Content Marketing – Everything You Need To Know
Content marketing involves raising the awareness of your brand through the sharing of insightful, informative, and fun information that is intended to improve your readers’ lives.
This change could involve a shift in personal tendencies – which you hope for as a marketer – or could influence their purchasing decision.
Nevertheless, content marketing is not a direct sales pitch, rather, it involves guiding your audience to the best course of action.
Content marketing could also be described as a strategic marketing approach that focuses on designing and distributing useful, relevant, and valuable content consistently to capture and retain a select-audience to drive profitability.
Today, most businesses recognize content marketing’s power in driving up sales, however, few are executing it with the finesse needed for it to be productive.
Why should you consider content marketing?
To answer this, you need to understand the typical buying cycle.
While conventional marketing typically caters for ‘consideration and Action’, content marketing is able to raise awareness of the product while educating the potential client about it as much as possible.
As such, content marketing’s ROI can be incredible.
As it also involves providing content for social media marketing while contributing to SEO by generating back-links, good content can see your website appear prominently in search engines.
Therefore, content marketing should be a big part of any organization’s marketing efforts.
What does content marketing do for SEO?
Content marketing is synonymous with information. Remember that Google always attempts to match the most relevant and highest quality information to search queries.
Thus, not creating content about what you are selling means you will never get ranked and hence never be found by clients. Moreover, when you are ranked by search engines, the specific keywords in your content are what they use.
As such, you should create more content so you can use your keywords more often thus increasing your chances for a higher rank by Google.
Keyword research, therefore, is critical to be successful in content marketing.
Back-links, additionally, are another critical factor for SEO.
Getting other websites to link to yours through the provision of excellent content makes Google view you as an authority which automatically raises your ranking.
Also, Google is fond of sites that update their content consistently. As such, publishing quality content on a regular basis will get your website ranking higher.
Conversely, halting your content creation efforts will see Google drop your rankings as it will consider your website to be out-of-date and containing irrelevant information.
Other Benefits of content marketing
Improving customer service
Capturing a client base is great, the real work lies in keeping them.
A nice content marketing strategy will incorporate resources for your users such as:
- Tutorials that will guide them through your products.
- FAQs where you can engage with your clients.
- Community updates that involve giving shout outs or testimonials to create the feeling of a community.
- Enhances public relations
Think about how difficult or expensive it was to get featured on TV in the past. The internet has shattered this hurdle as you can now reach millions of people through YouTube or Facebook for free.
You no longer need a publicist to be able to communicate with your customer base.
Press conferences have been replaced by Facebook Live while press releases are being replaced by blog posts. PR today is free.
It is the Industry Standard
As of now, you cannot build a brand without incorporating a content marketing strategy.
It is as simple as that.
It is not that content marketing gives you a tremendous advantage over your competition, rather it is lacking a content marketing strategy that leaves your business handicapped.
Almost all demographics and markets are consuming their information from online, and as such, content marketing is simply marketing.
Content marketing FAILS you need to be aware of
1. Failing to understand your audience
A lack of understanding of your clients’ personas will prove to be your undoing in content marketing. You need to research and understand your audience.
Which topics may capture their attention?
As such, you need to tailor make content that suits the readers you want to convert into customers.
Start by asking yourself:
- What is my audience’s age range?
- What are their job titles?
- How is their financial status?
- What is their education level?
- What are their hobbies?
- What makes them uncomfortable?
2. Not offering quality content
Content marketing’s primary goal is to provide quality information to your readers. You also need to keep your info fresh if you want to maintain an audience. This involves consistent content publishing.
As such, not putting up blog posts frequently will see to your readers losing interest.
Posting once a week is fine, however, your emphasis should be quality over quantity. Junk content will see you lose readers, leads, and ultimately customers.
Additionally, Google’s search algorithm is always evolving and you, therefore, need to update quality content consistently to rank highly.
3. Lack of editing
Believe it or not, little mistakes in grammar will turn away potential leads.
It denotes unprofessionalism.
It is important to proofread your information before publishing it. An easy way of ensuring error-free work is to use a spell checker. Also, have someone else read it before you post.
4. Not reusing or re-purposing
After creating content for a while, you end up with a vast amount of content that covers a diverse array of topics. Make use of this information by reusing it.
Here are a Few Ideas:
- Break down reports to several blog posts
- Create slides or videos of your ‘how to’ articles.
- Transcribe your video or audio materials into written formats.
- Expound on some of your existing content by introducing new ideas.
- Share your older content that was popular with your new audience.
You do not need to create new content every day. Be creative about it. For instance, you can promote your eBook by offering your audience an excerpt in one of your articles.
Remember to add a CTA (Call To Action) at the end of the blog telling them to download the full eBook.
5. Not using a Call-to-Action
Distinct and clear CTAs are the best means of guiding your users through your website.
