What is Content Marketing?
Content Marketing – A Definition
Content Marketing is a considered marketing strategy focused on the creation and distribution of valuable, relevant, and consistent content. The aim of which is to attract and retain a clearly defined audience resulting in profitable customer action.
So What Does That Actually Mean?
Here’s a little real life example of how a business’ content marketing might work:
A 28 year old professional from the US who needs to learn French for their new job, but struggles with it, types into google “tips how to learn French”
The first (not payed) search result that comes up is: “Studying French is easy : 10 tips to learn French”.
At the bottom of the post, it suggests reading another of its articles: “Top 10 Netflix series for learning French”.
This then leads to: “Why Learn French in France”.
The user has just read three great informative articles and is already engaging with the brand. Finding the information they wanted and being inspired by the content.
The articles capture the attention of the user by providing relatable, real world examples of how using technology they already have (Netflix in this example) can help them to achieve their goal of learning French.
On the menu they then click on “Courses for Adults”, but before jumping to the actual products, they click on “Our residence”.
This article is aspirational and introduces the user to the experience they could have. The photography highlights the beautiful accommodation with young adults enjoying the swimming pool in the sun. The page highlights all the things a young adult might look for from a holiday. It’s not focused on the actual product itself, but is intended to make the reader want to be there.
Maybe later that day, or after following the blog for a while still engaged with the content, they think to themselves… why not? This then leads to them checking out the products and hopefully making a purchase.
The Content Marketing Conversion Funnel
There are three basic stages (AKA ‘the conversion funnel’) the user subconsciously went through, thanks the school’s content marketing :
- Awareness – the first stage that captures the audience’s attention. This content can answer questions or solve problems, raising the brand awareness.
- Consideration – Once people have been introduced to the brand and have received some degree of free value, it’s time to convert them to an actual lead.
- Decision – Validation that your website is where they’re supposed to be, and validation that your product or service is exactly what they want or need. They want to trust you before they tell the world about you. Convincing them of this leads them to buy the product or service.
What Value Can I Offer?
People are busy. They are bombarded with information more than ever before.
You need to have a really good reason for why they should dedicate their time to consume your content. By giving them what they want: Content that matters. Something worth their valuable time.
It can be:
- Solving small problems they face
- Making a big transformation in their lives
- Perhaps just entertaining or inspiring them.
Popular ways to give value are: How to guides, Lists (Top 10 Reasons to Visit Paris….), product reviews, product comparison, resort guides,interviews, checklists, case studies etc.
Types Of Content Formats – Which One To Choose?
There are many different content formats, each with their own pros and cons. If you are just beginning to create, then these ones are the easiest to begin with.
Each one of them can be learnt, practiced and mastered but anyone can begin right now! (and we encourage you to!).
Blogging – Using text
Blogs are easy to set up. It does not require any equipment, apart from a laptop or desktop and a working internet connection, so it can be set-up pretty fast and on a low-cost budget.
The biggest plus is the SEO (google ranking) it gives you.
Video – Visual content
Visual experience is often more engaging and interactive compared to conventional blogging. A lot of users prefer to watch videos over reading lengthy written material.
It does require more equipment and skills than blogging, but videos can be widely shared across many platforms providing a lot of exposure. We all have smartphone’s with a camera these days so there’s no reason not to make a start on some visual content.
Podcast – Audio content
Podcasts offer a completely different angle, media that can be consumed at almost anytime or place. It’s possible to engage with your audience while they are driving to work, working out at the gym or walking the dog for example. Audio content brings a new experience that text-format could never give. In a way, it represents a new platform for storytelling.
*tip – You can combine two together to maximise the impact.
For example, make a blog post on your website that has a video (or an audio podcast) at the top of the page and then a text underneath (this can be the transcript as well).
Different Channels – Where to Distribute For Maximum Exposure?
So where do you post your articles, how do people get to see your videos:
- Use Your Blog – This is a section of your website where your content is stored and viewed. However, simply publishing your content on your blog, waiting for your ideal audience to magically discover it doesn’t quite cut it unfortunately.
- Use Social Media – Amplify its impact by distributing to one or several social media channels like facebook, instagram, twitter etc. People can easily follow your channels and you can post snippets from the blog posts, linking to them.
- Use your Newsletter – When your audience is subscribed to your newsletter, it’s nearly guaranteed that they will spend time reading it. Promote your blog or video using a newsletter. Send every now and then links to the blog or other valuable content.
How Can Content Marketing Help Your Brand?
Creating content is time consuming and can sometimes be financially costly too.
Just being a source of information or providing inspirational videos is lovely but at the end of the day, your business needs to grow.
Here are the main ways content marketing can drive your business forward:
- Boost’s your website’s SEO performance giving more online visibility and driving additional traffic to you
- Provides targeted market exposure – getting your brand in front of more of the right people.
- Provides a way for you to communicate your brand identity, engage with your audience and inspire them with who you are
- Enables you to control the user journey through your site : You can direct your audience throughout the conversion funnel from discovery through to purchase.
- Builds trust and a provides a way to retain customers
Content marketing is a long-term strategy that focuses on building a strong relationship with your target audience by giving them high-quality content that is very relevant to them on a consistent basis. When done successfully, the results can be game changing.
What’s Next? What Should I Do?
Don’t wait… begin experimenting with it!
Sometimes we think too much and eventually don’t do anything at all.
So Ask yourself now:
- What are the pain points of my audience?
- How can I make their life better?
- Which topics can boost my SEO?
- Make a list of a few content ideas (How to…. Top 10 Reasons To Visit… Why you Should…)
- Choose a content format (text, video, podcast) that you feel the most comfortable with
- start creating the content
- Choose a channel and start sharing!
Want to learn more?
Keep following our Learn blog. We will continuously post all the information you need to create the best content that will make your business grow!