What is content marketing?
Content marketing is the activity of creating and sharing valuable, consistent and engaging content to gain and maintain the interest of a specific target audience. The ultimate goal of content marketing is to get the audience to take a specific action that is beneficial to the creator.
Content marketing thus goes far beyond mere content creation, which has long been about more than just writing or making videos.
It is extremely important to realize that advertising a product or service is not part of content marketing. Content marketing operates at a slightly earlier stage – it provides knowledge, information and, above all, is oriented to help solve users’ problems, rather than direct sales.
What do you need content marketing for?
It is worth realizing right away that content is not a separate entity, but a component of many types of marketing. These include email marketing, social media marketing, public relations, SEO or PPC. None of these forms of promotion can work without properly tailored content.
Content marketing is a means of expression through which you can present your brand as helpful in solving problems. This is one way to build a brand and penetrate the consciousness of the audience – potential customers.
Reliable and useful content increases trust in your brand. Any person who – thanks to your hint – can deal with a troublesome issue or improve work will gain confidence.
Optimized content will also affect results on the most popular search engines. The better the algorithm rates your content, the better the chance that it will make it to the first page of results and thus draw interested users to your website.
Finally, it’s worth creating content marketing if only because the vast majority of online businesses are already doing it. So if you want to compete with them on a level playing field, implementing content marketing activities becomes a necessity.
What kind of content can you create as part of your content marketing strategy?
We write a lot about content creation, but so far we haven’t talked much about how to do it. Let’s start with the fact that there are plenty of ways to build content – starting with blogging, YouTube videos, and memes (although these are certainly not all possibilities).
Here are examples of the types of content you can create for your company.
- blog posts,
- case studies,
- industry reports.
- YouTube videos,
- video podcasts,
- Rolls on Instagram/Facebook,
- short video on TikTok.
These are only the most popular options. But you already have the confidence that content can be written and recorded virtually anywhere and in hundreds of ways. The open – and very important – question remains: how do you make the content you create highly effective?
How to create effective content marketing?
Users – your potential customers – have specific expectations and needs. Your job is to respond to them with the content you create. This is one of those things that is easy to talk about but hard to implement. That’s because content marketing requires a bit of preparation – it’s not enough to just sit down in front of a computer and start writing. What do you need to create effective content?
1. identify your target audience
You need to know who you are targeting with your message, so start by concretizing your target audience. You can do it in different ways (preferably combining all or some of them):
- Look at your current customers – if you already have a base of regular customers, analyze their behavior and observe what they are buying and looking for. If your customer base is large enough, you can try segmenting them – after all, they don’t all have to like the same things.
- Read the reviews left by customers – what do they point out in them? What did they particularly like, what were they not happy with?
- Talk to customer service – find out what users are coming in with – what are they looking for and what are they paying attention to?
- Analyze statistical data from the tools you use – Google, Facebook, Instagram, CRM tools: each of them has built-in analytics that allow you to learn a lot of interesting things about your target audience. Find out who is already the audience for your content and products.
- Ask yourself who you want to see in your target audience – although your expectations may be out of line with reality, it’s worth defining them and seeing to what extent they coincide. This question will also come in handy if you are just starting out and don’t have any customers yet.
2. create a persona
All the information you gathered in the previous step will be useful to you in the process of creating a customer persona. What is such a persona? It’s your brand’s customer profile, built from available data. You will find it useful to have all the information you have about people using your services or products. Based on specific data, you will get a real picture of your brand’s customer.
The marketing persona should be defined by demographics (age, gender, size of residence, education, family situation), but one should also describe their occupation, the industry they work in, traits, ambitions, values, behaviors. The last, extremely important, element is to indicate the problems that the persona is facing, At this point it is worth reminding that you are creating a persona to be able to target valuable content, that is, content that helps solve problems.
If you feel that one persona does not exhaust the topic, create several. Keep in mind, however, that they should correspond to reality, not represent an idea of what your store’s customer should be.
3. choose topics that are of interest to your audience and carry value
The role of content – paradoxically – is not to promote your brand, because that brings no value to the audience. Put yourself in their position and ask yourself if, when looking for an answer to a question you’ve been asking, you’d be happy to see an ad?
Instead of advertising, focus on building trust by providing valuable content – content that will actually help your customers. Be an expert for them who knows his stuff and at the same time can present knowledge in an attractive way.
How do you find those topics that will interest users?
Recall your conversations with vendors and customer service. What topics did customers bring up? What did they ask? Construct a list of topics based on your answers. They will come in handy as you plan your content marketing strategy.
Think about key phrases – words and phrases that are most relevant to your topic. Here’s an example: the key phrase for the text you just read is “effective content marketing.” There can be more phrases, of course, but it is not worth overdoing it. Remember, they are meant to help you position your content – so that it ranks high in search results (e.g. Google).
Are you all set? Not really – content marketing should be created based on data, and even if you choose topics that often come up in your teams’ conversations with customers, it doesn’t mean that they are very popular. It is therefore necessary to use SEO tools. With them, you will verify whether the chosen keywords are popular enough to make it worthwhile to create content about them.
4. create valuable content
Now you see how much preparation is needed before it’s time to prepare the content properly. However, with information on your target audience, one or more personas and a list of high-potential topics in hand, you can proceed to choose a target platform and finally create.
Choosing the right platform for your content is of paramount importance – if the people in your target audience are largely entrepreneurs – LinkedIn or Facebook users, they will be reached by a different type of content than representatives of generation Z, who are more likely to use TikTok or Instagram. Depending on the chosen platform, content distribution will also look different.
The form of the message can, of course, be combined – for example, publish long tutorial videos on YouTube, and from their fragments create so-called shorts, i.e. short clips that can be successfully presented in instagram rolls or on Facebook.
The written word is still very popular. Reliable, topic-comprehensive guide articles have a good chance of attracting quality traffic to a website thanks to the fact that – properly optimized – they can land at the top of the results in Google and other search engines.
Remember that – in order for your content marketing to have the desired effect – it is necessary to develop and adopt a strategy. Writing or recording content on an ad hoc basis cannot yield the expected results. Even if you hit the so-called. “golden shot,” meaning that an article or video will reach an unexpectedly large audience, without a strategic approach it is extremely easy to miss the opportunity that content provides.
5. optimize content for SEO, but not only
Optimization is one of the most essential elements of content marketing – this is especially true for written content, but – although to a lesser extent – also for audio or video. In the text, it is necessary to use keywords, headings, add titles and attributes to graphics or make a meta description (a short description that will be displayed in search engines).
In a film, its duration can make a big difference, but also its quality, frame rate or editing.
In audio content, the use of good recording equipment and proper audio processing is an absolute necessity. Recipients of podcasts or broadcasts engage only their sense of hearing – so everything should be done to make audio content sound great.
Both video and audio content must also be properly described – for example, with a title and tags. The more time you spend on this step, the greater the chance that your content will find an audience.
6. analyze the results of content marketing
The final element of creating effective content is – again – using data, but in a different way. Marketing efforts on the Internet are often not definitive – it’s not print, where it’s impossible to make corrections after release. Content on your blog, YouTube channel, website or Facebook profile can be edited without interference. Exercise this right, but not only. Here are some tips to make your content even more effective:
Effective content marketing is an outgrowth of high-quality content that hits fertile ground and helps audiences solve problems. This is how you build brand image and ensure positive brand perception. Remember to base your content creation on data and a clearly defined strategy – this way you will maximize the chance of success. Don’t stop at one type of content – support many or all areas of your company’s online marketing efforts in this way.