Content Marketing – This term is almost everywhere these days. But this article intends to explain in simple terms what it is and how it can help your business. But before explaining content marketing, we must first understand “content” and “marketing.”
What is content?
Content in the most basic form refers to information. Information that is in a blog like what you are reading now, a video, like a skit on Ig, a tweet or even a speech. It can be delivered in a CD, a book, TV, of course, the internet, a stage performance or any form or outlet you can think of.
What is Marketing?
There are several definitions of marketing. But I like one given by Julie Barile – Vice President of eCommerce, Fairway Market. “Marketing is traditionally the means by which an organization communicates to, connects with, and engages its target audience to convey the value of and ultimately sell its products and services.”
What is Content Marketing?
Content Marketing is simply using “content” that we defined above to promote an idea, a business, a brand, a person or anything to a target audience. There are many more technical definitions, but remember, the goal of this article is to keep things simple.
So we use content to market services or products to an audience. This means that the content would communicate to, connect with and engage the audience. It also implies that the content must convey value to the audience.
Types of Content Marketing
As mentioned earlier, content can be presented in various forms and these form the basis of different types of content marketing.
- Blog Marketing: This involves marketing to customers through blogs like what you are reading. Blogs can be separate or part of a wesbite and really, there are many reasons your business should have a website and a blog.
- First, blogs are so easy and affordable to run, thanks to several available Content Management Systems, such as WordPress.
- It also allows long-form content and provides more details, usually more than other forms of written content.
- Blogs are what get you ranked on Google when a search is made. To effectively practice Search Engine Optimization, you would need blogs. It allows inbound links from other sites and external links to other sites. By the way, inbound links are one of the most important factors that Google considers in ranking any website and blogs are the primary way to get this done
- Blog content can be repurposed for other forms of content marketing. For instance, you can take excerpts from your blog content to share on Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram.
- Unending returns: Say you write a quality blog in 2 hours and then publish. On the first day, it gathers maybe 150 views after sharing on social media and gets some shares. Then after some weeks to months, your post begins to rank well by google, and continues bringing in more visitors to your website – These are people you don’t know, but because your content is ranking well, once your keyword is searched in google, your blog pops up. A blog post once published can continue bringing in leads for years. So, after the initial effort on that particular blog post, you continue to enjoy its dividends!
- Engagement: A blog can be so personal and conversational. It can be written to speak to your audience individually like they are the only ones in the room while allowing them to think and follow what you are saying. Your audience can follow at their own pace and they can always come back for more information.
- Add value: You can add value to your audience without directly asking them to buy from you. This is particularly useful for first-time customers who might want to build trust with your brand before buying from you. Giving them tips, how-tos, hacks, or anything that makes their work easier through your blog posts can help them, trust you and eventually purchase from you. It also establishes you as an expert in your niche. Keep posting and soon enough, some people would start to quote you and perceive you as a thought leader. And really, that is all that matters when it comes to buying and selling – how people feel about you and your brand.
- Social media marketing: With 4.55 billion active social media users that continue to increase daily, this form of marketing has come to stay. Facebook leads the social media space, dominating more than two-thirds of the market. A survey in 2021 recently showed that social media marketing is the top brand strategy used by brands. Interestingly, research has also found out that short-form videos are the best performing form of content in social media marketing. It’s not a surprise though, people tend to engage more skits these days on social media. But pictures, posts also do well on social media. You should do some research about any platform you want to use for your products. Don’t forget LinkedIn and Youtube and of course, TikTok.
- Video content Marketing: If a picture says a thousand words, then a video probably says a billion. Forget it, videos are powerful! As a matter of fact, the current trend is that video content is the top content strategy used by brands in 2021, and by 2022, 82% of online consumer traffic would be dominated by video. Also, by 2022, an average person would spend at least 100 minutes per day watching videos. It’s time for you to start planning how to include your 2 minutes video in your customer’s 100 minutes every blessed day! So social media marketing and video content marketing go hand in hand. You just have to make more research on which type of video to place on which type of social media platform. (Helpful resources are added at the end of this post)
- Podcasts: Podcasts are simply audio content that people can listen to anytime they want to. Usually, there are platforms that enable this type of service and users can have access to different categories of podcasts. Currently, there are over 2 million podcasts. And 57% of individuals above the age of 12 listen to podcasts. This number keeps rising as more and more people begin to see the benefits of podcasts. Perhaps one advantage it has over video is that it is audio – no need to see to get the message, so people can either relax while listening or do something else. But again, this means it would also not be suitable for all types of products or messages. Therefore, the content marketer must do thorough research on their product and audience to determine if podcasts are suitable.
