The future is in content marketing
We face advertising noise daily and have learned to ignore it. Teaser headlines and banners impress few people. Users want useful material that will solve their problems. What’s more, they want a personal touch and a focus on their needs. Content marketing can offer precisely that.
Content marketing: what it is
It is the creation and distribution of quality content with a view to building a trusting relationship with customers. High-quality content marketing, unlike traditional advertising, offers users useful material and introduces them to the product. It does not impose it. 96% of marketers say that creating useful content has helped build audience trust, and when people know and trust a brand, they are more willing to make repeat purchases. In addition to trust, content marketing:
- Builds audience loyalty
- Provides a high return on investment compared to traditional marketing tactics, including cold emailing, social media advertising, or search engine marketing.
How content marketing works
The job of content marketing is to turn website visitors into leads. By the way, if you compare it to traditional advertising, content generates three times as many customers and costs 62% less. Content attracts new users who didn’t know about you before. If a publication, video, or article arouses interest, the user subscribes and becomes a regular reader/viewer. After a while, they start to trust you and place their first order. If you offer a high-quality product, the user makes a purchase and becomes a loyal customer. By continuing to get useful content and a quality product, the loyal customer becomes a brand advocate. They leave good reviews and recommend you to people they know.
Content types with examples
There are 3 types of content: expert, viral, and sales. They can have the form of articles, videos, news, infographics, podcasts, and social media posts. Let’s consider each type of content separately.
This is any material in which you share a professional opinion or explain terms and phenomena specific to your niche. Expert content increases user loyalty and trust in the brand.
A good example is the Translators Family translation agency blog. It contains texts about email and content marketing, SEO, analytics, and many more.
71% of B2B users browse an organization’s blog before making a purchase. And 61% of consumers bought what was recommended on the blogs they read. Needless to say, a company blog is a great way to attract new customers.
This is what they call content that you want to send to a friend. This is funny content, helpful guides, viral videos, and more.
The iconic example of viral content is the “Will it Blend” video series by Blendtec. The video demonstrates the power of a blender by grinding glass beads, disks, tin cans, and even a paddle in it. It may not surprise anyone these days, but in 2006 the video blew up on the Internet, garnered about 8 million views on YouTube, and made the company a market leader.
It’s important to understand that this is not advertising. Selling content informs about a product by emphasizing functional features and benefits to the customer.
Channels of information distribution
Let’s break down the main distribution channels and examples of content marketing.
A corporate blog solves search engine optimization (SEO) problems. Companies with a blog have 434% more indexed pages than those without one. Accordingly, the more quality content, the more traffic, and sales.
By regularly posting useful articles, it’s easier to establish yourself as a niche expert. In addition, blog articles are good to repost on social networks, thereby increasing organic site traffic. In the articles themselves, you can place calls to action, which will help generate leads.
What to post: cases, interviews, news, reviews of services and products, how-to guides, answers to common questions, podcasts, company stories, articles about what inspires you, tops, glossaries, and, of course, expert opinion. If you have time to read and edit other people’s articles, allow third-party authors to publish from you. It’s a win-win strategy – the author promotes their brand, and you fill the blog.
You can distribute content with a mailing list. It’s a great way to regularly remind people about yourself, share useful information, and build a positive brand image.
Email marketing is also a tool for increasing sales, but not through advertising, but valuable content. If a user subscribes to a newsletter and leaves you an email address, they hope to receive interesting, relevant information. Try to use a 1:9 advertising ratio in your newsletters (1 email – advertising; 9 – useful content).
What to publish: digests, infographics, announcements of new products/services, reviews, tips, instructions, guides, checklists.
Use Instagram, Facebook, Linked In and other platforms to strengthen your brand’s online presence and visibility. Social media is also good for communicating with customers. Use surveys and direct communication through personal messages to find out customers’ pains, needs, and preferences.
What to post: behind-the-scenes business, Q&A section, news, employee stories, testimonials from satisfied customers, product reviews, expert opinion, infographics.
