Content. What is it?
To answer this, first one has to understand what is content. Content is the information that one can see when they visit a website. For instance the about us page of a website or an ecommerce platform, the blogs written on various sites, infographics, video stories, tweets, power point presentations all are examples of various kinds of content. It is through content marketing that the various consumable pieces of information works for a brand or for a particular individual in a cohesive format.
Now that we have a basic idea regarding content, next comes content marketing.
Joe Pulizzi, the founder of the Content Marketing Institute defines it as, “Content marketing is a strategic approach focused creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience-and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action”.
Michael Brenner, the CEO of Marketing Insider Group defines it as, “Content marketing is about delivering the content your audience is seeking in all the places they are searching for it. It is the effective combination of created, curated and syndicated content.
In other words, it is the marketing of a brand or a business through sharing of insightful, entertaining or educational information that will help readers to improve their knowledge. It is not about forcing a sales pitch at people but helping them move towards the best course of action.
These days few businesses still exist that are not aware of the power of right content marketing. However, only a handful are executing it with the skill and expertise truly required to make a successful impact.
Why should you engage in Content Marketing?
Audiences these days are geared more towards researching a lot before they purchase anything. Brands can engage in providing them with that information through content. Informative content like video blogs and infographics work wonders for initial stage brand awareness. When the potential customers are getting ready to make a purchase, they will want more immersive collateral like whitepapers, eBooks or product videos. Providing these resources sets a brand apart from the rest of the market.
Blogging creates the base for Content Marketing
It is blog articles that have pioneered content marketing. Blogs have become as common as bread and butter in the content marketing world. It allows people to access quality information for free (mostly).
When you share informative content through a business blog, you inevitably come across as an industry expert or an expert of your niche as you slowly develop your blogs over time to get to the level of expertise and panache that you had initially envisioned. This will not only bring more and more visitors to your blog, but this also holds the potential to turn them into potential buyers.
Benefits of Content Marketing
There are many ways through you can improve SEO, but nothing comes close to the impact that content marketing can create on your website’s SEO power if proper content strategies are adopted. For Google it aims to match the highest quality and the most relevant information when users put in their search queries. If and only if your content matches what the audience is looking for then you have very low chances of securing a rank on the SERP.
The ranking on search engines is solely based on the specific keywords in your written content. More content means more keywords, which translates to more opportunities for higher ranking on the SERP. This is why the trend these days is towards creating longer content. People not reading long blogs is a myth and has been successfully busted with the pages that have higher ranks having content length of around two thousand words. Hence keyword research is very important for successful content marketing.
The other major factor in SEO is securing backlinks. When other websites link to your sites, Google views your website as a respected authority and thereby pushes you up in the ranking scale.
The easiest way to get backlinks is to create content that is worthy of being shared on social media platforms and on other blogging websites. Content that is rich in information and has relevance has higher chances of being shared and read.
Importance of having an effective content strategy
An effective content strategy is very important if you want your website to perform better and outrace those in the competition. These are some of the benefits of content marketing:
- An effective content marketing strategy improves customer service through-
- Tutorials-These help your customers know the most about your product or service by showing them how.
- FAQs– You can take a creative approach to answering your FAQ section as these are very important for any ecommerce platform. You should take the time to answer all the questions thoroughly so that your customers are satisfied and find the information to be of help.
- Community Updates– When you share testimonials or simply give a shout-out to your respective clients/customers this can help in building a sense of community while also promoting your brand in an authentic way simultaneously.
- Content Marketing also helps in building public relations- In this time and age the presence of internet has made it very easy for websites and new platforms to announce new products or services to the world very easily. In the past, getting featured on TV was difficult and expensive. These days, there is no need for that. You no longer need a publicist to communicate with your customers and fans. Blog posts have changed the need for press releases. With Facebook Live there is no need for the traditional press conference. Everything that you need for your PR is right there at your fingertips and it is mostly free.
- Content Marketing is essential to build an industry standard. It is essential and forms one of the primary steps to building a brand in 2018 and beyond. We have come a long way off the point where doing content marketing provides your business with a big boost and gives you the advantage over the competition and have successfully transitioned to a phase where not engaging in content marketing can put your business at a serious peril. All markets and demographics are consuming content online at a very high rate and thus content marketing is marketing by today’s standards.
Social Media Content Marketing
Creating and then distributing compelling content through social media is very important from the consideration of a branding perspective. The trick to the future of content marketing lies in making use of social media platforms wisely. Work more on creating content that can be shared on social media and engage the audiences in conversation and debate. Social media content focuses more on creating content is mobile friendly. These days, we are on our mobile most of the times, hence a website that have created their blogs and posts in such a manner that they are easily viewable or readable have more chances of acquiring audiences and landing a good SERP rank. Mobile content marketing holds the key to businesses to improve their visibility and also drive more traffic to their websites.
Moreover, videos are doing the rounds of providing content in a clear and concise manner. If you can provide your content in the form of a video that explains about your product if you are an ecommerce company or provide information in the form if videos then you will the opportunity to attract more audience and thereby increase your online brand visibility. Email content marketing is also a trend that is picking up these days with brands rediscovering the value of traditional emails.
While you might be aware of the benefits of content marketing and its power to steer your business in the right direction, generate sales, improve brand visibility and much more, are you doing it correctly? Here are some of the content marketing best practices.
- Blog frequently-Blogging is the fastest and sure shot way to create a platform for sharing and you can turn your brand into a content generating machine. Businesses that blog are at a much more healthy position and have a higher chance of getting more website visitors. This will greatly assist you in securing a good ranking on the SERP. And also drive more relevant traffic to your website. Blogging is a fun way to give your audience a behind-the-scenes glimpse of your company. Share histories and experiences, make your audience relate to your journey. That way you can engage your audiences.
- Exclusive Content– Provide exclusive information on your blogs that your audience will not be able to find anywhere else. These might be facts that hardly anyone talks about but they should be. It is very useful for getting people to visit your other content and social media locations. You can also engage in a varied range of content formats like- demystifiers- where you demystify or break down a lesser known concept, checklists, how-to-videos, infographics, etc.
- Interviews– While many media companies have made interviews as a part of their core content offerings, there are some companies and businesses which specifically extend their on-air interviews of board members or mangers to be used as web-only content. These interviews can be- talking to key people about your topic. For many businesses this means their employees, but it can also include outside experts on the topics. You can also engage in debates which will be somewhat different than what the other businesses are engaging in. This will also give you an edge.
- Content Creation– The aim here is to offer related resources for your audience that underlines your insight and your level of expertise in the chosen field. Instead of just collating a collection of links, add commentary to the existing content to help your audience get a better grasp of the issues involved.
The trick to developing an efficient content marketing strategy lies a great deal in identifying your target audiences and discovering what they like to read and talk about. That way you can create topic in your area that will provide them not only with information rich content, but something that will educate them. Talk about recent developments in your field and how the future can is slated to bring in a lot of changes. To sum it up, give them something to think about, to ponder over. Also identify where and how to share your content on the various social media sites. Take to Instagram if your content is rich in images. Use Youtube if you have a lot of explained videos and if video blogging is your ultimate content strategy. Tweet about your blogs if they have are more educational or informational. If it is a trending topic, then Facebook should be your best bet. Identify which is the platform where your ideal audience group spends the most time on, and use that to share and promote your content. Content promotion and content distribution forms a crucial part of marketing and building brand awareness of your blogs and thereby of your company.