What is Content Marketing?
The reason why you’re here is because you want to know what is content marketing? don’t you. Admit it.
If your someone who owns a business be it small or big, marketing, as a whole is a very important aspect to your business. It helps your business grow and it helps you put your businesses name out there to the world. But what about the importance of content marketing? What is content marketing? Can it help your business grow? These are the questions I answer below.
What is content marketing?
My definition of content marketing is creating and promoting a piece of content.
You create quality content that people want to read and then promote that piece of content by sharing it on social media, or by publishing it either on your own business website or somebody else’s.
The purpose of this is to keep the existing customers/visitors you have now or try to gain new customers/visitors.
Think about any popular businesses online, they always have one thing in common. That is a successful content marketing campaign.
Look at Quicksprout, they post ‘8 post a week’. 8 posts a week!!! Now I’m not saying you have to do that, most people can’t, but what you can do, is create a schedule that ensures you are creating and promoting content regularly.
Content marketing should be at the heart of any business, but the question is, how do you start a content marketing campaign?
The first thing anyone should do is do your research. Research your audience and find out what type of content they are looking for, and give it to them.
What are some of the benefits of Content Marketing?
If you think content marketing was a pointless endeavor think again. Here are a few reasons why all business should have a content marketing strategy.
Helps to boost your brand awareness
Like all new businesses, they struggle to find their audience and establish themselves in the market. No one knows who you are, and if you want to get your name and your brand out there, it’s crucial to have a content marketing strategy.
What you have to do is start to invest time, and maybe even money in content.
I know it’s a cliche but content is king. Seriously, it is.
You have to create a plan, and stick to it.
Regularly publish content on your blog, through guest posting and sharing on all your social profiles, in order to gain new visitors and potential customers. Slowly but surely people will be aware of your brand and you will start to gain a following. Slowly but surely, you will become an authority in your field.
Become an expert
It’s a guaranteed fact; your business is not the only business in your niche.
Let’s take mechanics for example, make a quick search on Google and try to find a mechanic in your area. You are going to find thousands of mechanics near you.
So what makes your different?
Why should people want your service?
Here is a couple of ways you can stand out from the crowd.
Firstly, have a purpose when you create content. Don’t create content for the sake of it. Make it educational, interesting or informative.
Secondly, create how to guides. This will help educate people. It will teach them something they want to know, and give value to your audience.
Lastly, become an expert. If you are an authority figure in your industry people will trust you & your service/product. This means customers will be inclined to work with you.
All of these factors will help in your journey to become an expert.
Make sure people share your content
Back in the day before the internet people solely relied on word of mouth to grow their business. Now with all the different social media platforms out there, this couldn’t be made easier.
Shareable content works the same way as word of mouth and will help your business dramatically.
I think Twitter, Facebook, Google +, and LinkedIn are the best, and you should already have an account on these social platforms. This way you can start to promote your brand across different platforms, and reach a wider audience.
The main aim here is to build awareness.
Make sure you also have a plugin on your WordPress blog, so people can share your content to their own social media. If you don’t have one, use Social Warfare.
Create content which keeps your visitors coming back
Most websites, once they reach a certain point, start to get complacent and think that they have enough traffic to their website and so don’t need anymore.
Content stops, and eventually people stop coming back to your blog.
Just imagine you are following someone who blogs regularly, until one day you realize that they haven’t published something in 6 months!!!
People get frustrated, and eventually never return.
You have to make sure you stick to your content marketing plan and never miss a deadline.
Make sure to blog at least 3x a week, and on your social profiles at least 1-3x a day. If this is too much, hire someone who can take care of your content marketing plan. If you have enough money it may be worthwhile to invest in one of these companies, if you don’t have the time to look after your own content marketing campaign.
Content marketing is not easy. If it was easy everybody would own a successful business. However, this is never going to be the case. So buckle up and enjoy the grind.
Types of content marketing
I mentioned a few different types of content marketing, but so you guys are well aware, here is a list of all of them.
This is a common one people miss out on.
Videos are a fantastic method to spread information to your audience , get them interested in your business and what you have to offer. You can produce many different types of videos from Q&As, to how- to videos. Either way, it’s a cool way to attract people to your business.
As for the search engines, Google often includes videos in their search results, so there’s no reason why you shouldn’t create videos.
Infographics are images that tell a story.
They add great visualize effect to your blog, and are a great way for people to interact with your site. They often contain something informational like some stats, but explain it in a colourful, fun way.
Here’s a little fact for you, infographics get shared more than any other type of content!!!
You can make them for free at sites like Easel.ly or you can a pay a graphic designer to create you one. The main reason I love them is because it breaks up the text in your writing, so people don’t get bored. Make sure you implement infographics in your articles to increase shares.
Lists are a very popular trend.
You see them everywhere from YouTube, to Google search quires.
10 ways to lose weight, 25 steps to become more confident, 50 things every SEO business should provide, etc. They are endless, and they will continue to grow no matter the subject. These list give clear instructions on what to do and how to do them, and people enjoy them.
They are very popular and are great way to express humor.
They are best used on social profiles to try and get shares. I don’t use this type too much myself, but it can be very useful when trying to lighten the mood. They can be found all over Google, or try to make your own with the meme generator.
Last but by no means least, blogging.
This method should be the man focus point of any content strategy, obviously.
Blogging is a must for any business. Make sure to add tags, and keywords in your blog, as it helps both the search engines when trying to rank and your visitors trying to navigate your website.
Make sure write long, in-depth articles.
A few years ago a 500 word blog was fine and it would easily rank in Google.
But things have changed.
People want to read longer blogs, which are informative and are in-depth.
But it’s not only the readers who have changed their view on what they want to see, Google has too. Google wants to see longer pieces of content, and they are rewarding those who do so.
According to SERPIQ, articles which are around the 2000 word mark will have a better chance of rankings in the SERPs. And articles between 3000-10,000 words long, get shared the most on social media.
What this means for you is, it’s time to start writing long blog posts to give the reader and Google what they want.
Content marketing Trends in 2017
New trends appear very often and you need to be made aware of them when they arise, so you can be kept up to date on the latest trends which you use to your advantage. Here are some new trends that might be appearing in 2017, so pay attention.
- Mobile friendliness. Google have announced a that mobile indexing is going to become a bigger factor in rankings. What everyone should be doing is to make sure their website is mobile responsive, and has a quick page-load time, so it doesn’t negatively impact your ranking in the search results.
- User generated content. User generated content is content that is not created by yourself, but by somebody else. For example, customers writing reviews, giving feedback, and writing testimonials and more. Its user generated content from people who have a connection to you in some way. User generated content helps build trust and credibility, and snippets should be shown on your website, or even better yet why not dedicate a whole page to it, like a testimonials page.
- Paid posts. Paid posts, the ones you find on social media, will also pay a bigger part then they did in 2016. It’s safe to say they will increase, and many people will find the need to make sure that their content is shown to as many people as possible.
Content marketing is not an overnight process, and often takes at least 6 months to start reaping the rewards of your hard work and investment.
But it’s worth the wait, as the traffic you get will not only help your businesses and brand becoming more popular, but it will also help you increase revenue. However, you will need to be committed and once you start, you shouldn’t stop.
Content marketing, like SEO, is a long term strategy that works well. You have to stay persistent and give it time, and eventually you WILL see results.
Make sure to also keep a track of your content.
What types of content does your audience like the best? What social media platforms are you getting more shares from?
Look at the stats, and analytics to see which type of content is the most popular. Once you know this, create more of it to engage with your audience.
There is not point wasting time and putting effort into something that’s not working, so be very aware of the feedback and engagement of you content.
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