By now, content marketing is a well-known digital promotion technique that’s suitable for pretty much all companies. While this strategy relies on blogs, social media networks, and other platforms, the concept behind content marketing is relatively simple. This approach focuses on telling a story that engages the audience to ensure that the message gets across.
Successful content marketing campaigns and acclaimed movies have a lot of things in common.
As long as you develop a sound idea in an entertaining and informative manner, you’ll be able to capture your audience’s attention and engage users who will eventually become your customers. However, creating a customized content writing and marketing strategy also requires extensive research and planning.
You have to gain as much knowledge as you can about your audience, work on your brand awareness activities, and identify the types of content that will increase your chances of success.
At Fannit, we have decades of combined experience building comprehension content marketing plans for clients in consumer as well as B2B industries. As one of the best SEO companies in the PNW, we know a thing or two about developing a solid content marketing strategy that converts.
In this article, we’ll go over the content marketing definition and go over the history of this promotion technique.
After we define content marketing, we’ll also discuss the benefits of this technique for your business and teach you how to create the best materials for your customer relations plan.
What is Content Marketing?
What is content marketing?
To paraphrase the Content Marketing Institute, this promotion technique focuses on developing and publishing relevant, engaging, and interesting content.
The main goal is to attract, convert, and delight your target audience, ultimately encouraging prospects to complete the desired action. For example, inquiring about a product or service you offer.
Content marketing is a long-term, customer-centric promotion technique where companies attempt to build a strong relationship with potential customers through quality and transparency.
Businesses that focus on content marketing produce blogs, video content, and other materials that help potential customers while establishing these brands as leaders in the industry.
One of the keys to successful this marketing approach is the consistent production of valuable content. If implemented properly, content marketing will help you build a great image and develop a good relationship with your audience, so when potential customers need your solutions they will already know where to find you.
Unlike traditional advertising techniques, content marketing is all about strengthening the relationship with your customers. By investing in developing great resources, you show audience members that you can through your actions.
This is priceless, especially in a day and age where consumers are more empowered than ever before to choose brands that care about them.
- More helpful reading: https://www.fannit.com/seo/reputation-management/
The Evolution of Content Marketing
The channels employed have changed significantly since the term “content marketing” was coined in the mid-1990s, but the concept behind this technique remains the same.
Content marketing is all about online storytelling, which should engage the audience being targeted through immersive written content.
;Keep in mind that storytelling has changed over the years. Modern consumers have a shorter attention span and many of these users have developed the ability to filter out marketing materials that are too aggressive.
Therefore, companies that want to promote through modern storytelling need to learn how to produce engaging materials or work with a content marketing agency to make sure you’re developing superb content.
Before going any further, it’s important to understand that content marketing is somewhat of an umbrella term because it doesn’t describe one specific set of activities.
Instead, content marketing is among the most flexible approaches because it can be completely customized depending on your industry, budget, goals, audience, and other variables that affect the performance of your creatives.
We’ll go over the benefits as well as specific types of materials you can start producing right away, but it’s important to understand that your content marketing strategy needs to be designed specifically for your company.
If not, you run the risk of investing in content that won’t necessarily yield the results you’re looking for.
Understanding the Different Content Marketing Strategies
The combination of strategies you can use in your web content marketing plan is almost limitless because this technique bodes well with other online as well as offline approaches.
Remember, your content strategy should be developed specifically for your business. So, you should avoid cutting corners and determine which is the best type of content for your business by:
- Identifying customer pain points
- Evaluating which content will help solve this issue
- Creating and distributing materials that help customers solve these issues
The steps above will help business owners and content marketers take away attention from the product and focus instead on developing a customer-centric strategy.
Companies that generate product-centric content are not usually aware of all the challenges that their audiences face. If your content doesn’t address an issue that your potential customers face, there’s little chance these users will take the time to read your content.
To avoid this, you should keep your potential customers at the center of every decision you take. Remember that:
- Templates for creating the best strategy don’t work
- Your strategy should include challenges customers face and how you will address them
- Documenting your strategy is the only way to adhere to it
- Make sure that all employees have access to your goals
- Periodically fine-tune your goals as well as strategy
Your content marketing plan will help you draw a link between the materials you produce and the products that you provide to customers.
The main goal of developing a content marketing plan is to get more business, but this strategy focuses on achieving long-term, sustained success.
As we mentioned in the tips above, there are no templates that guarantee success because all businesses are different.
And, just like businesses, there are multiple types of content you can choose to generate for this type of marketing strategy. Some of the most common types include:
- Tool reviews
- Online games
- Definition articles
- Book summaries
- Case studies
- White papers
- Ebooks and more
The best part is that the list above barely scrapes the surface of the content you can produce. Not to mention the fact that new types of content are developed on a regular basis, like learning videos. Before crafting your strategy, you need to gain a full understanding of what these types of content are and how consumers interact with them.
