Content Marketing Fundamentals
Content should be a crucial part of your digital marketing strategies. More and more, marketers are emphasising their content marketing efforts. 2020 saw 70% of marketers actively invest in content marketing. Implementing the right content marketing strategy improves brand awareness, secures sales, and increases revenue long-term.
Existing customers and potential leads both want to view valuable content. Whether the content is blogs, videos, or infographics, all should be tailored towards your target audience. Producing high-quality content that attracts your prospects and customers without disrupting them, is done through a detailed content marketing strategy.
To understand how to create an effective strategy, it’s important to learn the key content marketing fundamentals.
What Is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is a form of marketing that involves the creating and sharing of material online. A content marketing strategy is then choosing the right content, whether it’s videos, blogs, or social media posts, to provide to your customers at the right stage in their buyer’s journey.
Content encompasses many forms and can be digested by audiences in lots of different ways. Videos are ways to connect with prospects and customers visually, while blogs often allow a more in-depth analysis of topics, for example.
However, it’s important to note that not all media is appropriate for every business. The key to a successful content marketing strategy is providing the right content for your buyer personas. This not only generates higher-quality leads and secures more sales, but it is also a much more cost-effective approach. Invest in content marketing that is beneficial.
The first step towards curating a content marketing strategy is identifying persona touchpoints, which involves learning how your ideal customers prefer to engage and digest media. This will likely be a trial and error task as you continue to learn the optimal ways your target audiences like to engage with your business and the content you create.
With time you’ll be able to establish channels and media types that resonate with your personas. You should consider investing your content marketing resources within your best-performing content while continually testing and trying out other media forms to communicate your valuable insights.
Types Of Content Marketing
Most marketers think that a content marketing strategy = a blogging strategy. However, while blogs can be highly effective, there are many other forms of content. Publishing high-quality content across multiple formats allows you to reach different and in some cases, new audiences.
Conducting research allows you to understand what forms of content will produce great results as well as where to publish the content. Here are some examples of types of content:
The Key Fundamentals Of Content Marketing
Before you can begin producing and publishing content, you need to understand your objectives.
Outline Your Content Marketing Objectives
Content production can be fun; however, content marketing shouldn’t only be done for enjoyment, both your audiences and yours, it needs to accomplish objectives. Outline what you want to achieve from your content marketing strategy.
Do you want to:
Attract Your Customer
Engage Your Customer
Delight Your Customer
Identify and outline your objectives, this helps you tailor your content marketing efforts towards your audience. Every business has different content needs for each section of the flywheel. Doing so will help you ensure every piece of content is aligned to provide an exceptional user experience for your visitors as well as supporting your business to achieve overarching goals.
Understanding Your Audience
High-quality content should always provide value to your audience. Research your personas and understand their pain points, this allows you to produce content that both sympathises with and solves their problems. This is how you engage your audience, attract people to your content, and help transition them through to making a purchase.
A pain point could be solved by a blog, how-to-guide, or video, for example. However, it’s also important to understand user intent. Where they are in the buyer’s journey is also essential for tailoring content towards your personas. You’ll want to meet your customers where they are at the time and not jump in for the hard sale. Always map your buyer’s journey using a structure such as awareness, consideration, decision and curate content that links to each stage.
Doing this effectively will provide the optimal opportunity to lead and encourage users to move into the next stage of their journey. Consider placing relevant call-to-actions that again, align to their stage in their journey. For example, a piece of content in the decision stage could have a ‘book a consultation’ CTA.
Producing Creative Content
Conduct competitor analysis to understand the content being produced in your industry. Doing this after learning about your target personas allows you to see if there are any content gaps.
If there are, create original, valuable content that fills a gap in the market. This original and valuable content will help promote your business as a thought leader within your industry or sector, attracting more site visitors and improving conversion rates.
As part of any content marketing strategy, you should always brainstorm ideas. Whatever type of content you’re producing, always strive to be original, use fresh and unique concepts and hypotheses that appeal to your personas.
Distributing Your Content
While great content can attract your target audience, distributing it across the right channels enhances the strategy’s effectiveness. If your personas rely on search, SEO is essential to highlight your content to them. Contrastingly, social media is another channel that could be more effective for you depending on your target demographics.
The type of content you produce and the channels you use in your marketing strategy may change. If videos are a big driver of prospects for you, publish videos on YouTube, social media, and your website. Discover where your target audience goes to find solutions to their problems using customer journey and key touchpoints. This is where you should publish content as it matches the user intent and will offer the best scope for conversions.
A key content marketing fundamental is measuring success, looking at the results of your efforts, not just the activity generated. As marketers, we know a lot of what we do can be trial and error. To ensure you’re on the right track with your content marketing strategy, you should monitor how your content performs.
Using your previously established marketing and business objectives you can determine your KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) which essentially do what they say on the tin. Every business is different as are their goals, as you progress to becoming a content professional the following metrics are a good place to start.
Visits & Visits By Source
No. of Leads Generated
Next Steps In Buyer’s Journey
ROI (And of course your Return on Investment)
By analysing these metrics you’ll be able to plan better for future content, improving resource allocation and optimising your marketing campaigns. Your business may choose to measure this to gain a holistic view on a campaign basis, this will be determined by you and the projects you’re working on. We know that in most businesses, you as a marketer may need to demonstrate an ROI to secure further budget and stakeholder commitment.
Naturally, it’s in our business instinct to look towards long-term success but you need to remember that content marketing isn’t a sprint. It will likely take some time before you start generating a number of leads or sales you’re satisfied with but by continuing development and optimisation the better your results will be.
Bright Design’s Content Marketing Strategies
Content marketing tactics play a proportional role in the inbound marketing formula and the fundamentals of either strategy are largely the same, providing value to your prospects, leads and customers. At Bright Design, we create content marketing strategies that are formulated around your business objectives and your target market. Our experienced delivery team produces the right high-quality content that generates real results. To get started discussing your innovative new content marketing strategy, get in touch with Bright Design.