- Ad content marketing: Of course, this is a type of content marketing. You can run ads with whatever form of content you wish to whether it’s a video, a blog, a tweet, anything. You can also run those ads on any platform of your choice; Facebook, Ig, google, youtube, and for whatever duration, depending on your budget. On google, these are usually the first few pinned results that pop up when you search for something. Now think about this, 90% of users have usually not made up their minds about the products they want to buy when they enter a search term.
Worldwide spending on digital ads entered $350 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach $786 billion by 2026
So you have a high chance if you can get your products right up there where they can see it. And then worldwide spending on digital ads entered $350 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach $786 billion by 2026. So, yes more companies would continue spending on ads.
Interesting fact: A twist to using ads is that 70 – 80% of users ignore sponsored ads in search results. Some might even distrust the company advertising itself. How to go around this? If you are using sponsored ads, ensure you also invest in SEO, so your posts can also rank organically.
Other types of content marketing include:
- Case studies
- User Generated content
- Case studies
BENEFITS OF CONTENT MARKETING TO YOUR BUSINESS
So, now that you understand content marketing, let us get to the benefits. What’s in it for you?
1. BUILD BRAND AWARENESS FOR YOUR BUSINESS
86%! Yes, that is the percentage of content marketers that achieved brand awareness through content marketing!content marketing institute
By the way, brand awareness just means how much people know about your brand and your products. So you think of buying a phone and maybe Samsung or Apple comes to mind. You think of a cold drink, and Coke or Fanta comes to mind? When your target audience begins to think of your products this way, then your brand awareness is hitting it. Content would do this easily for you. The figures do not lie. Brand awareness is one of the top 3 goals of brands all over the world. Why should your brand be left out? I mean, how else are you trying to build brand awareness if not through content marketing?
2. CONTENT MARKETING BUILDS LOYALTY AND TRUST FOR YOUR BUSINESS
This is so important for any business. When you help people, it’s easier for them to trust you enough to purchase from you. It also becomes easier for them to become loyal to your brand and even recommend you to their friends and family. Still doubting, ok, check out this fact:
96% of the most successful content marketers say that content marketing has helped them build trust with their customersvisme.co
So, almost 10 of 10 successful content marketers would say it builds trust. That means it works and works well.
3. YOU CAN BUILD THOUGHT LEADERSHIP WITH CONTENT
It is easier for people to trust you when you have a functioning website and several blogs on a topic than when you have nothing to show your level of expertise. Through content, you can contribute to existing knowledge based on your experience in the business. You can make recommendations that can be helpful for other businesses because you have been doing it for a while. When your clients see this, they perceive you as an expert in your field and are more likely to buy from you because you know what you are talking about.
4. CONTENT MARKETING CAN GENERATE MORE LEADS AND CONVERSIONS
Using Call To Action (CTAs) which you can place anywhere in your content, you can generate more leads for your business. Infact, some stats say that businesses that use content marketing can generate six times more leads than those that do not. Think about it, that is 6 times the number of leads you have right now without content marketing! You just have to create great content and then tell your audience what you want them to do. Your conversions would ultimately come from those who follow your content.
5. INCREASE YOUR VISIBILITY WITH SEO
SEO can make your business blow up big time. Although it is not overnight, the results over time are remarkable. You can get organic traffic and put your business on the first page of google with content. The more content you have on your site, the higher your chances of ranking with relevant keywords and giving people valuable content that they need. So your audience would stay on your site for longer periods. Google receives this information and sees your website as credible. It is a positive feedback effect that can continue for years..
6. CONTENT MARKETING CAN BE DONE ON A BUDGET
You do not have to break the bank to start content marketing. Even if you run a small business, there are packages that can work well with your budget. Of course, content marketing for small businesses is a bit different from what larger companies do. But it is possible to make the most of what you have. With good research, great content and content promotion skills, content marketing is possible at every level. Bigger budgets of course mean better tools, expertise and more research, but smaller businesses can still do content marketing with what they can afford. It costs very little to run a website and put out quality blogs every week. Content marketing would still work for your small business!
7. EDUCATE YOUR AUDIENCE
Well, this is apparent. Just like what this post seeks to do. 79% of businesses want to educate their customers about things that are related to their brand or products. How to use their products, things that they should know before using their products, relevant information about their products and how they can get the most of their products. It might not be directly even related to their products, but maybe some information that might be useful to customers. The goal is to add value no matter what, and content marketing is one of the most effective ways to do that.
8. CONTENT MARKETING WILL SET YOU APART FROM YOUR COMPETITION
The fact that some of your competitors are not doing this is a very good reason to start doing this!
Only about 37% of businesses have a documented content marketing strategy.optinmonster.com
And the thing with content marketing is that if you do not plan it, you are really planning to fail!
Get ahead of your competition and beat them to it! Some have started but fallen by the wayside, why not continue and continue to reap the rewards of your content marketing efforts years from now? Join the best and the smartest in the game. Start content marketing for your business today!