Content Marketing: How to Start Your Own Strategy
Have you already thought about how to bring your marketing strategy to the next level?
Content Marketing is an efficient method to achieve this goal. This process is capable of attracting and engaging your target audience with a low-cost investment.
Content Marketing makes it possible to create an immersive environment for potential customers to discover how your product or service will solve their problems or realize their desires. By applying this strategy, you can drive clients to buy decisions.
This post will guide you through the Content Marketing strategy planning process and will teach you how to create the most effective kinds of content to engage your target audience. Here you will find:
- What is Content Marketing?
- Why use Content Marketing?
- Which are the benefits of Content Marketing?
- How to create a Content Marketing strategy?
- Which are the 8 most efficient content formats to use on your strategy?
- What’s the role of ROI in Content Marketing?
Continue this reading and find out how to increase your sales!
What is Content Marketing?
Content Marketing is a way to engage your audience and raise your number of clients based on relevant and valuable content creation.
This strategy is capable of attracting, involving and creating value for a brand’s audience. This method builds a positive perception of your brand and generates more business for your enterprise.
It is no more a market trend, but a strategic investment to achieve more business success. With Content Marketing, a brand may win more relevance and online visibility and grows recognized for its clients.
Summing up: a business can highlight in people’s memory and avoid being swallowed to the concurrence.
Today, being on the internet is not enough. The issue, now, is how to be online, being seen and relevant to the audience. This is a Content Marketing mission.
Why use Content Marketing?
There are other ways to be online beyond Content Marketing, it is true. So, why should you pick this option for your business?
Because Content Marketing is a foundation and complement to other Digital Marketing strategies.
If you choose to work with social media marketing, you will need relevant content. The same happens when you pick email marketing or corporate blogs: you will always need the content.
The biggest specialists in the world agree that content is king. By using it, you may achieve a few different objectives types in many ways, like teach to people how to use your product or service to solve their problems.
You have to remember that today people have the power to choose which content they will consume. They are immersed in a sea of information and you should give them the best options if you want them to pick your brand.
Which are the benefits of Content Marketing?
We already mention some Content Marketing benefits and affirm that this method may bring growth to your business. Now we will enlarge the explanation about each point mentioned to show you how they work.
Attracts visitors and grows your site traffic
Helping people find your company among a giant quantity of information available online is a big challenge, but the content makes you findable, especially for search engines like Google.
In the same way, relevant content attracts attention in social media or email marketing campaigns, making more people access your site.
Creates value for your audience
The content you create and offer to your customers is not just useful, it gives a necessary message to the right people, in the correct time they need. It will exceed the expectations and will turn you into an authority about that subject, generating value for you and your audience.
Engages your audience
When you give your audience relevant and useful content, they will consider it so incredible that they will share with their friends and followers. And that’s not all: people will interact with your content in another way too, like leaving comments and reacts.
Generates a positive brand perception
Beyond all you read, Content Marketing helps your audience in a moment that it needs, and people tend to make business with brands that they already know, instead of unknown companies.
Educates the market about your products and services
Most people don’t even know they have a problem and that it may be solved by your product or service. Content Marketing is capable of teaching the audience that your solution exists and how it works.
Drives sales to the next level
Sales are the principal goal, for sure, even when there is another secondary. Content Marketing may be present in all stages of the buying process driving your audience until the final decision.
Without the content, this driving was made individually, by a salesman for example. That’s why a smaller number of people were reached.
When you adopt the Content Marketing, you win bigger coverage, reaching more and more consumers, but targeting them most effectively.
As we already said, you can teach your audience why it needs your products and service and this way, you will sell more easily and in a bigger scale.
Generates more leads
The most important site or blog goal is lead generation. It is part of the strategy that will drive to sale, once each lead is a potential client.
A lead is a visitant of your blog or another content channel that converts in a form, leaving some information about him.
With more information, it’s easier to know if the lead will be qualified or not.