- More helpful reading: https://www.fannit.com/seo/free-seo-tools/
A Brief History of Content Marketing
Modern content marketing as we know it emerged in the mid-1990s, but this doesn’t mean that this type of advertising didn’t exist before then.
Content marketing has been around arguably since humans started transmitting messages via stories. According to the Content Marketing Institute, the first recorded instance of content marketing didn’t occur in the 20th or 19th centuries.
In the mid 1700s, Benjamin Franklin owned a printing business that he wanted to promote.
Rather than telling people about it, he decided to print his own Almanack to showcase the quality of his product, potentially encouraging others to seek his services.
Did Ben Franklin’s strategy work? It’s hard to tell given that his biggest legacy was to become one of the founding fathers of the US.
Instead, it’s interesting to see that the same concept that now allows you to attract target audience members was also employed almost 300 years ago.
Needless to say, content marketing in the 1700s was very different than it is today. In addition to the fancy name, Ben Franklin and other past entrepreneurs didn’t have the ability to track, monitor, and adjust the performance of their content.
Today, businesses and marketers have the ability to view the number of customers produced by different parts of their content strategy, thus allowing them to focus on the areas that offer the best results.
While there are plenty of examples that pre-date the internet and smart devices, content marketing has now established itself as one of the best promotion methods out there.
The combination of data-driven decisions and the ability to monitor the performance of the materials published has transformed how companies implement this approach. It creates the perfect scenario for a three-step approach to getting customers:
- Highlight the target audience’s pain points
- Stir the problem
- Find a solution that helps them relieve the pain
Content marketers swear by this type of marketing, but does attention really translate to more business?
Simply put, getting attention from consumers is a synonym for earning money. That said, you need to ensure that your product or service gets the right type of attention.
The goods news? Content marketing allows you to tell your story and take control of the narrative every single time you publish new materials.
More helpful reading: https://www.fannit.com/seo/what-is-seo-writing/
The Benefits of Content Marketing
If you haven’t had much success with online promotion techniques, you may be asking yourself “why content marketing?” and the answer is simply “because it works”.
When analyzed objectively, it’s easy to see that content marketing is not a new strategy.
It’s helped countless companies and allowed some of the biggest brands in the world to connect with their audiences. But, is this type of marketing really a good alternative for your business?
One of the biggest barriers to adopting content marketing is the uncertainty business owners may feel when trying out a new technique.
Despite the fact that it’s suitable for both B2B and B2C companies, it’s always a good idea to ask yourself a few questions before adopting content marketing. For instance:
- Do you want to create more engaging content?
- Do you want to learn more about your audience and what content customers find useful?
- Are you willing to invest resources into developing new and repurposing old content?
- Do you have a team that can help you optimize content after it’s been published?
There are many different ways to acquire new customers, but not all clients are the same. If clients are not sure about the benefits of your products or services when they make a purchase, they may end up having a negative experience even if you deliver exactly what you promised.
To avoid these situations, you can develop a content marketing strategy that allows you to educate your audience while also ensuring that you engage with users who have already shown interest in your goods.
However, running a content marketing campaign isn’t always easy, especially when it starts collecting momentum.
There are many challenges that content marketers face, like producing engaging content, learning to measure their campaign success, producing materials on a consistent basis, and discovering the content that the audience is looking for, just to name a few.
With the above in mind, there are still many awesome benefits that come with successful content marketing, including:
We’ll go over some content marketing examples later in this article, but one thing that all of these have in common is that they help you generate more affordable leads, relatively speaking.
Just determining the price of each lead with conventional marketing is impossible because you can’t attribute the exact number of new customers to the advertisements in place.
A solid content marketing strategy allows you to measure the cost of acquiring new leads while ensuring that each new potential customer comes with the lowest possible price tag.
In your content marketing campaign, you can also see the performance of different parts of your strategy (like social media, email marketing, etc). After collecting enough data, you can view these stats and ensure that only the most profitable channels are active.
Keep in mind that content marketing is also more affordable than traditional advertising because it employs a mixture of paid and organic channels. This can be adjusted depending on your company’s budget and overall requirements.
If you want to keep costs as low as possible without compromising your return, you can always opt for an organic content marketing campaign that will generate the most affordable leads.
Reduced Marketing Expenses
In addition to producing more affordable leads, content marketing can also reduce your marketing expenses across the board. Advertising and building brand awareness through traditional channels like televisions and print media can be extremely expensive.
Even running a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign can exponentially increase your expenses, especially if you don’t have the appropriate optimization system in place.
Unlike other techniques, content advertising doesn’t require a set budget. Content marketers can build a strategy tailored to the resources available and work on improving the performance of the materials while keeping costs low.
With the appropriate plan, your content marketing efforts can quickly outweigh other forms of lead generation and allow you to reduce the number of resources you dedicate to acquiring new customers while still maintaining the same production.
As a rule of thumb, your content marketing manager should develop a plan to reduce your marketing investment while maintaining the same results or significantly increase output with the same budget.
