Content marketing is one of the many branches of a complete marketing strategy. Content Marketing Institute describes content marketing as “a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience—and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
Why does content marketing matter?
Your content marketing strategy should create resources that your audience will find useful as they search for information related to your products or services. The topics you focus on are meant to establish you as a thought leader on those subjects and within your area of expertise.
Content marketing strategies are also meant to build trust with your customers. People are tired of being sold to and are so used to seeing ads everywhere they go. Traditional advertising is not as effective as it once was. Creating meaningful brand interactions and a strong reputation allows you to demonstrate your authority on the services or products you sell, while creating a more meaningful impression.
As Forbes writes, “it is unclear whether [the ability to go viral] increases or reinforces brand loyalty” because trust with a brand, as with any relationship, takes time to build. This is truly where content marketing comes into play.
Is content marketing worth my time?
Studies demonstrate that content marketing results in three times more leads per dollar spent than paid search. Not only are you spending less on ads, but you are also creating more opportunities for clients and similar audiences to find your website and get familiar with your brand. If you feel like you do not have the time to invest in content marketing for your business, consider outsourcing.
What kind of content counts?
Content can take many forms. The formats and platforms you choose to use need to be developed based on the way your audience prefers to consume information. Part of creating an effective content marketing strategy includes identifying your key demographic and analyzing what mediums work best for them. Once you establish these elements, you can try various content delivery methods, including:
- Quizzes or games
- Courses and slides
- eBooks and whitepapers
- Visuals and infographics
Where to begin my content marketing efforts?
Once you delve into your buyer personas and discover where your audience spends most of their time online, you will also get an idea of what kind of content resonates best with these groups.
If your company creates products for new parents who are very busy, creating long infographics and eBooks may not get a lot of traffic. In contrast, quick videos or podcasts may be a great way to reach parents who (literally) have their hands full all day.
Uncovering your buyer personas will also help you identify the pain points you can use content marketing to help your customers with. For example, with the same company for new parents, you may create content related to topics like proper swaddling techniques or baby-led weaning ideas. Additionally, the company may have guests posts or podcast interviews with child developmental experts or pediatricians.
If you are just getting started with content marketing, start by outlining the topics related to your services. For Bit-Wizards, these would be Software Development and Managed IT Services. From there, you need to think about the various sub-topics that can branch off from those high-level subjects. You will want to create a mix of beginner content and advanced content to speak to customers at different points in the buyer’s journey.
Before you decide to create quizzes, blogs, social media videos, and start a podcast… stop and evaluate. Focus on showing up consistently for your audience in one format. Invest your time wisely by creating a content marketing plan and analyzing what works.
How does content marketing fit into my overall marketing strategy?
As with most aspects of digital marketing, content marketing creates many touchpoints that your customers will interact with as they go through the buyer’s journey. The content you create can be used across different platforms and it can help you build authority online.
Additional content can be gated or require an email to access. This content introduces more people to your funnel, giving you more genuine leads to send emails or direct remarketing ads to.
Is content marketing working for my business yet?
So, you’ve spent time writing, editing, and publishing content online. It seems like people are seeing it—some are even leaving comments. But, how do you know if it’s working and bringing new customers to your business?
Determine which KPI (key performance indicators) and metrics matter most to your company. You might choose to track leads, web traffic, or sales to determine your success. Using a CMS (content management system) can help you see how your audience interacts with your content and if that impacts their buying choices.
Content marketing is just one part of the digital marketing marathon, but it’s an important element. The time invested will pay off eventually, but it all hinges on building a strong relationship with your audience. The Digital Marketing team at Bit-Wizards uses content marketing to bring in new Managed IT Services and Software Development clients. Check out the content we’ve developed to help attract customers and leads here.