Even if your site already has visitors, when you invest in Content Marketing, you can convert them in lead, offering attractive that stimulates them to leave useful information to close a deal.
And the more you generate leads, the better are the chances to sell.
Reduces Customer Acquisition Cost
Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) is a metric that indicates the cost invested in the marketing and sales areas to acquire each new client.
Content Marketing can have a lower CAC because one piece of content can reache a large number of people.
Besides that, most content produced is evergreen, which means it’s informational content will generate results for a long time. What also makes that the content turn a company asset and increase its valuation.
So, beyond reducing CAC, content brings more value to your business and contributes to help your clients without the need of your sales team efforts, making it free to focus on a more personalized and assertive approach.
Increases the client lifetime value
The lifetime value is the total value spent by the clients on your business. It means that the more they buy or the longer they stay as your clients, the bigger will be their lifetime value.
If you offer relevant and usable content to your clients, you’ll keep them for more time on your base.
They will feel important when perceiving that your brand keeps thinking about how to help them solve their problems, even after they closed the deal.
How to create a Content Marketing strategy?
Now that you know what is Content Marketing, understand its importance and realize the benefits it brings to your brand, it is time to discover how to create and execute this strategy.
Continue your reading and find out what you have to do!
Create a persona
The first step to creating good content is understanding who you are talking to. But it is not about simple segmentation: it demands the creation of a character with all attributes of your target audience.
We call this character “persona” and give it a name, social class, history, desires, problems, interests and other particularities inspired by real persons that bought from your company.
The concept of persona is more segmented than the concept of the target audience. This happens because you trace all the problems that your persona has, crossing this information with what you offer.
This strategy results in content that answers their doubts, at the same time that it creates a bond between the brand and the audience.
Define objectives and KPIs
After knowing your persona you have to define the strategic goals and the metrics you will use to verify if the campaign is reaching success.
Some of the most common goals for Content Marketing are:
- increase traffic;
- generate more leads;
- increase sales;
- educate the market;
- wide brand awareness;
- create value;
- engage the audience;
- reduce Customer Acquisition Cost;
- increase client lifetime-value.
When you know your goals, you can define the indicators to follow them. It is the Key Performance Indicators function. KPIs are metrics that we use, such as a parameter to monitor the results reached with Content Marketing.
Remember that these KPIs must have a relation to the goals. See some examples below:
- if you want to increase traffic, monitor the site’s traffic;
- if you want to generate more leads, monitor the conversion rate on your site;
- if you want to increase brand awareness, monitor social media interactions like comments, shares, and reactions on social media platforms;
- if you want to increase sales, watch out for the number of sales, ticket value, items by sale etc.;
- if you want to educate the market, watch out for the number of new subscriptions on a newsletter, access in content pages etc.;
- if you want to increase clients’ lifetime value, watch out for how long they stay as your customer.
Consider the buyer’s journey
The buying process goes by some steps, called the marketing funnel. To drive people through the funnel is used the Inbound Marketing strategies.
People usually start at the top of the funnel and go until the bottom of it, when is ready to buy. The “bait” that attracts them to there is Content Marketing.
Know each stage of the marketing funnel below.
TOFU (Top of the Funnel)
It is the most general stage of the journey when the consumer is discovering about their problem. Here you may attract many people, but just a few of them will really fit with a qualified lead profile.
At this stage, generally, people don’t leave their information yet. But, nothing prevents that it happens.
The best kind of content to offer for your audience is blog posts, podcasts, ebooks, complete guides and others that address the subjects more broadly.
MOFU (Middle of the Funnel)
In the middle of the funnel, your audience already knows they have a problem and are searching for a way to solve it.
They have probably given you some information about them in exchange for valuable content, like an ebook or infographic, and you may use this data to drive them to the bottom of the funnel.
Here, the best mode to address the themes related to your business is through blog posts, multimedia, and interactive content, keeping the focus on the solutions your company can provide to your lead.
BOFU (Bottom of Funnel)
Just the people really interested in your products or services arrive at the bottom of the funnel and have big chances to purchase your products or services.