This will depend heavily on your long and short-term goals. Just remember to ensure that your digital marketing machine is consistently producing leads before lifting your foot off the pedal in any other area.
Relatively Easy to Start With
By now, you’ve probably seen conversion rate and return-on-income (ROI) content marketing statistics that have convinced you it’s the right approach for your business.
But, one of the unsung advantages of developing high-quality content to attract leads is that it’s easy to get started with this technique.
Along with the Content Marketing Institute, there are dozens of reliable sources that can help you understand this promotional technique. This is one of the reasons why many companies are using content marketing more and more.
It allows businesses to attract the right people through well-thought-out marketing messages and superb user experience.
In case you don’t have the resources to set up an internal content marketing team, you can always opt to work with professional marketers that specialize in digital channels. At Fannit, we’ve spent the best part of the last decade helping our customers develop blog posts, case studies, and other types of content that help improve company-customer relationships.
Having a marketing strategy is essential for the success of any modern business. But, traditional promotion channels like print and television marketing don’t provide measurable results.
Therefore, it’s impossible to determine how effective these marketing campaigns actually are, which in turn discourages business owners from investing into promotional activities.
One of the many advantages of content marketing is that this type of campaign can be developed on a fully digital scale. Digital campaigns can be tracked and monitored, so you can determine how many leads you generate and measure the success of your content.
Rather than assuming that your materials work or having to conduct extensive surveys, you can simply take a look at the most important metrics and figure out how well you’re doing.
There are dozens of different metrics you can track, so monitoring your campaign may seem like a daunting task.
However, with a bit of practice you should figure out the most important statistics and keep a close eye on the performance of your content marketing strategy. Not only should you measure how well your campaign performs, but you need to take the time to figure out what these numbers mean and what changes you need to implement when you’re not getting the right results.
Higher Search Engine Rankings
How do modern consumers find new products and services in their area? Simple, they pull out their smartphone or laptop and run a few queries on search engines like Google.
In other words, if you want your content to be found easily whenever potential customers need them, you need to appear on search engines.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a marketing strategy that helps you get on the first page of Google search results, thus boosting the amount of traffic you get to your site.
The good news is that content is one of the variables that help search engines determine how relevant your site is to every search being conducted.
If you develop a sound strategy that includes both approaches, the content you generate can boost your ranking on search engines and help you produce more leads online.
If you want to ensure good SEO rankings, you should work with marketing agencies that have completed the Hubspot content marketing certification courses.
These ensure that the specialist you’re working with has the skills and understanding to build a high-quality plan that includes both SEO and content marketing.
- More helpful reading: https://www.fannit.com/blog/seo-tips/
Can Be Combined with Multiple Approaches
In addition to the limitations we’ve already covered, working with traditional advertising channels limits the number of channels you can work with.
It’s impossible to coordinate print, television, and radio ads to ensure they’re rolled out at the same time. You may be able to maintain the same branding, but you’ll probably end up designing independent campaigns for each publishing channel.
SEO and content marketing are among the most popular types of digital promotion techniques, but these are not the only two that can be combined.
Digital marketing techniques share many similarities because they can be tracked and the content is presented to users through the same devices. This makes content marketing extremely flexible in terms of other approaches it can work with.
Content marketing can be combined with social media, PPC, inbound, affiliate marketing, and virtually any other type of online promotion.
Because all of these occur on the internet, you can easily interlink them and develop one massive campaign that’s broken down into different sections that make sense.
Finding the best combination for your business can be tough, especially if you’re in a challenging industry.
The solution may be to work with a content marketing company that can help create content that resonates with your prospects while creating a great user experience.
Establish Your Brand as a Thought Leader
Which are the biggest computer manufacturers in the world? The answer to that question may vary a bit, but the list should definitely include Apple, Microsoft, HP, and similar companies that have established themselves as the clear leaders of the pack.
These companies have not only made a name for themselves by selling products, but also by establishing themselves as some of the most knowledgeable brands out there.
Sure, there’s a lot of difference between a local business and Apple, but content marketing is so powerful that it can help company owners establish their brand as a thought leader in their industries.
Instead of highlighting your experience, you can develop content that truly showcases your technical expertise while solving your audience’s biggest pain points.
Remember, establishing your brand as a thought leader within your business may take some time, but it’s one of the best ways to achieve long-term, sustained growth.
The key is to develop a system to identify the audience’s biggest needs and address these through the frequent publication of quality content. If you’re struggling, finding a high-quality content marketing service provider can take care of your strategy while you focus on delivering a great customer experience.
How to Know Which Content to Develop
Content marketing, SEO, and other techniques can help you delight your audience and reel in new customers through your digital profiles. However, it’s important to note that some companies produce amazing content that doesn’t seem to have the right effect.
There are a few reasons why this may happen. But, in most cases, high-quality content that doesn’t convert means that a company did not put enough time or emphasis into understanding the audience’s needs.
This is where the practice of content mapping becomes extremely important.
In a nutshell, content mapping is the process of learning as much as you can about the buyer’s journey in order to create content specifically designed for different parts of the sales funnel.
