Beginner's Guide to Content Marketing

Traditional marketing and advertising are becoming less effective and many social media marketers are entering the world of content marketing to successfully reach their audience.

But before we dive into any details, let us first understand what content marketing really is. 

According to the founder of Content Marketing Institute, Joe Pulizzi explained it as a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience with the objective of driving profitable customer action.

While Anne Murphy, Director of Marketing Content in Kapost, defined content marketing as the process of creating and sharing valuable content to attract and convert prospects into customers, and turn customers into repeat buyers.

Another marketing expert, Neil Patel, weighed in and described content marketing as a strategy of producing and publishing information that builds trust and authority among your ideal customers.

You can clearly see the variations in their definition of content marketing, but they all have one thing in common: They are working towards the same goal and that is to develop valuable content to meet customer needs and acquire new customers and retain existing clients.

Why is content marketing good for your business?

Content is the answer in today's buyer-driven environment and digital marketplace. Buyers and consumers are constantly searching the web for answers. They are the ones proactively reaching out to brands for help. 

With an effective content marketing strategy in place, you can have greater reach at lower cost. Though not a short-term strategy, a collection of evergreen content will continue to reach more quality leads and interested buyers. Your business will also benefit from increased brand awareness and brand preference because content marketing helps to further establish your brand as a thought leader in your industry.

Conductor Report
Source: Conductor

A report from Conductor also shows that content marketing is proving to be even more vital to marketing efforts across the industry. Many businesses see its value and consider it as an important business initiative. That's why more executives are buying in and companies are investing in the field.

What are the types of content marketing?

Content marketing refers to the act of distributing knowledge or information in a consumable format that includes the following:

Types of Content Marketing That Sell
Source: Boston Interactive

Where can brands distribute content to their audience?

There are three different channels where you can share valuable content.

1. Owned Channels

These are websites, blogs or forum pages that you have developed. It’s where you can create and deliver useful content that are valuable to a specific audience and inspire customer action.

2. Paid Channels

These are channels where you can publish content on sites that are not owned by you. However, it should be noted that when publishing on these sites, you may possibly void your content ownership.

3. Earned Channels

It is often referred to as publicity. The content created on these earned channel are by influencers and advocates who truly support your brand enough to promote your business without incentives.

Who makes up the content marketing team?

Did you know that 92 percent of content marketers agree that understanding SEO better will help them to do their job effectively? Hence, it is absolutely essential to identify the right talent needed for your content marketing team. These people will be responsible for the successful execution of your content needs. To do that, you need to determine your business and content marketing goals.

Here are some of the roles you should consider:

1. Digital Managers

They are community managers that help manage all your social media accounts usually with the help of a social media management platform. They will respond to comments, moderate spam and any engagement around your content. Having a dedicated digital manager will help you build a loyal following online.

2. Researchers

They are content curators that scours the web for news, developments and topics that they think your audience will find interesting. They are constantly on the lookout for interesting content. Publishing compelling articles and engaging information will enhance your credibility.

3. Webmasters

They are website managers who ensures that your site works. They handle all the software and platform updates as well as monitoring and assessing website performance.

4. Writers and Copy Editors

They are often the creative force of behind a content team. Usually, these are the talents you can rely on when it comes to creating the right brand voice. The personality of your brand is determined through their writing and their unique way of communicating to your audience.

5. Graphic Designers

They are graphic artists responsible for the look of your brand and visuals on all your social media channels including your website. Some of the assets they create include website images, infographics, social media graphics and print collateral.

Why is having a buyer persona important?

The main purpose of having a buyer persona is to deliver personalized content to your target market. To put it simply, a buyer persona is a researched-based representation of your customers. For your brand to deliver relevant content and understand where buyers get their information and how they want to consume it, you need to have well developed personas.

Here are things to consider when developing one according to social media today:

Things to Consider When Developing Your Buyer's Persona
Source: Social Media Today

What is the role of search engines in content marketing?

Though SEO is responsible for creating qualified traffic, expanding brand awareness and driving more sales, having quality content helps your brand’s organic search rankings and it carries more weight than any other best practices in SEO.

Content is what tells search engines what your channels are about. They rely on the keywords and text for them to interpret the meaning of your site. Hence, the importance of producing consistent quality content on your website and social media channels.  Without content, search engines have nothing to check and your site won’t appear in the search results.

We hope that with these in mind, you will be better equipped in developing your own path to content marketing success.