These are the most valuable kinds of leads. These people are already educated and know what they want.
Now it’s time to bring to your client some case studies, demos of your solutions, and other client testimonials that show how your business can solve their problems.
As you can see, in each stage of the buyer’s journey, the consumer has a level of knowledge and needs different kinds of information. That’s why you have to consider the stage of the marketing funnel they are in, before producing content.
Usually, the first contact of the public with your content happens through the Search Engine Results Pages (SERP), and the best way to appear there is using relevant keywords.
You have to research which words your audience writes on the search bar to find content like yours.
The keywords may be a long or short tail. This means that the more specific they are (long tail), the more precise the results and more qualified the audience target will be.
Implement SEO (Search Engine Optimization) practices
Keywords are just one point in a whole strategy called Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This is a set of techniques used to reach the first place at search engine page results — such as Google.
The higher you rank on Google, the better are the chances that your persona will find your blog, navigate the marketing funnel and close a deal with you.
For that to be done, your content needs to be optimized for those search engines and, more than that, they need to deliver a good experience to the reader.
You can do this by:
- analyzing your results with Google Analytics to know which posts you could improve;
- using the Google Search Console tool and uploading your site map;
- installing SEO plugins like Yoast if you work with WordPress;
- using keywords that Google suggest in tools like Keyword Planner;
- optimizing the keyword’s use putting it between the first 100 words and in some subtitle, for example;
- adopting short URLs and use keywords in it;
- optimizing your pages for mobile devices;
- improving your site speed and testing it in Google PageSpeed Insights;
- designing your content using SEO best practices to rank in Google page results;
- using backlinks.
Watch the video below to understand how to do these optimizations:
Diversify content distribution channels
You can use different channels to promote your content, like blogs, social media or email marketing.
It is a way to make your audience access your content when searching actively for a specific subject, or even if it isn’t researching yet, it receives your content passively.
Be present in various channels is a way to win coverage. Below, you can see examples of some of the most commonly used channels to promote content.
Investing in Social media you can reach a large audience and drive them to your blog or institutional website.
In addition to the possibility of reaching millions of people, social media platforms allow you to publish content at no cost, which also explains its popularity among businesses.
If you want to reach a specific target, you can pay for Ads campaigns that allow more precise segmentation.
Email marketing is still alive. This channel has the biggest ROI (Return On Investment) among the most commonly used channels in a Content Marketing Strategy, according to Neil Patel.
It also allows you to use a precise segmentation and create nurturing flows to automate your campaigns.
Besides this, the channel has a low cost and high predictability on the target audience reached.
WhatsApp, Facebook, and Instagram Messengers became a big communication phenomenon and opened one more channel for Content Marketers.
Corporate accounts in these apps are spreading among all the world, and each day is more used to connect brands with their audiences.
Which are the 8 most efficient content formats to use on your strategy?
Until now, we mentioned some content formats and which channel has to distribute each of them according to the funnel stages where the leads are.
But we didn’t give you more details about them. So let’s talk a bit deeply about it!
1. Blog posts
Blog posts are the best resource to improve an SEO strategy, and that’s why they are the foundation of a Content Marketing strategy. They are responsible for attracting organic traffic from search engines.
To write a blog post you need, first, to think about the keyword of that content. Keyword research is essential to see what your audience is looking for. After that, you’ll need a copywriter to produce the text.
Copywriters have developed, over the years, several techniques to write content that persuade the reader to take action, such as purchasing something.
After having the content written, you’ll need to optimize it thinking about all the SEO rules. This optimization is the key to take your content to the first position on the search engines.
The infographic is a content format that takes the information to readers through visual resources like images, vectors, graphics, and beautiful and functional typography.
The function of infographics is to explain something quickly and objectively, just looking at it and understanding the message without any effort.
The infographics’ production process, initially, is the same as blog posts, but after a review, it will be designed by a graphic designer before it is published. This kind of content may be offered in landing pages to generate leads.