The buyer’s journey is the process that most customers go through before completing a purchase. Moreover, the content sales funnel serves as a visual representation of how close prospects are to becoming paying customers.
By studying the different stages of the buyer’s journey and what type of content users look for during each phase, you can develop materials that different prospects will find interesting depending on how close they are to buying your products.
This content can be directly attributed to the different parts of the funnel. For example, broader articles attract the top of the funnel leads, which are in the early stages of the buyer’s journey.
Like the marketing funnel, the buyer’s journey can be divided into three distinct stages, which are awareness, consideration, and decision.
In most cases, customers go through all three in that order before contacting your business. Content mapping attempts to understand this process and help you create articles and other types of content to more prospects down the funnel quickly, until they become paying customers.
Before going any further, we wanted to emphasize the importance of understanding how your potential customers behave at the different stages of the decision making process
. All users are different, but your target audience members will likely share a variety of characteristics, including the challenges they want to solve.
To better understand the target audience, you can create buyer personas that guide your decisions during the campaign creation process.
Buyer personas are fictional characters that represent large segments of your target audience.
By creating detailed descriptions of these depictions, you’ll be able to better communicate with customers who have a similar mentality and develop content that boosts your revenue.
Believe it or not, most consumers are willing to pay higher prices in order to get a better service.
If you tailor your content to their specific requirements, users that make up your target audience will be more receptive to your materials.
With the above in mind, let’s take a look at the content you can create for the different stages of the marketing funnel.
Content for the Awareness Stage
Awareness is the initial phase of the content marketing funnel.
It’s called the “awareness” stage because at this point potential customers have identified the issues they need to fix and are aware that your business provides the solutions they need. Now, keep in mind that this doesn’t mean prospects are ready to learn more about your products at this stage, but it means that they’ve discovered your content and they know who you are.
For obvious reasons, people need to know about your business before they opt for your services.
Social media, video platforms, and other digital channels can all help you distribute any type of content, but you need to have a structured plan that allows them to discover the right content depending on where they are. The awareness stage is all about educating your audience about your brand and products while ensuring that you have good search engine visibility.
Even if you weren’t planning on combining different marketing approaches, keep in mind that search engine optimization can help boost the performance of your awareness stage content.
SEO is the most affordable way to get large volumes of users on your site and having your business on the first page on Google is also a great business card in terms of credibility.
Content in this stage should also help you build brand awareness and ensure that customers are familiar with your business identity.
Blog posts are a great way to distribute awareness stage materials, but remember to use content marketing as part of a bigger strategy that ultimately transforms prospects into customers.
- More helpful reading: https://www.fannit.com/blog/how-to-start-a-blog/
Content for the Consideration Stage
The average consumer spends a lot of time researching before making a purchase, so don’t expect most users to contact you as soon as they enter your site.
In most cases, your target audience members will conduct extensive research and then narrow down the top options before making a decision. This stage is called consideration because users are evaluating which provider to work with.
And, if you develop effective marketing content, you should be among the businesses that customers are looking to contact.
As all seasoned entrepreneurs know, it’s easier to acquire customers when you pave a path and guide them to make the right decision.
But, rather than simply educating and informing audience members, the main goal of the content in the consideration stage is to showcase your skills and convince users to leave their contact information or take another desired customer action.
Instead of only employing basic resources like blog posts, content for the consideration stage needs to be more detailed and comprehensive.
Ebooks, white papers, and other downloadables are a great way to gauge the target audience’s interest and convince potential customers to request more information.
Yes, you’ll feel compelled to attempt to pull the trigger at this stage and try to convince users to buy.
If prospects sign up for your newsletter, doesn’t it mean that these users are interested? The short answer is yes, but being interested in a product and wanting to purchase it are two different things.
Understanding the nuances between awareness and consideration-level content can be challenging, especially if your industry has a short buyer’s journey.
You can always rely on content marketing companies like Fannit to ensure that you develop adequate materials to attract the right people.
Content for the Decision Stage
Whether you’re developing a B2C or B2B content marketing plan, the decision stage will probably be your favorite.
The decision stage is the final part of the funnel, which means that content for this phase is designed to convince people to buy your products or book an appointment with your business. Although you should never be aggressive enough to discourage customers, you’re allowed to be a bit more direct when developing decision content, so don’t be afraid to use persuasive language in every blog post you generate for this stage.
In addition to the approach and structure of the content itself, keep in mind that you also need to adjust the technical side of your plan
As part of your content marketing strategy, you should identify the best keywords for each piece. However, instead of choosing keywords with the highest search volumes, decision content should feature long-tailed keywords that have lower search volumes but are much more specific.
Think about it this way: the longer customers spend searching for a product, the closer they will be to making a purchase.
Users in the decision stage have already spent a significant amount of time looking at the different solutions. So, they use specific terms to search for the products and services they want. If you target the right words and develop the kind of content that helps customers, it will be difficult to not consider your business as a top candidate.
