Content marketing is one of the most valuable tools in any marketer’s arsenal. Instead of interrupting your audience with intrusive outbound campaigns, content marketing lets you connect with prospects who are already interested. You should always try to enhance a customer’s experience with content marketing, not harass them! When you do it right, content marketing will highlight your brand, showcase your expertise, and effortlessly increase conversions. Learn more about the content marketing basics to start really connecting with your audience in our overview below!
Content Marketing Basics: What is it?
Content marketing is the art of creating digital content that tells a story while also reaching a target audience, boosting brand awareness, driving sales, and increasing customer loyalty. Content marketing can take place on many different digital platforms such as websites, social media, email, podcasts, videos, apps, and more. Traditional formats like print publications and press releases can also be used in content marketing.
This idea might sound similar to other campaigns you’ve run before. Many standard marketing concepts do apply to content marketing. For example, content-based campaigns should still have goals, budgets, and target audiences. One important difference to keep in mind is that the content must be just as important as your other aims.
Think about the difference between an ad that covers your entire screen (one of the types of outbound marketing), and a fascinating post on your brand’s blog (a form of inbound marketing). Most people are horribly frustrated by giant ads, but also love storytelling. Content marketing tells stories about your brand to grab and keep the audience’s attention.
What Are Types Of Content Marketing?
Content marketing campaigns can use many standard marketing formats. As long as you focus on storytelling, almost anything can become content marketing. Explore some of the most common content marketing options.
Content Marketing On Social Media
Social media platforms are perfect for content marketing. Almost every social media site started with individual accounts where users could share their lives with the world. Use the inherent storytelling characteristics of social media to spread engaging brand content.
Content Marketing Through Infographics
Infographics use images and graphics to share data, statistics, and other information. Infographics are a powerful tool for making dry data feel more interesting and accessible. You can share infographics through social media, email, on your website, and through other channels.
Content Marketing Via Blog Posts
Blogs are a valuable opportunity to build audience engagement. You can craft a blog series to promote your services, discuss trending topics, humanize your staff, and more. Focus on the human element in your writing and include compelling photos whenever possible to really maximize audience connection.
Content Marketing In Podcasts
Podcasts are a modern way to reach your community. People listen to podcasts while commuting, running errands, doing chores, and even while working. Podcasts are a fun way for your brand to be creative with guests, formatting, series topic, and more.
Content Marketing Through Videos
Engage your audience’s senses with video content. Videos are perfect for product demos, customer reviews, staff introductions, behind-the-scenes peeks, and more. You can also share video content across social media accounts to boost your engagement on multiple platforms.
Paid Content Marketing
You probably recognize paid advertisements from other marketing campaigns. Content marketing ads use a similar concept, but remember that these ads should focus on the content, not the product. Promote the story you’re telling about your services, not the service itself. Your audience will happily engage with your brand if the content is compelling.
How To Create A Content Marketing Strategy
Content marketing is exciting, but don’t jump into the fray without building a clear plan. A strong content marketing strategy will guide your campaign from inception to a successful finish.
1. Establish SMART goals.
Just like any kind of marketing strategy, your content marketing campaign should have clear goals from the beginning. The SMART framework can help you establish realistic goals for your campaign. Choose targets that fit the SMART acronym:
2. Choose KPIs.
Use your goals to determine KPIs, or key performance indicators. KPIs are measures you can use to track your performance during the campaign. For example, if one of your goals is increasing sales, your sales rate will be a vital KPI.
3. Select platforms.
Choose the platforms where you’ll share your content. Your brand may have different audiences on different platforms, so be aware of your follower demographics for the best results.
4. Pick the type of content to promote.
What sort of content do you want to share? The options are almost endless. Just pick a topic that lends itself to great storytelling while also promoting your brand.
5. Determine a budget.
Choose your budget, then plan how you’ll spend these funds. Carefully track expenses so you can see how effective your campaign was.
6. Create and post content.
This is the fun part! Make and share content on your chosen channels, then wait for your audience’s reaction.
7. Study the results.
After your campaign ends, compare the actual results with your initial SMART goals. Identify your successes, as well as opportunities to improve during your next campaign.
Learn More About Content Marketing Basics
Content marketing is a smart, effective strategy to connect with your brand’s audience. Content-driven campaigns can boost your reach, engagement, conversion, satisfaction, and loyalty rates. Experiment with content marketing during your next campaign to see these results for yourself.
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