If you’ve landed on this post, I’m assuming a few things about you. Number One: you might be new to the world of marketing. Number Two: you’ve been searching for a more straightforward answer as to what exactly content marketing is. Or Number Three: you need help getting your business’s marketing in shape. Well lucky for you, I’m here to help!
Welcome to Smarter Searches’ Marketing Land, where the weather of Google guidelines changes frequently and the rulers are SEO and PPC. I’ll be your tour guide for this blog – keep close to the group so the spambots don’t entice you, and please, no phishing in the email lists.
The Content Marketing Institute (aptly named) defines today’s topic as “a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.” After reading this rather long description, let’s translate it from the technical language of Marketing Land to plain English. Basically, content marketing is providing consumers with interesting, unique, and helpful forms of content to drive business.
Now that we’re clear on the concept, let’s move on to real-world implications. Depending on who you ask, there can be 3 – 12 types of content marketing (which is a pretty big range) so I’ve narrowed it down to a better, more cohesive list. Each category will be a stop on today’s tour so make sure to take pictures and note what you learn.
First up is email. This classic type of content is either a crowd favorite or dreaded by all, probably because of the copious number of marketing emails you get daily. Trust me though, a strong email campaign can do wonders for your business. Email is sending a commercial message to lists of current, past, or potential customers to build a subscriber base. Don’t set and forget this one, though! With subscriber changes, current events, and marketing preferences updating constantly, it’s important to keep your copy up to date and valuable.
Next up is blogging – an SEO favorite. This is a great way to promote internal products or services and incorporate external current events into your brand. It builds credibility and authority on relevant topics, presents opportunities for backlinking, and improves keyword ranking. Overall, blogging is a must for any company looking to build an online presence.
Ok, I can feel some of you trembling in fear, others jumping in excitement, and the remainder fuming with anger at this stop. Social media is all about just that: getting social. Sharing, reposting, commenting, live streaming, liking, etc. on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and more allows your brand to connect with people across the world. When forming your social media pages, think about which platforms your audience uses, then focus on developing posts and a personality for each. Remember to keep up on current visual trends and focus on professional-looking photos and videos, all while keeping an active and enticing profile.
Ah podcasting, my personal favorite. With the rise of working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many Americans are in need of some human contact. Although podcasting isn’t necessarily one-on-one communication, it can feel like it! Producing this new-age radio show should be all about enhancing your brand’s expertise, building an audience base, and promoting an active community where listeners can ask questions. Topics for podcasting are endless, so find a way to tap into it.
From filming a tutorial or streaming a product review to directing a commercial, video combines audio and visuals into an easy-to-consume medium. The possibilities of incorporating video into a content marketing strategy are endless. Just remember the focus of your video – why will it help your brand? Is it promoting unique features or services? Is it spreading awareness of current events? Is it directly selling your business’s offerings? As long as you keep the plot of the video relevant to your goal, you’re in the clear! I also recommend hiring an agency or investing in high-quality editing software if you choose to incorporate video into your marketing strategy and aren’t too tech-savvy; spending time that will ultimately look unprofessional is good for no one.
We’ll be finishing off our tour with infographics. Getting creative with how you present important information, facts, and figures can get challenging, but infographics are usually a go-to technique regardless of the industry you’re in. These types of content marketing mix text and visual elements to grab readers’ attention and trigger the brain to remember the information better than with simple words. In the case that you aren’t as artistically inclined, there are some great resources you can use with built-in templates! A few free favorites of mine are Canva and Easel.ly.
My key takeaway from today’s expedition is quite simple: remember who you’re selling to and how they consume information. If you nail this down, choosing which types of content to create for your market will become simple. And so concludes today’s tour. We’ve visited many stops while clarifying what the mystery of content marketing is and hopefully you’ve gathered some ideas on how to improve your own company’s marketing. For next steps and tips on how to implement your new content marketing strategy, check out more of Smarter Searches’ blogs – they’re filled with all kinds of expert knowledge!