Content Marketing Channels Available
Developing a content marketing strategy that engages your audience members is challenging in itself.
But, you also have to study the channels through which you’ll publish your materials in order to use content marketing properly.
If you develop materials that can’t be shared through your audience’s favorite channels, you’ll reduce the effectiveness of your content and hinder the performance of your whole campaign.
We’ve covered some of these superficially in the previous sections, but we wanted to thoroughly discuss the different channels available and how to develop content for each.
As with most other parts of your content marketing efforts, you need to look at your target audience and determine what social media platforms and other channels they use to find new businesses.
Depending on what you find, you may need to develop brand awareness and move customers down the sales funnel through video content marketing.
Social media platforms like Instagram can be extremely helpful for these types of campaigns, not to mention YouTube as well as Google itself. Just remember to ensure that your marketing content can be distributed through these without breaking any rules or violating platform protocol.
Social media is regarded by some as the most effective digital content marketing channel out there.
Distributing content through social media can help you build stronger business-customer relationships while ensuring that every blog post you produce gets a good amount of exposure. Plus, you can choose to run an organic campaign that has relatively low costs or get faster results by running paid campaigns.
There are billions of active social media users, so it’s safe to assume that this channel allows you to reach pretty much any market or audience out there.
You may need to conduct research to find out which are your audience’s preferred platforms, but once you know where you’ll be distributing your materials you can create content with these channels in mind.
One thing you should keep in mind is that social media channels have already ingrained themselves into most cultures.
Marketing your goods and services through these platforms is not an original idea, so you need to focus on developing high-quality content if you want to have a good conversion rate and bring in leads consistently.
Most networks monitor and moderate the content that’s shared on them. Keep these in mind before you get started to ensure that you produce successful content that won’t be removed by the network.
You’ll want to see the terms and conditions if you’re not sure whether your materials can be shared on a network, but there’s a strong chance the answer is yes unless you work in a handful of industries.
Out of all the types of content marketing you can opt for, video platforms may be the most dynamic in terms of the number of options available.
Video platforms now allow you to publish video materials that are accessible to your audience whenever they need them, and the best part is that these can be distributed through these sites at no cost.
Additionally, YouTube, social media networks, and other publishing platforms now allow you to stream live videos from wherever you are in the world.
This means that you can instantly transport your audience to your business or event regardless of where these users are located.
This is especially useful because consumers have become familiarized with digital activities due to the global health crisis.
Live videos tend to generate better engagement, but keep in mind that they may produce limited results because your customers need to be online at a specific time.
There’s a strong chance your target audience will find videos more appealing and engage with them more than other types of content. But, simply producing this type of content without a plan isn’t a good strategy.
In our experience, the best approach is to produce evergreen videos that are published on different platforms and organize live streams once the groundwork has been laid out with the audience.
One of the biggest misconceptions about content marketing is that this method only includes organic or unpaid channels.
However, your content marketing efforts can be tailored to your brand and include almost all channels, including paid advertising. This covers both conventional advertising as well as pay-per-click and other forms of performance marketing.
In most cases, marketers look to drive traffic to the content they created using paid advertising campaigns.
These campaigns can be created on Google Ads, social media channels, and any platform that offers paid advertising and is popular with your audience.
There are always exceptions, but most companies invest in paid advertising to help generate more sales, rather than paying for ads to promote content for brand awareness.
There are many benefits to paid advertising, but the one that stands out the most is the ability to produce results right away.
Instead of battling with established platforms for the top organic spots, you can boost the performance of your content immediately. You should keep working on your organic efforts and, once you have a steady flow of leads, think about reducing your paid advertising budget.
Your Business Blog and Website
The most important content marketing channel you have available is your entire business website, including your blog. In addition to placing your company on search engine results pages, your site allows you to discuss your products, services, and other solutions in great detail.
The service pages on your site should cover your goods and services, while your blog can help you showcase your expertise from different angles in a more creative and casual way.
In an ideal world, your company should produce and publish new blog posts and similar content on a regular basis.
Each one of your blog posts should address a challenge that your audience faces, deliver news about your company, or serve another functional purpose, even if it’s informing the audience about a previously unidentified issue.
The best kind of content and posting frequency for your company will depend on a myriad of variables. If you’re not sure what’s best for your business, you can start posting case studies, articles, or other types of content once per week and monitor changes in your audience’s behavior.
Working with a reliable content marketing specialist can simplify this process while ensuring that you’re going in the right direction.
Online and Offline Content Marketing Examples
Today, there are countless examples of online and offline content marketing. But, before going over these, it’s important to understand the role that analytics tools and testing play in the success of your content campaign.
For a content marketer to be successful, this person needs to understand the definition as well as the practical application of this promotional approach.
Therefore, you need to know how to track your campaigns and view how your content is performing, which is only possible through analytics tools.
Google Analytics, the best free tracker you can use for your content marketing campaign, is a great resource for businesses of all sizes.
