You’ve probably heard the term “content marketing” before, but what is it, really?
Definition of Content Marketing
“a type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online material (such as videos, blogs, and social media posts) that does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in its products or services.”
In a nutshell, content marketing is the process of creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
Content marketing is not a new concept; in fact, it’s been around for centuries.
One of the earliest examples of content marketing comes from John Deere, who published The Furrow in 1895. The agricultural magazine was designed to educate farmers on the latest farming techniques and equipment — and it was so successful that it’s still being published today.
So, if content marketing isn’t new, what’s changed? In recent years, there have been two major changes that have had a profound impact on content marketing: the internet and social media.
The internet has made it possible for businesses to reach a global audience with their content. And social media has given businesses a way to distribute their content for free (or for very little cost).
These two factors have completely changed the landscape of content marketing. No longer are businesses limited by print publication costs or geographic boundaries.
Now, businesses can reach anyone, anywhere in the world — and they can do it relatively cheaply.
But even with these changes, some things have stayed the same.
Namely, the principles that make for effective content marketing haven’t changed one bit.
So whether you’re creating content for your blog, website, or social media channels, keep these time-tested principles in mind:
- Valuable: Your content must be worth reading (or watching or listening to). It must be interesting and/or helpful to your target audience.
- Relevant: Your content must be relevant to your target audience. It should address their needs, pain points, or interests.
- Consistent: You need to be consistent with your content. This means publishing regularly (weekly or bi-weekly is a good place to start) and using a consistent tone and voice across all of your channels.
- Targeted: Your content must be targeted at a specific audience. You can’t be everything to everyone; you need to focus on a specific niche. Once you’ve identified your niche audience, create content that appeals directly to them.
Content marketing is a process that involves creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content with the goal of attracting and retaining a clearly defined audience — and driving profitable customer action.
The internet and social media have made it possible for businesses to reach a global audience relatively cheaply; however, some things—like the principles of effective content marketing—have stayed the same.
If you want your content marketing efforts to be successful, make sure your content is valuable, relevant, consistent, and targeted at a specific audience.
What are the goals of Content Marketing?
If you’re like most people, you probably think of content marketing as a way to drive traffic to your website or blog. And while that’s certainly one of the goals of content marketing, it’s not the only goal.
In fact, content marketing can be used to achieve a variety of different objectives for your business.
Let’s take a look at three of the most important goals and how you can use content marketing to achieve them.
One of the most common goals is to generate leads for your business. And there are a number of different ways you can use content to accomplish this.
One way is to create gated content, which is content that requires visitors to enter their contact information in order to access it. For example, if you have an e-book or white paper that would be valuable to your target audience, you could require visitors to provide their name and email address in order to download it.
It depends on the content whether this is an opportunity to generate leads, or to continue a relationship via automated email, or campaigns.
Another way to generate leads with content is by using calls-to-action (CTAs) throughout your blog posts and articles. A CTA is simply an instruction for your readers telling them what you want them to do next. For example, you could include a CTA at the end of a blog post that directs readers to a landing page where they can sign up for your email list.
Build Relationships with Your Customers
Another important goal of content marketing is to build relationships with your customers. After all, the better you know your customers, the better able you are to serve them—and the more likely they are to do business with you.
One way to build relationships with your customers through content is by humanising your brand.
You can do this by telling stories about your customers and how your products or services have helped them solve problems or improve their lives. This will help your customers see that there are real people behind your brand and that you care about them as individuals—not just as faceless consumers.
You can also build relationships with your customers by being responsive to their needs and concerns.
If you see that a lot of people are asking similar questions on social media or in comments on your blog, take the time to answer those questions in a helpful and informative way. Not only will this help build trust with those individuals, but it will also show other potential customers that you’re responsive and that you care about providing helpful information—even if they’re not yet ready to buy from you.
Increase Brand Awareness
Finally, another common goal of content marketing is to increase brand awareness for your business—particularly if you’re a new business or if you’re launching a new product or service.
To increase brand awareness through content marketing, one thing you can do is make sure that all of your content includes branding elements like logos, colours, and taglines—especially if it’s something that will be shared widely, like an infographic or an e-book. You want people who see your content to immediately associate it with your brand so they’ll start recognising and remembering it even when they’re not actively looking for it.
Content marketing can be a powerful tool for achieving a variety of different objectives for your business—from generating leads and building relationships with customers to increasing brand awareness. Keep these goals in mind as you create and curate content for your own business so you can maximise its impact and ROI.
What types of content marketing are there?
To be a successful marketer, you need to understand all the different content marketing types and how to use them.
There are many different types of content that you can create, but not all of them will be effective in achieving your marketing goals.
Blog posts are one of the most common types of content, and for good reason – they’re an effective way to drive traffic to your website and build relationships with your audience.
When done right, blog posts can also be a great way to position yourself as an expert in your industry.
