As one of the oldest forms of marketing, content marketing has been credited with being the primary tactic for business growth over the past century. In fact, The Furrow (1895) by John Deere is cited as the oldest example of content marketing to date, and 125 years later it is still the talk of the digital marketing world (#goals). With the power of technology readily available at our fingertips, content creation has never been easier. Over the years, the tactic has increasingly grown in popularity, with approximately 70% of marketers reporting that they actively invest in content marketing. As more businesses become aware of the importance of marketing their content, incorporating the different types of content marketing strategies into your own marketing can create an anchor that helps prevent your business from being swept away by the competition.
From gaining one’s footing in the industry to finding and retaining the attention of a target audience, here are a few ways your business can use content marketing to expand its horizons and stand out among a sea of competitors.
What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is a strategic marketing tactic used to provide relevant information about your business on a consistent basis to promote a substantial increase in conversions. Rather than focusing all of one’s efforts on the “present,” using different types of content marketing encourage marketers to consider the long term effects of their content.
The primary objective of your content should be to add value to your customer’s experience. Whether you publish a detailed guide in form of an eBook or a social media post inquiring about your customer’s most recent shopping experience with your business, your content should be designed with the customer in mind.
One of the main ingredients that set content marketing strategies up for success is an engaging story. Since the dawn of time, humans have always had an affinity for compelling stories. Your content should weave in your brand’s values in order to cut through the noise, provide value to your customers, and build lasting relationships with your brand. If you do content marketing right, you have a chance at threading together a relationship with your target audience that will last a lifetime.
Worried about having restrictions placed upon your creative freedom? This genre of marketing comes with a variety of unique ways your business can connect with consumers, as there are multiple types of content marketing. It is your story, after all. Feel free to express it however you see fit and don’t be afraid to have a little fun!
If you’d like more information on how to polish up your brand’s story and of how it can impact your audience, check out How to Turn Your Brand Into a Story and Brand Storytelling: How Stories Can Work Wonders For Your Business.
What Are the Benefits of Content Marketing?
When it comes to content, quality matters. Consistently creating work of a higher caliber will only increase the odds of your strategy having a favorable outcome. Here are a few ways content marketing can benefit your business:
Aspiring to drive your business’ growth rates and increase customer retention? With the help of a well-crafted content marketing strategy, you can encourage a substantial rise in the number of individuals who are aware of your brand. People can’t follow or purchase what they can’t see. Put your product or service on the map by consistently publishing relevant content to your digital platforms (website, social media, etc).
Most are familiar with the power words hold. With content marketing, this device is primarily used to invoke emotions within your target audience which will encourage them to perform an action. By creating relatable content that resonates with your audience you’ll be able to connect with them on a deeper level. Establishing this type of relationship will alter the way your brand is perceived by the masses which will, in turn, boost your customer’s affinity for your company.
If your business is in it for the long haul, adopting content marketing into your digital marketing strategy is a must. Attracting your target audience is one thing, but keeping their attention is another. There is a reason why they sought out your business and expressed interest. Content marketing can help you gauge where customers stand regarding your business by creating a space for engagement, this data can be later used to analyze which components of your strategy are working and which ones could use a bit of work.
Authority in the Market
Garnering the attention of your audience can be challenging, especially if you are operating within a competitive market. Setting yourself apart from the competition is often achieved through content marketing. Your content is the perfect opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge of the market and convince consumers to trust in your expertise.
Organic Search Results
In order to yield results, your content needs to be found. An organic search is a search that is conducted through a search engine like Google or Bing that is centered around specific keywords. There is no help enlisted from ads, just the sole power of your keywords. Having a solid content marketing strategy can increase the number of times your business appears in SERPs (search engine results pages) when specific keywords are entered. This frequency in appearance can increase your business’s visibility and help with solidifying itself as an authority in the market.
An increase in brand awareness and appearance in SERPs can often lead to a boost in web traffic. Once your content has established an audience, their interest will generate a production of leads that will make marketing your products or services far more effective. With a steady rise in sales, your company will be well on its way to establishing itself as a memorable brand within the industry it operates in.
The interesting thing about content marketing is that oftentimes, all of the benefits mentioned will work in tandem with one another. For example, when your brand’s affinity begins to rise, an increase in website traffic might follow close behind.
So now that we’ve established a majority of the benefits that come with content marketing, let’s take a look at different forms of content marketing and how your business can use them to improve its marketing efforts.
Types of Content Marketing and How to Do Them
Beneath the umbrella of content marketing resides many routes your business can embark upon. Depending upon your services and the type of brand you are leading, the results derived from the type of content you choose to create will vary, as each business’ audience is unique.
Here are a few of the most common forms of content marketing and how to create them:
Blogs and e-Books
One of the many ways your business can establish itself as a credible authority within the market is by addressing a common need that arises in the industry it operates in and providing a unique solution for it. Your company’s expertise can be conveniently shared with the public through the creation of blogs or eBooks. This method stands out as one of the most effective types of content marketing out there because it can be used in several different ways: your blogs or eBooks can stand-alone or they can serve as the focal point of a customized campaign. Overall, blogs and e-books can solidify your brand’s reputation as a trusted resource of information.
How-to: Oftentimes, eBooks function as high-value items. Emphasize the value of your content by creating a campaign that highlights the importance of your publication. With solid copy, riveting graphics, and a polished blog or ebook, you can create a suitable strategy for your content.
Social Media Posts
When it comes to your social content, your goals will determine their nature. If you’d like to increase sales and traffic, social media can be used to show off your products. If greater brand awareness is your goal, upload content that is attractive to your target audience and is in a format that makes it easy to share. Once it gains traction, the newfound reach acquired by your social content can influence new prospects to partake in extended offers and services.
Social media posts can also be used to retain existing customers. After successfully completing their journey through the sales funnel, interest in your brand might begin to dwindle. Consistently updating your content will help keep your brand from becoming an afterthought. The value your content adds to your customer’s lives will support the development of a lasting relationship.
How-To: Before you begin, clearly define the purpose you’d like your content to serve, how you’d like it to perform and the graphic elements you’d like to include in your composition. Once all of these components have been laid out, you can organize your posts within a social media scheduling tool like CoSchedule.
Need a little more help? Give our How to Structure a Flourishing Social Media Campaign blog a read.
Video and Audio Content
Looking for a dynamic way to engage your audience? When it comes to receiving and digesting content, each person’s preference will vary. Studies have shown that approximately 45% of global internet users who listen to podcasts are between the ages of 25-34. But when it comes to video, 50% of users between the ages of 18-34 stated that they immediately stop what they’re doing whenever their favorite creator uploads a new video.
Although the two are different in nature, both mediums are useful tools for establishing a connection with your audience. Taking the time to record a specialized message not only shows your customers that you care, but it can also encourage engagement.
How-To: First, determine which form of content you’d like to create. Afterward, layout an outline of the points you’d like to speak on. Once you feel like you’ve created a solid draft, do a few test recordings to ensure that your software and devices are working properly. If you need a little more guidance, take a look at our Ready to Try Video Marketing? Best Practices To Keep In Mind and Four Pointer for s Successful Podcast blogs.
When it comes to investing in the longevity of your business, utilizing the different types of content marketing at your disposal is the primary growth strategy that most businesses opt for. Developing effective content takes a significant amount of effort, but the long-term benefits that arise from it make it all worthwhile. With the right elements, you too can create content that depicts your business in a favorable light for years to come.
Need assistance with the creation and implementation of a content marketing strategy? Contact us today for a free one-hour consultation.