To dominate your industry, you need more than a great product or dream to sell. You also need an effective content marketing strategy. Every business wants to be the thought leader in its field, and content marketing can make all the difference.
Content marketing can be the ace that takes your business from obscure to becoming a dark horse.
In business, visibility is vital. The more people know about your company and its services, the more likely they will use your products or services.
By making and sharing high-quality content, businesses can build thought leadership, establish themselves as experts in their field, and attract new customers and clients.
However, simply producing content is not enough – you must also have wholesome strategies to distribute and promote your own content to maximize its impact.
This post will discuss the roadmap to success for content marketing. It will go over everything from creating a content strategy, tools, and resources to promoting your content. Using the tips, you can develop your own strategy.
What Is Marketing?
Marketing is any action or process that aims to get people interested in the products and services you offer. This process includes advertising, selling, and delivering products or services to customers or clients.
It is also essential to understand that marketing is not just about selling things but more. Marketing is a broader concept than sales. Marketing takes a keen interest in the psychology of the potential consumer. It helps them realize a need they did not know they had or, in some cases, creates demand for the product.
Marketing involves creating a demand for what you are selling and then providing a solution to that problem. It’s about understanding your audience and developing strategic marketing approach-focused content that appeals to them.
The marketing field is vast, with myriad innovative ways to get products to the target audience. There is a legion to choose from, from the more natural, organic, and subtle marketing strategies to the disruptive, shocking marketing.
What Is Content Marketing?
Content marketing focuses on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract, persuade, inform, educate, inspire and retain a clearly-defined audience—and, ultimately, drive profitable customer action.
For example, a company that makes electric cars could have a content marketing mission statement or a blog post about electric vehicles rather than writing a sales pitch for their cars. This way, they position themselves as a reliable option for information, control the narrative and create brand awareness.
Content marketing is an effective way to build thought leadership, establish yourself as an expert in your field, and attract new customers and clients.
However, content marketing is often confused with other marketing efforts, such as traditional advertising or public relations. But content marketing is different in that it focuses on consistently creating valuable content rather than interrupting customers with messages they don’t want to see.
In other words, content marketing is the art of communicating with your customers and prospects without selling. It is non-interruptive, providing information that your target audience is actively seeking out. And it’s an ongoing process, not a one-time effort.
The ultimate goal of marketing is to convert to sales. Content marketing attempts to do this while also creating value for the audience. Recent approaches to content marketing focus on delivering content that feels natural to the audience through organic searches. It creates value and subtly draws in the consumer, referred to as inbound marketing. It is a gradual approach with higher conversion rates and a tendency to build a community of fiercely loyal consumers.
Why Is Content Marketing Strategy So Important?
Figures don’t lie. The data on content marketing shows proven benefits over other forms of marketing. This has led to a shift in marketing, with 36% of enterprise marketers saying they’ve shifted paid advertising budget dollars to content marketing.
Content marketing is different from traditional marketing in that it is based on creating value. It aims to attract consumers with valuable information rather than sell the product to them in an interruptive manner.
The customer actively looks for the value you offer while positioning your brand so it can be found.
Here are some benefits of content marketing:
Information is critical, prospective clients need information, and content marketing is a way to get it across that is most appealing to the target audience. It also helps show potential and existing customers how your products and services can solve their issues.
Aside from selling your product eventually, a content marketing strategy allows you to build relationships with current and potential consumers of your product. Such relationships based on having received value from the brand usually attract a sense of loyalty, which is handy in retaining clients.
Content marketing has been found to have better conversion rates than traditional marketing strategies.
According to the Content Marketing Institute B2B content marketing report, 72% of the most successful marketers say that content marketing generates leads, with 57% claiming that content marketing has directly increased business sales.
It builds a community around the brand. This, more often than not, translates to more significant sales. Every business needs its own “fan base”. That is, a group of people who are not just customers but also advocates of the brand. Good content marketing can help you achieve that.
Types of Content Marketing
Content marketing is not a one-size-fits-all for brands. It requires proper curation of the content and content positioning.
Ultimately, the marketing strategy a brand adopts is tailored to its audience and the motives behind the plan. Interestingly, the different marketing types are not mutually exclusive; a single strategy can embody more than one type of content marketing.
For example, a brand’s content marketing strategy can include infographics, videos, and text-based content marketing on social media.
Some of the types of content marketing, include:
Infographics Content Marketing
Infographics are an all-time favorite, especially with difficult-to-understand concepts. It involves using text and pictures in a graphic format to dispense information.