If you want to use blog posts as part of your content marketing strategy, make sure that they’re well-written, informative, and engaging. Post regularly, and make sure to promote your blog posts on social media and other channels. There are a lot of dull blog posts out there, so don’t waste the opportunity to help your target audience.
eBooks and Whitepapers
eBooks and whitepapers are long-form pieces of content that offer in-depth information on a particular topic.
They’re usually used as lead magnets – meaning they’re given away for free in exchange for an email address or other contact information.
If you decide to create an eBook or whitepaper as part of your content marketing strategy, make sure that it’s packed with valuable information that your target audience will find useful.
Promote your eBook or whitepaper on social media, on your website, or through email marketing. You can also give it away for free on Amazon Kindle or another ebook platform.
Infographics are visual representations of data or information. They’re often used to make complex topics more understandable or to convey data in an interesting way.
When using infographics as part of your content marketing strategy, make sure that they’re visually appealing and easy to understand.
Share them on social media, on your website, or through email marketing campaigns. You can also submit them to infographic directories for additional exposure.
Videos are a great way to connect with your audience and deliver information in an engaging format. Thanks to platforms like YouTube and Vimeo, it’s easier than ever to create and distribute videos online.
If you want to use videos as part of your content marketing strategy, make sure that they’re high quality and offer value to your audience.
You can promote your videos on social media, on your website, or through email marketing campaigns. You can also host them on video search engines like YouTube. Or host them on Vimeo or Wistia if you’re focused on appealing just to your website audience.
Podcasts are pieces of audio that can be downloaded from the internet and listened to at the listener’s convenience.
They’ve become increasingly popular as more people consume audio content while commuting or doing other activities where they can’t watch a video.
It must have been back in 2012 when I first started listening to podcasts in the car to make the most of that downtime. It wasn’t that easy back then, so I had to jump through a few hoops to get the podcast coming out of the car speakers.
To use podcasts as part of your content marketing strategy, create episodes that are informative and engaging.
Submit your podcast episodes to distribution channels like Apple Podcasts (formerly iTunes), Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Podchaser, or TuneIn for additional exposure.
Content marketing is a powerful tool that every marketer should know how to use effectively. If you want to create content that drives results, it’s important to understand the different types of content available and when you should use each one.
Keep these tips in mind as you develop your own content marketing strategy.
Is content marketing worth it?
You’ve probably heard it a million times – “Content is King.” But what does that really mean? And more importantly, is it true?
Let’s take a look at whether it’s worth your time and effort.
Why might content marketing matter to you?
In a world where we are constantly bombarded with advertising messages, it can be hard to cut through the noise and reach your target audience.
That’s where content marketing comes in.
By creating informative and engaging content, you can reach your customers where they are already spending their time – online.
Not only that, but by providing helpful information that solves a problem or answers a question, you can establish yourself as an expert in your field – which will make people more likely to do business with you when they’re ready to buy.
So is it worth it!?
So, is content marketing worth your time? If you’re looking for a way to reach more customers and establish yourself as an expert in your industry, content marketing is the way to go.
Not only is it effective, but it’s also relatively inexpensive compared to other marketing strategies.
But you do have to invest resources into content creation.
One of the trends in the world of SEO and content marketing in [this_or_comin_year] is to move away from hiring freelancers/copywriters and content agencies, and instead investing in in-house expertise. Don’t rely on freelancers if you want to make true progress with your audience and with Google.
You need content creators who truly know your customers, products/services and are an authentic voice for your business.
Discover ‘subject matter experts’ in your company to manufacturer trust and authority. Product experts who are engaged and passionate about your products. They know the product and understand the market well because they speak to customers and also get to hear about their competitors.
What is a subject matter expert (SME)?
In business, it’s essential to have a deep understanding of the products and services you’re offering. After all, how can you sell something if you don’t understand it yourself?
That’s where subject matter experts come in.
A subject matter expert (SME) is an individual who has a deep understanding of a particular topic or area.
In other words, they are the go-to people for anything related to their area of expertise.
Businesses use subject matter experts in a variety of ways.
From developing new products and services to training employees and writing marketing materials, subject matter experts play an integral role in ensuring that businesses have the accurate information they need to be successful.
Not sure if your business needs a subject matter expert? Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about this important role.
How can a Subject Matter Expert help your content marketing?
As I mentioned, businesses use subject matter experts in a variety of ways. When you’re thinking about how an SME can help you with your content marketing, it can also help you to see how they fit into your wider business.
Here are some of the most common duties and responsibilities associated with this subject matter expert role:
- Developing new products and services – When creating new offerings, businesses need input from individuals who understand the market and the needs of potential customers. This is where subject matter experts come in. They work closely with businesses to develop products and services that meet the needs of target audiences.
