign designs, and data analysis. It concentrates on email as a tool in content marketing. In this platform, you can give access to create and manage your mailing lists, newsletters, and automated campaigns easily.

Grammarly

Grammarly is more useful when you’re creating blog posts and other long-form content. Through this writing app, you can check the grammar of your sentences and help make content more readable.

Hemingway

Hemingway is an app that is also focused on editing for clarity. This helps create content that’s more reader-friendly and less wordy.

Using editors like Hemingway (along with proper formatting) help readers who like to skim, making it easy to quickly scan an article and find the parts that are most relevant to them.

CoSchedule

CoSchedule is a great tool for content marketing teams who want to manage both their blog and social media in one place.

It allows you to easily draft and schedule blog and social media posts from a single dashboard, and create templates for posting schedules.

For instance, you can create timing templates that schedule recurring social media posts on the day you publish a blog article, a week, and a month after that. This is great for making sure older content doesn’t get buried in your blogroll and forgotten about.

HotJar

This tool is useful in automatically generating or recording the survey and feedback of the people.

This tool can identify the purpose of the people using your site and how they use it through recorded sessions and collected data such as used words from the survey that will sum up their understanding of your site. It also describes how audiences use your site.

Answer The Public

Just as the name of the tool itself, Answer the Public is like a search engine that helps you find questions that your audience might search. This keyword tool is useful for businesses looking for ideas on what content to create for their audience.

Airstory

Airstory is an app intended for content like blogs, articles, and other social media posts that deals with writing for content marketing. This tool helps content writers to produce great outputs by organizing the contents of the writing beforehand.

Asana

It is an application that is useful in organizing, tracking, and managing a business team’s work.

It helps to simplify the management of collaborative work. It can create a complete task list. This helps work teams in assigning goals and working together on a project. It can also track the progress of the project and the objectives of the team.

How to Measure Your Content Marketing Success

Before you measure your content marketing success, you should first have your content marketing goals.

First, analyze your traffic. Identify the number of people who checked, watched, read your content all over the different websites and social media platforms.

The next thing to measure is social sharing. Check the most viewed and shared content by the audience. The bigger number of “reactions” and “shares” across social media platforms, the more likely it is to create brand awareness and generate revenue.

The last important thing to check is the sales of your business. You have to check how many sales you are getting through content marketing, not only by the products sold but also by the generation of leads which can be converted to revenues. 

The number of people who are aware of your brand and curious about your product will surely determine the sales of your business.

Summary

In this article, we covered:

  • An overview of content marketing
  • Why content marketing is important
  • Different types of content marketing
  • How to start creating content
  • Some of the best content marketing tools
  • How to measure your content efforts

You don’t have to have much of a marketing budget to start seeing the benefits of effective content marketing. Anyone with a good story to tell, a clear picture of their target audience, and a solid strategy can make use of this powerful tool. Looking for help? Get in touch and learn how you can get started today.

By Lauren Connally

Lauren is a copywriter, blogger, and social media manager based in the Texas Hill Country. She works with bloggers and small businesses to help build their online presence.

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