It is a pretty effective tool in content marketing. The target audience can absorb information at a glance and without as much hassle. Infographics can be leveraged to generate a lot of traffic for your site. For example, Visual Capitalist provides a lot of infographic content to businesses and sites for free, attracting a lot of traffic from people and businesses looking for visualizations of complex information.
Influencer Content Marketing
Influencer content marketing is another effective type of content marketing that generates a good ROI. For every dollar spent on influencer marketing, you generate up to $6.50.
The aim of influencer marketing is to reach a wider audience. It is usually done using social media. The best person for the job is someone who is well-known in your industry and has a strong social media presence.
The social media presence includes the number of followers, engagements, activities, and impressions per post. An opinion leader with a community on social media can positively influence the brand.
Social Media Content Marketing
Social media is the 21st-century market hub. With the vast population of active users, you can always find your target audience.
Creating valuable content and posting it on social media can help your brand gain visibility and convert sales.
Today, if your brand doesn’t have an online presence, you’re not doing it a good service. If you are going to be on social media, why not make the best use of it for marketing?
There is a wide array of options: LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Tiktok. The hack here lies in niche creation. Carving a niche for your brand on social platforms is imperative if you’re going to market your brand there.
This method requires a working-level understanding of the algorithm of the platform of choice. For example, having a good knowledge of hashtags and how to use them to make your content discoverable is key to marketing on Instagram.
Also, creating trends, viral videos, and challenges works great with Tiktok and Twitter.
Video Content Marketing
Videos are a great medium of communication. Studies have shown that the video medium is more appealing to most consumers. 86% of businesses today use video as a marketing tool. This is because the average person spends about 100 minutes watching videos daily.
Video content can be expensive to produce, but it generates a good return on investment if done properly. Video content is easy to consume and digest for many people.
Podcast Content Marketing
Podcasts have recently become very popular, with over two million active podcasts out there. There is no doubt that podcasting has become a viable medium for businesses to reach their audience today without expending too many resources.
With podcasts, you determine the tone, ambiance, and type of space you are building. It also allows for creativity, with better chances of building a community of users. It is also quite easy to start a podcast with the number of free podcast hosting and publishing platforms available.
Written Content Marketing
Written content can take different forms, from everyday blogs to ebooks, case studies, testimonials, guides, and how-tos.
Blog posts are the most used type of written content for content marketing Blog posts help creates brand awareness, build credibility and provide helpful information for the user. A business can make its blog content more effective by using SEO strategies to help its blog pages rank higher on search engines.
Blogging is also a low-cost approach to content marketing. Setting up a simple blog is a fairly easy process with the many ready-to-use web design tools available today.
On the other hand, case studies, ebooks, and how-to guides can be good lead magnets to drive traffic to a website.
Determining Content Marketing Strategy
Certain factors help you arrive at the correct conclusion about what is best for your business. The factors to consider in the final choice of your content marketing strategy are
Demography of the Target Audience
The demographics of your customers influence your practical strategy selection. The age, sex, marital status, and occupation of your audience may influence your choice. Is your product meant for families, young people, people who work from home, startups, or restaurants? The demography of users differs across content channels and dictates the content form they find more appealing.
Podcasts and videos may appeal to the younger generation, while written media and infographics might work better with an older audience.
The phrase “data is the new oil” is not a coincidence; it is an observation of the role data plays in the real world. Always ask what the data says.
While you cannot always be focused on what the numbers say, it does help to have some insights into what is currently working.
What does the data on conversion rates of a particular content marketing strategy say? What do we have on the plan’s appeal to your proposed audience?
Do not assume; make decisions based on empirical evidence.
The budget is always an important part of any marketing plan, and it’s no different for content marketing.
Content marketing is usually a continuum, a marathon, if you may.
It puts a brand at a significant disadvantage and jettisons all previous efforts if you have to stop the content creation process due to a lack of funds.
Planning and choosing strategies that give the best possible results using the available funds is necessary.
What is your objective for publishing content? At the end of it all, what will you consider a successful marketing campaign?
These questions help the brand to gain clarity before curating a content marketing strategy. It is generally known that marketing aims to improve sales ultimately.
Other short-term goals and objectives include increasing visibility, website traffic, or even social media engagement.
The product itself, be it a good or service, affects the choice of content marketing strategy. Curating video content is excellent for products and services; you can show a visual outcome.
For example, a brand in the fashion industry will do great using video content marketing. It might not work so well for some other service providers. Infographics might work better in legal or health-related fields.
Use content that works best with your product and brand.
Developing a Content Marketing Strategy
Here are the steps you need to take to create a content marketing strategy that converts.