- Training employees – It’s not enough for businesses to simply hire employees; they also need to provide adequate training so that employees can do their jobs effectively. Subject matter experts often play a role in employee training by providing their expertise on certain topics.
- Writing marketing materials – Marketing materials (e.g., website content, brochures, etc.) need to be accurate and reflect the voice of the company. Subject matter experts can help ensure that all marketing materials are on brand and accurately reflect the company’s offerings.
- Conducting market research – In order to make informed decisions, businesses need access to accurate market data. Subject matter experts can help by conducting market research and providing insights on potential opportunities and threats.
Subject matter experts play an important role in ensuring that businesses have the accurate information they need to be successful.
When it comes to content marketing, an SME can be an invaluable asset, providing insights and perspectives that can help you create more targeted, effective content.
If you’re not sure if your business needs a subject matter expert, consider some of the common duties and responsibilities associated with this role.
How do I choose an in-house subject matter expert to work on our content marketing?
How do you go about finding and leveraging a subject matter expert from within your company for your content marketing efforts?
Here are a few tips:
- Define Your Needs
The first step is to clearly define what you need from an SME. What topics do you need help with? What type of content are you looking to create? Answering these questions, depending on the number of SMEs within your company, will help you narrow down the pool of potential experts to those who are best suited to help you achieve your content marketing goals.
- Do Your Research
Once you know what you need, it’s time to start your search within your company. Once you’ve identified a few possibilities of SMEs who can help, take the time to research their abilities and experience to make sure they’re a good fit for your needs.
- Make The Connection
Once you’ve decided on your expert you’d like to work with, reach out and make the connection. Introduce yourself and explain why you’re interested in working with them. If they’re open to the idea, arrange a meeting or call so you can learn more about their expertise and how they could help your content marketing efforts.
- Put Them To Work
Once you’ve established a relationship with an SME, it’s time to put them to work. Brainstorm ideas for articles, blog posts, infographics, or even video content that would benefit from their insights. Then get their input on your ideas and work with them to develop high-quality content that will resonate with your audience.
Subject matter experts are the trusted advisors you want in your business.
They use their expertise and influence to coach decisions based on customer needs, not just what’s best for themselves or company policy.
This new breed of sales professional has earned a reputation as an advisor who creates long-lasting relationships with clients by providing credible advice that is tailored specifically for them – giving customers repeat business while continuously getting referrals because people trust these professionals so much they’ll call upon them when there is any big issue at hand.
Salespeople are often seen as order takers, not experts. But if you made your sales team into an organisation of experts who could understand and guide buying decisions for customers then how much more money would that save the company?
Also, in the world of content marketing and SEO, getting help from Subject Matter Experts with your content is one of the critical elements in 2024 and beyond.
What are some of the best tools for content marketing?
Are you looking for content marketing tools to help you boost your results?
If so, you’re in the right place. I’ll share 10 of the best content marketing tools that will help you 10x your results.
Google Trends is a great tool for understanding what people are searching for online. You can use it to research trends in your industry, identify hot topics, and find new content ideas.
BuzzSumo is a tool that allows you to see the most popular content on any given topic. This is a great way to find popular content pieces that you can share with your audience.
Quora is a Q&A platform that can be used for content research. You can use it to find questions people are asking in your industry and then create content that answers those questions.
Google Keyword Planner
Google Keyword Planner is a free tool that allows you to research keywords for your business. You can use it to find keywords that people are searching for in your industry and then include those keywords in your content to help improve your SEO.
Hootsuite Insights is a tool that allows you to track, measure, and analyse your social media activity. This is a valuable tool for understanding what content is resonating with your audience and driving the most engagement.
CoSchedule Headline Analyser
The CoSchedule Headline Analyser is a tool that helps you write headlines that are more likely to be clicked on by readers. A good headline can make a big difference in the success of your blog post or article, so this is a valuable tool to have in your arsenal
Adobe Photoshop is a powerful image editing software that can be used for creating visuals for your website or blog posts. If you’re not a professional designer, don’t worry – there are plenty of tutorials available online that can teach you the basics of using Photoshop
Canva is a free online design platform that’s perfect for creating visuals for your blog posts and social media posts. It’s easy to use and even has built-in templates so you don’t have to start from scratch every time you want to create something new.
Google Analytics is a free tool that allows you to track the traffic coming to your website or blog. This is valuable data that can help you understand what’s working well and what needs improvement
HubSpot Marketing Free
HubSpot Marketing Free is an all-in-one marketing software that includes features like email marketing, social media management, and web analytics.
It’s a great tool for small businesses who want to get started with inbound marketing but don’t want to break the bank doing it. But when you want to upgrade, the plans can get a bit expensive, so it depends on how much you use it and the ROI.
If you’re looking for content marketing tools to help boost your results, these 10 tools above will definitely come in handy. From keyword research to social media management, these tools will help you 10x your content marketing efforts and get better results in no time flat.