Content Marketing is all about storytelling. It has become a very powerful model for marketers.
Through content, a marketer shares some educational, entertaining, or some other relevant and valuable information. This sort of content helps the readers in improving their lives, in making purchase decisions, or in having some kind of entertainment.
A Content Marketer never pushes his target audience to buy the product or service. He just tries to convey the company’s message or goals.
This form of marketing has been around for years. In fact, we have been practicing it way before the term itself existed.
To build a brand’s reputation, traditional marketers have long used content to circulate information about their brands.
But traditional marketing isn’t as effective as it used to be.
With technological advancement in transportation and communication, and so many marketing channels available, as a forward-thinking marketer, you need to understand that there has to be some better way.
So, what’s the better way to reach your target audience in this tech-savvy world?
All the leading brands, as well as small businesses and one-person shops around the globe, are using Content Marketing.
And the only reason why they use it, is
What is Content, anyway?
Before we dive into the details, let’s try to understand the term Content in the context of Content Marketing.
Oxford Dictionary defines “Content” as information made available by a website or other electronic medium.
The information may be in any form, both online and offline, such as Blog Posts, Videos, Tweets, Photographs, Infographics, Posts shared on Social Media, Slide Shares, Email, Product Description, Books, Guides, Whitepapers, Games, Apps, Magazines etc. They’re all examples of content.
As a marketer, you talk to your customers, your clients, and your readers through content.
It is the heart of what you do as a marketer.
The other areas of marketing like Social Media and SEO, are also only because of content.
Definition of Content Marketing:
There are so many definitions given by different marketers. The Content Marketing Institute, an online resource center for everything related to Content Marketing, defines it as:
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.
The keywords here are valuable, relevant, and consistent.
You have to create content keeping in mind your audience’s needs and interests. You have to ensure that your audience receives value from your content.
And at the same time, you have to be consistent with the delivery of large amounts of content within your content marketing strategy. You have to make audiences feel like you care about them.
Why Content Marketing?
The best answer to this question we see in Forbes post on Content Marketing by Josh Steimle.
According to Josh Steimle, Buying Cycle has four steps:
Once a customer is aware that there is a solution to their need, they perform research to find out what different types of products or services exist. And out of those products or services, which one fits their needs.
After this, the customer compares different products from different vendors to make sure they’re getting a high-quality product at a fair price.
Finally, the customer makes a decision to buy.
Traditional advertising and marketing are great when it comes to the second two steps of buying cycle – Research and Consideration.
Content Marketing plays an important role in the first two stages of the buying process. It raises awareness of solutions and educating consumers about a product they may have never considered before.
You try to serve your prospects and customers the most valuable, relevant, and memorable experience through your content.
Gone are the days when salespeople and store employees used to be the experts.
More than 80% of shoppers nowadays research online before buying any product.
In this Internet era, it’s the buyer who is the expert, not the salespeople or store employees.
Where to Distribute Your Content?
After creating a valuable and engaging content comes its distribution. Creating content is a half job done. To make your content effective it must be consumed by the target audience.
There are plenty of channels available to you to distribute your content far and wide. We can categorize these channels into three groups:
1) Owned Content Distribution (Owned Media): This includes distributing content to your or your company’s own media channels, such as your blog, your website, email newsletter, posts on social media or microsite.
2) Earned Content Distribution (Earned Media): This channel of distribution involves the distribution of your content by third parties. For example, Retweets, Shares, Guest blog posts, Product reviews, and Press coverage.
3) Paid Content Distribution (Paid Media): In this type of distribution, you explicitly pay to get your content distributed. For example, Google Ads campaigns, Social Media campaigns, Sponsored Content.
Most Common Types of Content Marketing:
There exists a vast variety of content which you can use to boost your marketing campaign.
In this article, we’ll have a look at the 7 most popular types of Content Marketing. These may help you see the opportunities all around you to grow your business and have so many marketing ideas every day.
It is the foundation of Content Marketing. It doesn’t take long to write a blog and is easily found by the Search Engines.
Blogging is one of the best mediums to build a relationship with your readers.
If your posts are of high quality and add value to your readers, they’ll love to read and share them. Your site may get a decent amount of traffic which may ultimately help in lead nurturing and conversions.
You need to be consistent with your blog posts. If you are not posting or updating your post regularly, chances are that you might lose your readers.
Don’t forget to link your blog post to your own content.
Optimize your post for the target keywords which may help you bring relevant traffic to your site.
Infographics are graphic visual representations of statistics, graphs, data, charts, or other information.
The human brain processes pictures all at once in comparison to the text from which it takes longer to obtain information. You can pack a ton of information in a single image.
So, Infographics are a great way to earn likes and shares on social media.
And the best part,
The backlink to your Infographic is embedded within it. When people share it properly, they can give you valuable backlinks.
You must include Videos in your Content Marketing Strategy. This will help you remain competitive in this busy digital marketplace. It has the great potential to reach and engage your target audience.
More and more users prefer watching videos to reading a text.
Hubspot’s study shows that 65% of business decision-makers visit a marketer’s website only after watching their brand’s videos.
Also, according to Bright Cove, brands can increase their organic search traffic by 157% if they include videos in their marketing campaign.
You can use videos for your tutorials as well as product content.
Ebooks are great Lead Magnets.
Because of its being typically gated, your visitors must provide some type of information (like email, phone number etc.) in exchange for downloading an Ebook.
And, you get a new lead for your business to contact.
Ebooks are a very powerful method of providing solutions to your readers’ problems.
While producing an Ebook, produce enough content so that it may provide all the information and insight into your target audience.
In other words, we can say that your Ebooks must offer value to the recipients.
Many people prefer listening to podcasts in their busy schedules.
The number of podcast listener is growing year over year.
According to Statista’s survey, in 2018, 26% of the US adults had listened to a podcast during the month leading up to the survey.
Since people can download it to their mobile devices, it allows them to listen to it during their commute, working out at a gym, or while at work.
Podcats can prove to be a great content format to spread your message far and wide.
You can carry out interviews with some influential people, host conversations or live Q’s an A’s.
Webinar (also known as Web conference or online seminar) is a presentation, lecture, or workshop transmitted over the web. It also consists of a brief Q and A session.
With the improvement in technology, the emergence of many platforms, and the cost involved in conducting a webinar coming down, the accessibility of webinars to more and more people are increasing.
It’s a great content type to increase your brand awareness. It allows you to present yourself and your company as experts in your field.
According to Ready Talk survey, between 20% and 40% of webinar registrants turn into qualified leads.
There are many webinar software products like Google+ Hangouts, Skype, GoToWebinar, FaceTime etc.
Using these platforms it’s very easy to offer training to employees, teaching a course, conducting discussions, and running a workshop.
7) Case Study:
It is also known as Testimonials.
Through Case Studies, you have the opportunity to explain about your product or service.
You can tell the story of a client who benefited by using your product or service.
You can use Case Studies examples in many different forms. It can take the form of a blog post, podcast, ebook, or infographic.
Case Studies are one of the most effective types of Content Marketing.
It helps the leads better understand the product or service your business or company deals in and how it can help them.
While creating a Case Study you must keep in mind some important things.
You have to write a summary of the study, explain the problem or challenges your clients faced, explain the solution you provided and then discuss the results of your solution and why it was successful.
Write your Case Study in such a way that your target audiences find it as an inspiring “success story″.