But, you need to understand the different concepts that appear on the platform and get familiarized with the user interface to learn how to view the performance of your campaign.
After you master your analytics tool, you can start running tests in order to determine which combination of variables produces the best results.
Many companies fall in the trap of testing without knowing how to view or compare the results, which is the reason you need to have a good understanding of Google Analytics before performing these comparisons.
With the above in mind, here are some examples of offline and online content marketing.
Offline Content Marketing
It’s true that a large portion of offline channels has dropped in popularity. But, there are still many great examples of companies using content marketing without relying on the internet.
For instance, graphic novels are among the best content marketing examples because they have been using engaging stories to connect with their audience for decades.
Furthermore, television series have been captivating millions across the globe long before the internet was established. Some soap operas in the US have been around since the early 1960s and show no signs of slowing down.
The best part is that these series have adopted their content according to new developments, which is one of the reasons their audiences are so engaged.
Soap operas and other types of series are not the only examples of content marketing on television.
If you think really hard, there’s a good chance you can remember some of the catchier commercials that appeared on TV during your childhood, especially if there was a series of ads that featured the same character.
These are a great example of content marketing operating at its best, without needing to rely on the internet.
Basically, any traditional medium that focuses on storytelling, such as novels and newspapers, can be considered a type of offline content marketing.
That said, online channels also provide a great alternative that allows more control over the performance of your campaign.
Online Content Marketing
Today, marketers can create tailored online content marketing campaigns that feature blog posts, videos, social media posts, and other elements.
Content marketing is older than the internet, so we can find examples of content marketing that date back to the mid-1990s.
Viral videos developed by businesses are among the best examples of online content marketing.
This video content tends to be entertaining, memorable, and memorable in terms of brand awareness. The effects are magnified if the content features a well-known actor or familiar character.
Long-form blog articles are now the most traditional type of content marketing.
As a matter of fact, when most company owners and marketers envision their content marketing strategy, they often imagine publishing at least one long-form blog post. But, the only way to select the right topics is to determine the challenges that your product can help solve on a regular basis.
Lastly, infographics have become a popular element in content marketing campaigns.
These are great examples of how to use this technique because they help companies distribute complex information and present this data in a more digestible format.
Creating a Tailored Content Marketing Strategy for Your Company
Now that we’ve discussed the definition of content marketing, let’s take a look at the different strategies available.
Despite the fact that we covered online and offline content marketing examples separately, remember that these two strategies are compatible with each other.
Instead of choosing one over the other, you should evaluate your company’s requirements and determine what type of content would benefit you the most.
The most important thing in content marketing is to deliver quality to your customers.
Even if you develop the perfect plan and share your content through all relevant channels, your campaign won’t produce the right results if your blogs and other materials are not up to scratch.
Every company is different, so there is no exact method to develop the best strategy. Instead, you need to learn about your audience, study the promotional platforms you have available, and develop a tailored plan for your business.
If you don’t understand your audience, gauge your requirements, or stay updated with the most recent content marketing news, you won’t be able to produce impactful materials.
The general steps you have to follow to create a tailored plan for your audience usually look something like this:
Identify Your Target Audience
Whether you’re selling metal fabrication services or smartphones, you need to know your audience members.
Your prospects likely search for your services on Google and similar platforms, but you need to know more details in order to the type of content that has a high conversion rate.
The best way to study your audience is to learn from the customers you already have. Your goal should be to reverse-engineer the steps that your audience follows before becoming a customer
This will help uncover their biggest needs and drivers, so you can focus on these when creating new marketing content.
One of the best ways to use the data about your target audience is to create buyer personas. But, many companies forget about these resources once they’re created, so you should find the best way to implement these personas into your content creation process.
For instance, your writers should always refer back to the personas you created and choose one to target for every piece of content you produce.
Determine What Content They’re Looking For
It’s normal for business owners to know a lot of information about their target audience. However, some consumer patterns are hard to spot, so it’s not always easy to know what type of content potential customers would be more attracted to.
As in most cases, your customers hold the answer to this question, so you need to analyze your audience and figure out what obstacles they face before contacting your business.
Remember, most people will go through a three-part process before completing a purchase.
In addition to reverse-engineering the steps that customers take, pay attention to the issues they are trying to solve at each stage. This will help you choose which piece of content to write first and for customers in which stages.
You may find that your company has success acquiring top-of-the-funnel leads and nurturing these until they become paying customers, which means you should continue to develop awareness-level content.
In many cases, owners are too close to their businesses to objectively identify the type of content their audience likes the most.
If you opt to find content marketing services, your expert can take care of this stage and all other parts of your marketing campaign while you focus on other crucial activities.
Choose Your Approach
Promoting your business’ services requires a combination of science and artistic flair. The information collected about your target audience will help guide your decisions.
But, you have to transform these numbers into actions, for example, choosing which social media networks to target and what angles to take in your video content marketing.
Depending on your audience’s favorite devices, you may also need to consider creating a mobile content marketing strategy as well.
