Any company, brand, or activity has a shared goal, in which a lot of money and effort is invested: to reach your target audience better and faster than your competition.
This has been and still is like that, and that is why we are bombarded every day with ads, messages, content, emails, pop-ups, banners, or any other form of advertisement you can think of. These are all, in fact, forms of content marketing.
The reason behind this is very simple. All these brands and businesses are competing for one thing and one thing only: your attention.
More than ever before, that is nowadays one of the biggest challenges any brand is facing, as we are exposed to thousands of stimuli that come from the Internet, the TV, our phones, and many other platforms.
Our audience’s attention is one of the most precious resources today, with an average of only 8-12 seconds, according to many studies.
Traditionally, hundreds of brands and businesses around the world invest a lot of money every year in ad campaigns of all kinds.
These tools are useful, no question about that, but the trend is increasingly moving towards a less expensive and more effective strategy: content marketing.
- Why does content marketing work?
- Types of content marketing
- What can you get from content marketing?
- How to create a content marketing strategy
Why does content marketing work?
The main reason is simple: if you offer quality, interesting and problem-solving content, you won’t have to look for clients, they will naturally come to you.
Once you get there, your efforts will have paid off and your audience will talk about you, share your content and, of course, will want to buy your product or service.
Your target audience is nowadays more likely to connect with a brand that has a story to tell, share, or simply a solution for a common problem they face regularly.
With an SEO and content strategy aimed at your audience’s profile, you will not only be “selling” your product or service, but you will also be creating a deeper connection that will leave a more meaningful and lasting impact.
That is content marketing hits two birds with one stone: your audience’s attention for a lot less money. With a much smaller budget than a traditional tv or press campaign, you will be reaching a more accurate audience that is coming to you naturally. The perfect combination.
Types of content marketing
The next question is, what kinds of content marketing are there?
The answer is that there a more every day. With the arrival of new technologies, there are more ways of creating content to reach an audience that is increasingly more connected to the Internet.
The number of people that owns a smartphone is more and more, which gives you the idea that your audience is more accessible than ever through their mobile devices.
Some forms of creating content today used by many businesses and brands are:
- Email marketing
- Social Media
These and many others are ways of creating useful content for your audience. If, for example, your service is a dental practice, a way of offering useful content to your potential clients could be a video about how to properly brush your teeth.
Or if your company is a computer repair service, you could create ebooks or tutorials about how to perform basic repairs on our devices at home.
These are just a few examples many brands use to catch their audience’s attention. If you provide answers and solutions to your customer’s needs, you will be becoming a reference on that subject, which will increase your authority against your competition.
Blogs are one of the most popular ways to start with a content marketing plan. It is a great way to cover all kinds of topics, use creativity and research and produce content that your users want and look for.
Blogs are useful to inform your audience about your product/service, industry news, guides, and more. Plus, it gives you a great excuse to promote content and add calls to action, links, or social share options.
Ebooks work best when you want to offer a valuable asset your audience is looking for. Think of it as a way of offering a product – paid or free- that your audience values as highly useful.
That, in turn, makes you look like an expert in the field and a go-to option in that specific area. Many brands provide this kind of asset for free as a first taste of what they can offer or what value they bring to the users.
Podcasts are all the rage these days. There are all kinds of them and they are a great way to grow an audience.
Although they take a little more dedication and effort, podcasts can become a fantastic tool to promote awareness and loyalty for any brand.
One of the most popular podcasts today has an average audience of 11.0 million listeners – The Joe Rogan Experience.
Emails are still to this day an amazing way to look for prospects and generate leads.
It is true that we are daily bombarded with a lot of emails that may look spammy or too salesy, but the truth is that, when done right, emails can generate conversions and a lot of sales.
It is another one of the most popular tools in content marketing and is used by thousands of businesses around the world.
Email marketing helps your audience to stay informed, and up to date with your latest news, arrivals, or deals. Plus, with the current automation strategies you can use with emails, the conversion rate you can get from them is massive.
Video content marketing is incredibly effective in today’s content strategies. Users prefer content that they can see and hear and that’s why video formats are the best-performing ones.
Reading how to fix a flat tire is useful but watching someone do it is much more effective. That’s why video is so popular on all kinds of platforms: social media, blogs, websites, etc.
Who isn’t at least on one social media platform these days? That shows how popular they are and why so many brands use them to promote their content every day.
Social media are fantastic to keep your audience informed about what your brand or business does on a daily basis.
There are many formats you can use: video, text, photo, audio, infographics, links, etc. The possibilities are many.
What can you get from content marketing?
It is clear that one of the main advantages of content marketing is that we save money and drive attention towards our brand organically.
But we are not just doing this for the fun of it, right? We want to sell.
And that is something any content strategy can’t miss. When you define a content marketing plan, your goal is that the potential client takes that step further and becomes a buyer.
The way you do this is thanks to what we talked about earlier: you become a reference on the subject by providing an answer or solution to the client’s need.
If instead of investing millions of euros/dollars on a prime-time advertising campaign, you put that into content strategy, you will be creating a larger, better-quality, and more solid community that lasts longer.
Content marketing gets 6 times more conversions than other traditional marketing actions, so it is clear that this is something any brand or business should consider today.
How to create a content marketing strategy
Now it’s time to put all this into practice and start your content strategy, where to start?
Here are 5 steps you can follow to start with one:
- Define what is your business/brand goal.
- Research your audience.
- Analyze what you have been doing so far.
- Choose the type of content you wish to work with.
- Publish and distribute.
Define your business/brand goal
This is like trying to build a house from the ground, where would you start first? That’s right, the foundations.
With content marketing, the same idea applies. You need to establish what you wish to accomplish with the actions you plan to take.
Is it building a community?
Growing your brand awareness?
Increasing your sales?
Generating more leads?
Whatever the reason motivating you to do this, establish clear goals and expectations. Those will be your compass to know what to do and how.
Research your audience
Knowing who your message goes to is also a pillar of any content strategy. Not all brands and businesses work with the same audiences and their messages have to be specifically addressed to their target consumers.
It would be very hard to create a content strategy without knowing who and how your audience is.
One of the ways to best identify who your target client is is by creating a buyer persona.
A buyer persona is a profile you create about a fictional character that personifies your type of target client. You define their name, their occupation, their education, the problems they face, and the possible solutions they wish to find.
Analyze what you have been doing so far
It is possible that your brand is not entirely new to creating content. In fact, content marketing has been around for centuries when people only had a few ways to communicate, but that was still content marketing – newspapers, gazettes, or banners.
All of that, even if it was at a much simpler level, was still content marketing.
In our current time, all brands and businesses, in one way or another, create content, even if there’s no clear intention behind it.
That’s when you should analyze what you have been doing so far, and if it is aligned with the future actions you plan to take.
Choose the type of content
Not all formats have the same purpose and yield the same results. Choosing the type of content that best serves your business purpose will help you create a message that is more effective.
There a so many formats you can choose from:
Publish and distribute
Now that you have defined what type of content you want to create and know to who it is addressed, it’s time to publish!
However, hitting publish is not the final step in any content strategy. This is a common mistake some make, but you must not forget that simply publishing a piece of content, doesn’t mean that sales are going to start happening.
After publishing all your amazing content, remember to always distribute it in as many different ways as possible.
Do you have a blog post? Turn it into a Twitter thread/post or into several LinkedIn posts.
Do you have a video? Make it a short podcast or an ebook.
These are just a few examples but always remember that content produces results as long as it is moving.