Content Marketing 101

Did you know content marketing gets three times more leads than paid advertising (Source)? Content is king! This phrase implies that unique, quality, relevant, and interesting content significantly contributes to a company’s online presence and digital marketing success.

We live in the information age and we are used to having endless information at their fingertips. The Internet has completely revolutionized the consumer journey and how we make purchase decisions. Over the last few decades, we have seen the rise of content marketing and it is not going anywhere!

What is Content Marketing?

As the Content Marketing Institute explains, content marketing is “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” (Content Marketing Institute 2019).

Content marketing is key for digital marketing success! Quality content is necessary for high engagement on social media, a high open and click rate with email marketing, an increase in organic website traffic, etc.

Why Do You Need Content Marketing?

Many small businesses are motivated to implement content marketing to build their brand, engage with their audience, improve their search engine optimization, position themselves as an expert or thought leads, and to generate new leads.

There are plenty of reasons to adapt content marketing including:

  • Take your customers on a journey and nurture them towards purchase
  • Build customer relationships and increase trust
  • Enhance customer loyalty and encourage repeat business
  • Position yourself as an expert in the industry
  • Expand your reach online and generate new leads
  • Build your brand and increase brand awareness
  • Be proactive, rather than reactive
  • Add fresh and relevant content to your website
  • Improve your search engine optimization
  • Increase website traffic
  • Higher conversion rates

Once you have identified the need for content marketing, build your case and seek buy-in from others in the organization. Content marketing can be leveraged to position you as an expert, show your authoritativeness in the industry, and build trust.

What Makes Quality Content?

As Simon Kingsnorth states, “Great content needs to be all of the following: credible, shareable, useful or fun, interesting, relevant, different, and on brand”

  • Credible – It has to be believable
  • Shareable – Make it relatable & applicable to many
  • Useful or fun – Teaches, helps or entertains your audience
  • Interesting – Is it worth engaging or interacting with?
  • Relevant – Know your audience & get in their heads
  • Different – Doesn’t have to be unique, but our own
  • On brand – Connect your content to your brand

Now that you know what makes great content, here are a few content marketing cautions:

  • Be aware of the Curse of Knowledge: It is a cognitive bias that occurs when an individual unknowingly assumes their audience has the background to understand. Make sure you take the customer’s perspective, get into their heads, reflect on their needs, and speak their language.
  • Avoid fragmentation: A fragmented approach results when there is no strategy or too many voices/people involved. Always stay true to your marketing strategy and create with a purpose.
  • Content Overload: Don’t try to do everything. Don’t bombard your audience. Be strategic with your efforts and remember quality is better than quantity!

Keep these cautions in mind when crafting your content marketing strategy and creating your content.

Craft Your Content Marketing Strategy

Follow these 6 easy steps to craft your content marketing strategy:

  1. Define your objectives, audience, channels, and resources
  2. Audit your current performance and the competition
  3. Brainstorm content topics and content formats
  4. Plan and create your content calendar and content checklist
  5. Monitor your channels and content
  6. Evaluate your efforts

For more details, view 6-Steps to Craft Your Content Marketing Strategy.

Source: Kingsnorth, Simon. Digital Marketing Strategy: An Integrated Approach to Online Marketing. Philadelphia, Kogan Page Limited, 2016.