How will your prospects know about your services or products without you telling them about it? This is the reason for a call-to-action, to let them know your purpose.
As such, each content piece that you publish needs to have a purpose that is indicated by the CTA.
Here is where you can place a CTA:
- In your email messages
- On your blog
- On every page in your site
- On your social media pages
- Within your email signature
- Within your webinars or eBooks
- In presentations
6. Using Lackluster Titles
Your content’s title is the first line of communication between the brand and a potential customer.
You need to revisit your site’s analytics to format your titles in a way that will ensure they get their deserved attention.
Additionally, you can review your past titles that generated a lot of traffic to see what you did right.
7. Lack of social sharing features
Here is the thing, most readers typically feel like sharing a good blog post with their social media friends. However, they’ll not jump through hoops just to share your content by copy and pasting it on their timelines.
Make it easy by incorporating social share buttons in your site. This will not only improve your audience’s experience, but it will also enhance your brand’s exposure.
8. Addressing the wrong crowd
As an online marketer, as hard as you try, you will not please everyone.
Creating good content consistently is a good way of capturing leads and retaining customers, however, do not be a jack of all trades.
Maintaining a loyal audience is difficult if your content is all over the place. You need to target a particular niche that you can answer its needs.
9. Selfish selling
No one wants to hear about you, only how you can address their problem.
As such, avoid making your blog articles about you and instead create content that serves the needs of your audience.
You need to have an intricate understanding of your target base so that you know the kind of information they are looking for.
Content creation involves solving the needs of your audience, only the CTA should be about you.
Ultimately, content marketing is today’s norm for marketing. Almost every business at the moment needs to tap into the online client base to maximize their sales and generate profit.
To achieve this feat, the organization needs to be found by its ideal audience.
This audience will only find your enterprise through search engines such as Google. Google’s search algorithm matches information relevancy to users needs.
You should create content that is based on answering the needs of the particular niche you are interested in. This is what content marketing is all about.
Feel free to post your comment below. An email address is required but it will not be shared with anyone, put on any list, or used for any kind of marketing, just to alert you if there are any replies. Thanks and happy hunting!
Updated: Originally published April 27th 2018
I really have to say I am thankful I landed on your post after searching for the keywords “all about content marketing”.
I definitely did not consider understanding the audience I will be talking to through my site.
I am sure this would have been the biggest cause of my failure because I had assumed that they are regular people who are interested in the topic I will be discussing.
It’s good to know you got so much from the article.
Thanks for the kind words Dave!
Content marketing is such a powerful concept, considering that we are in the information age, hence data rules. If one can master to art of preparing and presenting content to the right audience at the right time, they become the kings or Queens of the information superhighway.
This a detailed account on best practices one can develop being guided by what not to do. I was impressed with the new ideas presented here. I have found this article very helpful and would recommend it to anyone who needs to develop some solid foundations on content marketing.
It’s good to know you liked and got some useful information from the article.
Thanks for the kind words Attlee!
Thanks for posting this very informative article. I have learned a lot and also been reminded of some small inconsistencies that I have gotten into the habit of overlooking.
I have many posts with no call to actions or have no products for sale on many of my pages, I just seem to keep writing.
This has to change and I need to offer products and make some money. I’ll put the brakes on writing and start offering my clients some affordable answer to their needs.
If you are currently getting quality traffic, experiment with this concept a bit. Pick a page that gets consistent traffic and add subtle CTA’s and observe the results.
Split test. There are plugins for WordPress to help automate this process. Never stop experimenting, adding 1% to your conversion rate adds up over time.
If you aren’t familiar with split testing do a quick Google search, there are a multitude of articles covering this concept, it can really change the game if done correctly.
Thanks for the comment Paul!
Hey Steven, I really enjoyed reading your post about content marketing. This is a really big topic for me because I own a blog myself. You have so many tips that I immediately saved your site to my browser. 🙂 I think content marketing is absolutely vital for every blog owner or creator in any kind of way. So you can diversify your traffic and don’t rely on one source too much.
True, Any one source of traffic can vanish on you overnight! Keeping your traffic sources diverse is always wise. The Internet and the way it works is fluid, so, you have to be as well if you intend to survive.
Thanks for the kind words Aaron!
Hi steven; I have read through your post. And I have found it very interesting especially for newbies. It is of high value to those who will follow the instructions
In a nut shell you are saying that content is the core of the marketing business?
Is there another kind of marketing business that does not involves content writing?
I believe content can be the core of almost any marketing plan. There are other ways to market products and services but few are as effective and efficient. The only way I can think of to get the necessary quality traffic consistently is by providing valuable content people want to share and consume.
On the other hand, if you have a big advertising budget and high profit product, you could pay for all of your visitors through banners, PPC and solo ads. But why? Content can produce better, more targeted visitors, at a fraction of the monetary cost and is much more sustainable.
In my opinion, content marketing is the only way to go.
Thanks for the comment Dorcas!