A Beginner’s Guide To Content Marketing
This blog post gives you a head start into the concept of content marketing. If you are new to the world of digital marketing, I would highly recommend you to read my article on – A Beginner’s Guide To Inbound Marketing To Increase Online Sales even before proceeding to learn about content marketing.
What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is all about sharing worthwhile information to prospective customers.
Specifically speaking, content marketing is a subset of inbound marketing methodology, where a business or brand markets itself through the sharing of educational, entertaining, valuable, relevant and insightful information (absolutely free) to its customers to solve their immediate problems and improve lives.
Unlike traditional marketing, content marketing does not force sales pitches to strangers, rather, attract them towards a specific business or brand through quality content, generate interest within them, build trust in your brand and later convert them into paying customers.
Keep in mind, the end goal is to convert strangers to friendly customers through inbound marketing strategy.
Here is a video explaining the origin of content marketing:
In what different formats can the content be created?
The content can be created in any of the following forms:
- Blog articles
- Social media marketing
The focus should be on generating more quality content that addresses and solves your potential customers’ dissatisfactions.
What exactly is the benefit of Content Marketing?
Content marketing is the lifeline for the success of any online business. Content marketing should always be at the core part of your brand’s digital marketing campaign strategy.
Let me explain using a scenario.
Assume, you are a brand selling nutritional supplements online. Your website’s blog section has been strategically filled with loads of free information (rich in quality and relevancy) on health supplements and its benefits for bodybuilders.
A random website surfer clicks and stumbles upon your website after a Google search for “benefits of whey protein in bodybuilding”. As your blog post on whey protein is very informative with high-quality content, the reader starts trusting your brand and bookmarks your website.
Next time, for any nutrition-related queries, the web surfer would directly visit your website and turns out to be a regular visitor. The advantage of sharing informative content freely through a business blog is that you build trust with your readers and you will inevitably be considered as an industry expert. As a result, you will not only keep readers returning to your website blog but can also convert these readers (prospects) into potential buyers.
This is the power of content marketing. Instead of pitching your products or services upfront, you are providing truly relevant and useful content to your prospects/customers to help them solve their immediate issues with a long-term goal in mind.
Content is not just restricted to blog, it can be of any format as mentioned in the previous section. I repeat, focus on the quality of the content that quickly solves a specific problem and build a deep trust within the minds of your potential customers.
Statistics that vote for Content Marketing:
- The cost to acquire a lead through content marketing is 68 percent less than traditional outbound marketing
- 55 percent of the prospects feel positive towards the brand that provides rich quality content that is educative and informative
- 90 percent of consumers love to consume content from established brands. In other words, quality content makes your business a trusted brand
- Businesses that have adopted content marketing strategy has acquired 60 percent of their customers through the distribution of relevant and high-quality content freely.
What kind of content should be created as part of Content Marketing?
The first exercise to carry out before the content generation is understanding your buyer persona (Lookalike of your potential customers). Only then you will be able to create valuable content. A quick understanding of buyer persona is explained here – How To Identify Buyer Persona
The content that is generated must be focused on solving immediate needs/problems/dissatisfaction of your prospects (buyer persona). Moreover, it must be relevant, educative and informative. Do not forget to craft the content around your business niche.
Your content should initiate your prospects to take immediate action. As an expert in your field, provide your visitors with all of the necessary information to save them from further research. Your website content must be a one-stop shop for the answers your prospects/visitors seek.
The content can include:
- Tips and Techniques
- Success Stories
- Case Studies
- “How-To-Solve” topics
- Industry Trends
How to get ideas for content generation?
Here’s a quick checklist of places to search for ideas:
- Industry Events
- Customer conversation on various online platforms (Think of Quora)
- Industry News
- Questions from existing customers
- Industry articles
- Customer discussion on various online platforms
- Content from other websites (Avoid Plagiarism)
- Books related to your niche
Who should write content for your website?
Everything is fine until it boils down to content writing. Content writing or content generation is the toughest part of content marketing. The reason being – creative work involved with generating content. Finding creative content generator is definitely a challenging task.
I would strongly recommend you to hire an experienced content editor or outsource the entire content generation work to a professional agency.
How to promote your high-quality website content?
There is no point generating relevant and quality content on our website, until and unless it reaches the right audience. Few important ways to market your website content include:
- Organic and Paid Social Media Marketing ( Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter)
- Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
- Paid Search Engine Marketing (Google AdWords)
- Email Marketing
What after the content is consumed by prospects?
After content promotion, visitors start getting engaged with your website content. This is the ‘ATTRACT’ stage of the Inbound Marketing Methodology. This is where they start recognizing you as an industry expert and build trust in you.
At this moment, you should ethically bribe them for their contact information through strategically planned and placed CTA (Call-To-Actions). This is the ‘CONVERT’ stage of the Inbound Marketing Methodology.
To understand how to convert your prospects to paying customers, I highly recommend you to go through my blog post on – A Beginner’s Guide To Inbound Marketing To Increase Online Sales
Gone are those days, where once advertisers held all the control. Now, customers are in control. With the growth of the internet, customers stopped being dependent on the brand’s marketing collaterals or counseling for purchase decisions. Each and every information being available on the world wide web, marketers had to attract customers through some other mechanism. This led to the explosion of “Inbound Marketing” and “Content Marketing”.
To win in this competitive marketplace, you got to win in the first step – “Attracting prospects through quality content”.
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Subhash.K.U is a Professional Programmer turned Digital Marketing Enthusiast. He is the most sought marketing consultants for small and medium scale businesses. He founded Subhash Digital Academy to teach professional digital marketing skills to students, entrepreneurs, and working professionals. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and is an Oracle Certified Programmer. He also holds certificates of Google AdWords, Facebook Blueprint and Hubspot Marketing. He is the co-author of the best selling book – Cracking The C, C++ and Java Interview published by McGraw Hill. He is now penning another book on the subject of marketing and entrepreneurship.