To stay competitive in the online market today it is mandatory to include videos in your Content Marketing strategy.
It is very important to find a way to grab the audience’s attention and video is a format that may be consumed wherever the people are, including, while they are doing other things, such as are waiting for medical care or are using the public transport.
Video marketing may engage your audience quickly and efficiently. People are consuming more video content than other formats. This makes video one of the best types of content to use on your strategy.
Also, according to Think With Google, 80% of people switch between video and online search when they research products to buy.
Even if they do not decide to buy after watching the video, they keep under the video’s effect for a long time.
If you post your video on a Youtube channel there are some optimization techniques that can be used to guarantee that your video will be found by the users of the platform.
Using tags, video descriptions, subtitles, and linking to other pages related to the content are a few tips for that.
Ebooks are an excellent content format to offer in exchange for some information such as name and email. Visitors can’t resist downloading this kind of publication, especially when the subject is relevant for them.
Beyond getting the consumers’ information through forms in landing pages, ebooks allow you to dive deeper into the content, explaining points that weren’t treated in a regular blog post. Because of that, this content format is a complete pack of efficient resources to grow your lead base and, consequently, increase your sales.
The production of an ebook involves a text creation and review, like a blog post, and design by a graphic designer.
5. Case studies and testimonials
Case studies and testimonials are the best credibility booster for a brand. That’s why they are so important at the bottom of the funnel. Case studies tell a client’s success story endorsed by their testimony.
One characteristic of this kind of content is that it can highlight the applications and benefits that your product or service offers. You can put the case studies and testimonial on the institutional website and on the corporate blog too.
To produce a case study and testimonial you need to interview the client. Ask them to talk about the kind of problem they were trying to solve and show how your product/service helped them to overcome their issues.
6. Social media posts
Social media posts can promote content published on other channels, like blogs. There are a few ways to utilize this channel, but the most interesting one is to create a relationship with consumers and stimulate them to interact with your brand.
Although they are used to distribute content from other channels, social media may be the type of content, such as happen in Instagram and Facebook Stories, that the content is instantaneously created on its own platform exclusively for these channels.
The production of posts for social media involves picking good quality images to illustrate the posts and writing short and objective texts, with a call to action.
7. Email marketing
We already mentioned that email marketing has one of the best ROI in a Digital Marketing strategy. That’s why it allows a very precise segmentation and with highly predictable results. Right?
It can reach some different objectives using varied formats, like relational, promotional and transactional emails.
Newsletters are used to disseminate news about the company or even to divulge new blog posts.
Nurturing flows are used to drive through the marketing funnel. It consists of a series of sequential email messages triggered by reader characteristics or actions.
The flow needs to have an objective and each email should drive the reader to the next until the persona receives the final message and makes the expected action, like contacting the company or buying a product.
Webinars are an excellent opportunity to create a relationship with your consumers as well as to educate them. During these live broadcasts, you may answer customers’ questions in real-time, besides using the content created to write new blog posts.
To produce a webinar you have to plan an agenda and a presentation about the subject that will be presented. It is important to invite your audience with some antecedence and remind them of the day before.
A checklist with some details, like equipment verification, is much-needed to make sure that all is ready for the event.
What’s the role of ROI in Content Marketing?
Return on Investment is a metric that should be analyzed in all marketing strategies. It is not different in Content Marketing: it is one of the most important metrics and probably the most loved metric by marketing managers and directors.
It is a very simple measure that gives a general idea of the performance of an investment. To calculate ROI, just take what you earned minus how much you spent and divide by how much you spent. It is extremely useful, especially to help with the definition and monitoring of concrete objectives.
If you take some time to apply this method in your business you will certainly see good results, especially because all the content you create becomes a company asset.
As you could see, Content Marketing is a must in a Digital Marketing strategy. Creating your persona, writing content that persuades the reader, having a solidified buyer’s journey and using the right channels for sure will put your company over the competition.
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