It’s always more interesting to follow a company’s profile when serious publications are diluted with entertaining content: quotes, memes, contests, drawings, live broadcasts, inspiring posts. It all depends on the target audience and type of business.
How to lead Instagram to inspire and sell knows the American company, Nike. Their profile is a treasure trove of motivational quotes and stories. They don’t advertise the product directly, but looking at their Instagram makes you want to buy Nike sneakers.
Video is great for telling stories, impressing your audience, and taking your business to the next level. Writing articles isn’t easy, but making quality video content is even harder. However, it’s a worthwhile investment. The numbers don’t lie: 84% of users said video influences their buying decisions. 86% of marketers say that video is directly linked to increased traffic to the site, and about the same number (84%) say that video content helps attract potential customers.
What you can post: product reviews, customer video reviews, how-to guides, and educational material.
Topical Internet publications (media, forums, blogs)
Guest blogging is the posting of articles on third-party resources in order to get quality backlinks, traffic, and new clients.
Creating a content strategy
Content marketing isn’t hard if you have a plan to follow. So where do you start? Here are six steps to building a content strategy.
Define the goal
Clearly defined goals will help determine the end result. Based on this information, it will be easier to create a plan of action.
Examples of goals are:
- Build trust with your audience;
- to increase sales;
- Increase traffic;
- Optimize SEO performance and increase search engine rankings;
- To get more email subscribers;
- improve brand perception.
Draw a portrait of a potential client
This is one of the key factors that determine the success of a content strategy. If you don’t know your target audience, you won’t be able to formulate a communication message and pick up leverage points. Do not try to create content for everyone, this is the way to nowhere.
Draw up a portrait of the potential user: his age, social status, wealth, gender, interests. Think about what information he needs, and at what time he goes online more often. Read more about how to create a portrait of your target audience in our blog. We have prepared a detailed guide on how to determine your target audience.
Conduct a content audit
This step can be skipped for those who aren’t already using content marketing. If you’re active on social media and publish blog articles, then it’s important to determine what content helps your target and what doesn’t.
You can conduct an audit manually or with the help of special tools – Screaming Frog, SEMRush. Services will analyze headlines and descriptions, the length of published material, backlinks and reposts in social networks.
The audit will help to understand how effectively the content works, which topics and formats need to be changed and what can be left.
Determine distribution channels and types of content
Based on the portrait of your target audience, choose types of content and platforms for placement. For example, if you sell lingerie, invest time and budget in social media, particularly Instagram. There are a lot of women there who pay attention to comments and reviews from other customers when choosing a product.
If you sell sports equipment, start a YouTube channel and post video reviews of your products, as well as film small exercises and individual sets of exercises. Then users will see you not only as a product supplier, but also as their sports coach.
B2B businesses should devote time to corporate blogging and guest blogging. The job of B2B companies is to convince their audience that they are professional and competent in any subject in their niche. This can be done with informational articles.
Combine and test different formats and types of content to see which content best suits your target audience.
Create a content plan
As part of your content strategy, you need to know exactly when you will publish content on each platform. This will help you release content regularly and always stay on the radar of your audience. Especially now there are many useful tools that can help you plan and monitor your publications.
The easiest and free option is Google Charts. It’s easy to schedule topics, dates, and sites for publications. You can also use a service like Google Calendar. Here are a few more sites for creating a content plan: Monday.com, Buffer, Trello, Loomly, etc.
To keep your content marketing campaign from failing, you need to constantly track its progress: audience engagement, reach, reposts, views, and other metrics. To do this, use Google Analytics. Social media activity can be tracked through built-in analytics systems.
It is important to continuously work and tweak your campaign until you get the results you want. And, of course, do not forget that consistency is important in this business. If you post one video or write a couple of articles every six months, this approach will not bring results.
Or delegate all these tasks to professional linguists who know marketing and can sell with a couple of words