Your mobile content strategy should be similar to your desktop version, but you need to ensure that all of your materials appear properly on different devices. This is especially important if you start developing mobile video content marketing for your audience.
Building a Large Following
Why do some companies struggle to make a name for themselves while others become crowd favorites almost instantly?
There are several factors in play, but one of the main reasons why some businesses have an easier time connecting with customers is because they use content to build a relationship with their audiences.
These companies are not afraid to invest in content that their potential customers find interesting.
Therefore, audience members are automatically attracted to their sites and see these organizations as valuable sources of information, rather than companies who simply want to promote their services.
In simple terms, businesses that aim to provide valuable information tend to attract large followings naturally.
But, this requires the creation of blog post content, videos, and other resources that your audience finds useful. With the right strategy in place, you can share your knowledge with your audience and collect data that allows you to transform prospects into customers later on.
Digital Promotion Techniques that Are Compatible with Content Marketing
Content marketing can be used as a standalone strategy, but in the vast majority of cases, it works best when it’s a part of a holistic promotion plan.
This means that you have to find the best combination to help you achieve your goals. As with your marketing content strategy, you need to choose the combination of tactics based on the goals you want to achieve, your budget, and your audience.
The good news is that content marketing is suitable for both inbound and outbound marketing techniques.
You can choose to run mostly digital campaigns and implement additional forms of traditional advertising that have proven to be effective in your industry.
Some of the techniques that can be combined with content marketing include:
In the early 2000s, having a blog was regarded as a luxury that only large companies could afford.
Today, they have become an indispensable tool that allows you to highlight your services and build brand awareness. But, even though your company blog can help you build an identity, publishing a piece of content every week without a plan doesn’t count as a strategy.
Before you start writing, choose your blog goals and create a plan detailing how you will achieve these objectives.
In theory, your blog is the platform you should use to discuss relevant industry matters. This part of your site can help you do this and much more because it helps you tell a story while showcasing the knowledge you have about your field.
Search engine optimization is the perfect strategy to combine with content marketing. After all, search engines evaluate a site’s content before calculating their rankings.
Having relevant, SEO-friendly content on your site is a great way to improve your search engine results positions and ultimately draw the attention of more audience members.
Content is a huge part of your SEO success, but this tactic also requires the addition of certain elements.
For instance, you need to ensure that your site features strategically placed forms that help you collect user information and receive authorization to send content to their email inbox.
While some marketers claim that email marketing is dead, this type of promotion is among the most reliable you can choose.
As we mentioned before, you need to know how to ask for contact information and make sure to request permission from each user before you start sending valuable content to his or her email inbox.
But, once you figure out these steps, you only have to focus on developing awesome content that attracts users who are willing to leave their contact details in exchange for more information.
You’ll need to create at least one email sequence for each buyer persona you developed. Plus, you also have to determine the best frequency and order.
Your newsletter needs to move customers down the funnel and your additional messages should support this process.
- More helpful reading: https://www.fannit.com/blog/email-marketing/
Many saw them as a temporary trend. But, podcasts have remained one of the best resources you can combine with content marketing because they can be easily consumed and they are popular among people of all ages.
Podcasts tend to be informative and entertaining, so companies rarely see the value in these platforms.
But, in some industries, organizing a virtual talk show is the best way to build brand awareness and achieve a high campaign conversion rate.
One thing that most podcasts have in common is that they discuss current topics.
For instance, if you’re in the music or entertainment industry, it may be a good idea to discuss the latest technology developments, news, and other hot topics.
We’ve highlighted how powerful video marketing can be, especially when combined with the right content strategy.
The only thing you need to be aware of is that consumers always expect to get high-quality video content. This means that you should only invest in developing rich media resources and share your content if you can meet your audience’s quality requirements.
Video marketing has been around for decades, but consumer preferences are always changing.
You should identify the elements that are currently resonating with your audience and implement these into your videos to build a strong connection. In addition, consider investing part of your budget into constant testing to stay ahead of competitors and avoid falling behind in terms of relevance.
Social Media Marketing
Social media platforms used to serve the purpose of basic publishing platforms, but these are now bonafide sources of leads for businesses in almost all industries.
Even B2B companies can turn to LinkedIn and social networks that specialize in connecting professionals with other skilled individuals.
In addition to letting you share your content, some social platforms now allow you to launch paid marketing campaigns and process orders directly.
Savvy marketers need to stay updated with these changes and learn how to implement them to improve their company’s bottom line.
In many cases, developing and managing a social strategy is a full-time job. Working with an SEO and content marketing agency is a great way to relieve pressure from your internal team.
The concept of affiliate marketing has been around for some time. However, widespread adoption of internet-capable devices and lightning-fast connections have fueled the growth as well as the effectiveness of this marketing technique.
Affiliates are marketers that are paid commissions to generate sales. Businesses that work with affiliates are called advertisers, and these companies rely on these third-party marketers to generate traffic, leads, or sales.
Advertisers develop their own programs or offers based on what they need. Affiliates that want to work with these advertisers need to adhere to the rules outlined in the programs at all times to receive a commission for each sale generated.
Even though you don’t have direct control over the materials affiliates employ, you can set the parameters and provide resources that contain your branding as well as tone in order to encourage these marketers to take a similar angle.
Print and Other Forms of Conventional Advertising
Whether it’s B2B or B2C, there’s no denying that consumers have changed the way they find new products and services in their areas.
However, print ads and other forms of conventional advertising still have their time and place, especially for companies that target older audiences.
The main downfall of conventional marketing is that it’s impossible to track, not to mention the fact that it tends to be expensive.
If you decide to implement conventional advertising into your content strategy, remember to maintain a consistent tone and remind users to check out your digital resources as well.
Improving Conversion Rates on Your Site
Companies need to monitor a wide range of website statistics, but the conversion rate may be the most important one of them all.
The conversion rate of a website measures how many users complete the action that a company wants them to take, for example, filling out a contact request form.
The conversion rate of your site is influenced by a huge variety of elements, but there’s no denying that content plays a crucial role.
The written or video materials on every page are in charge of transmitting your marketing message to your audience.
The bottom line is that the topic, language, and angle you choose all align with your potential customers.
In order to improve your conversion rates, remember to:
Establish the Definition of a Conversion
It’s true that businesses are not in control of many variables that affect their conversion rates. However, you do have the power to dictate the definition of a conversion.
This is important because it will determine what you need to do and whether you’re setting up yourself for success or bitter disappointment.
Ecommerce websites and other platforms that sell low-cost items may be able to count sales as conversions. But, this probably won’t be the case for your business, you’ll need to determine what constitutes a conversion in your website.
If you’re not sure where to start, you can choose the moment when users provide their contact information and evaluate this decision later on.
Add Contact Forms Throughout Your Site
In addition to good SEO, strategically placed contact forms also help you improve your conversion rates.
Rather than relying on a single form on your contact page, you should identify the parts of your site that users spend the most time on.
Then, you should design a contact form that’s attractive and doesn’t compromise user experience, which you will use to collect name, email address, and other details.
Remember, the information you collect must serve a purpose. In other words, you need to figure out how you will use the data you collect and create a streamlined workflow that transforms prospects into leads.
This includes adding prospects to your lead database and starting your email inbox sequence automatically.
Create a CTA for All Pages
Like contact forms, calls-to-action (also known as CTAs) are invaluable resources that can improve the conversion rate of your website.
In essence, a call-to-action tells users what actions you want them to take after reading or viewing your content.
CTAs can come in different shapes and sizes, ranging from simple sentences to colorful buttons that stand out from the rest of the content.
All of your pages should have at least one CTA in the most impactful area.
Ideally, you should identify the different places where a CTA could boost engagement and run a few tests to determine which one you should keep.
Just remember to set up a tracking tool that allows you to monitor the individual performance of each CTA button or link.
Improve Page Speed
They may seem unrelated on the surface, but your site speed directly affects your conversion rates.
The average user expects your website to load within 5 seconds or less, so make sure to hire quality hosting and optimize the technical side of your site for speed.
You can always use a platform like Google PageSpeed Insights to measure how fast your pages are and what you can do to improve their loading time.
Moreover, the content on your site will also influence how fast it loads.
If your pages are full of videos that are hosted directly on your site, you’ll probably need to find creative ways to keep your page loading speed low.
- More helpful reading: https://www.fannit.com/seo/seo-google-analytics-tips/
Only Employ Relevant Graphics
Have you ever accessed a provider’s website and found that the images discouraged you from contacting the company?
This is usually caused by irrelevant graphics that clutter a site rather than delivering any real value.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t add some flair to your content, but make sure to choose something slightly related even from a metaphorical angle.
The bottom line is that all elements on your site should work towards creating a better user experience.
If prospects feel like your site is on their wavelength, they will be more receptive to your marketing message. By using your own images and tailored graphics throughout your site, you’ll boost your credibility while creating a better experience for users.
Develop a User-Friendly and Intuitive Interface
It’s true that content is perhaps the single most important element on your site.
But, this doesn’t mean it’s the only one that matters.
Regardless of how good your content is, if your site features a complex interface, users won’t be able to navigate or take advantage of your materials properly.
Besides building a site that’s easy to navigate, you also have to use the right font, implement a logical layout, and ensure that the page contrast allows users to digest the content.
Plus, remember to maintain a uniform tone and help users by adding an FAQ page that covers basic questions.
Want to Develop a Content Marketing Strategy? Our Team is Here to Help
Content marketing is not a new strategy, but digital platforms have transformed this approach into one of the most effective techniques available today.
We hope that this article helps you understand the content marketing meaning and develop a solid strategy for your business.
If you want to stay updated with the latest content marketing news or need help building a strategy, contact Fannit today. Our team of content marketers will be glad to help, so book a consultation today!
More Helpful Reading: Content Optimization – A Complete Guide