Step 1: Understand Your Audience
As content marketers, one of the essential tasks is to understand your audience. Your audience is the target market of your content marketing efforts.
To develop a deep understanding of your audience, you need to know their needs, wants, and pain points. Only then can you create content that appeals to them and helps them solve their problems.
Understanding your target audience’s needs will help you to determine the type of content you create and how you position your brand. Start by conducting market research to understand your audience’s needs.
Market research gives you the needed information to tailor your content effectively. You can do this by collecting data through surveys, focus groups, and interviews or by analyzing the data you already have. You can start producing content that satisfies your target audience’s needs once you understand those needs.
While catering to your audience’s needs, it is also essential to understand their wants. Their wants and needs will determine the topics you write about and the tone of your content. To understand your audience’s wants, pay attention to the type of content they consume and share on social media platforms.
You can also use tools like Google Analytics to see what content strategy is most popular on your website or blog. This will help you have a good understanding of your audience’s wants. You can then begin creating content that appeals to their desires.
Audience’s Pain Points
It is essential to understand your customers’ pain points. Their pain points are advantageous to you and will determine the type of content you create and how you can help them.
Start by conducting market research to understand your audience’s pain points. You can do this through surveys, focus groups, interviews, and data analysis.
Step 2: Set Your Goals
Now that you understand your audience, it’s time to set some goals for your content marketing efforts.
With every endeavor, one must set out with a goal in mind. What do you intend to achieve with this project? The same rule applies to content marketing.
The question of what the aim of the marketing campaign is must be answered before going further into the plans.
The goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound.
Without goals, it will be hard to measure your success and figure out if your content marketing strategy is working or not.
Some common goals for content marketing strategies include:
The first and most common goal of content marketing is to generate leads. A possible customer who has shown interest in your product or service is called a “lead.”
To get leads from content marketing, you need to write down a plan that appeals to your target audience and gives them a way to get in touch with you or learn more about your business.
A call to action, a contact form, or adding more information about your product or service to your website or blog can all help you achieve this.
Building Brand Awareness
Building brand awareness is another common objective of content marketing. Brand awareness is the level of customer recognition of your brand.
To build brand awareness with content marketing, you must create exciting and engaging content. You also must ensure that your content is distributed to as many people as possible.
To do this, you can promote your content online, send it to directories and aggregators, and write guest posts on other blogs.
Also, try to make interesting headlines that accurately describe what your article or post is about. People are more likely to click on and read an article with a headline that intrigues them than one that is mundane or uninteresting.
Increasing Website Traffic
Another common goal of content marketing is increasing website traffic. Website traffic is the number of people who visit your website. There are several ways to increase website traffic.
One popular method is to use SEO to improve your site’s ranking in search results. You can do this by adding keywords to your site’s content, optimizing your website’s title and meta tags, and building backlinks to your site.
Another effective way to increase website traffic is to use social media. Creating compelling content and sharing it on popular platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn can help draw your site’s attention and attract website visitors.
You can also use targeted advertising to reach users who are most likely interested in your products or services. You can get a lot more traffic to your website by making it more visible and easy for people to find with organic searches.
It is possible to have more than one goal in a marketing strategy. However, it is essential to be realistic, especially if you are new to content marketing.
The next thing is to set the key performance indicators (KPIs) for these goals. They are objective ways to figure out if the marketing campaign’s goals have been met or not.
Some relevant KPIs include
- Subscribers sign up
- Number of likes and followers on
- Website Traffic
- Increased sales
The KPI should be in tandem with the goal. For example, a good KPI for increasing social media engagement will be the number of likes, followers, and shared posts.
Step 3: Set a Budget
Content marketing, like every other type of marketing, costs money. What portion of revenue do you want to earmark for marketing? How do you plan to use the funds?
Attach specific amounts to the different aspects of the campaign.
Step 4: Create Your Content
Now that you understand your audience, have a plan, and have set some goals, it’s time to start creating your user-generated content. Remember, understanding your audience’s wants and needs is the key to creating great content.
Content quality is central to successful content marketing. Content marketing is centered on value creation and how you provide value through your content.
Whatever content you put out reflects the quality of your brand. You don’t want to cut corners. Poorly researched content or subpar presentation gives off the impression of a less-than-stellar brand. This will do the brand more harm than good.
Here are some tips for creating great content:
- Think about what type of content channels your audience wants to see. Remember, your content should be based on what the audience wants, not what your company wants.
- Make sure your content is well-written and free of errors.
- Use images, infographics, and videos to break up your text and make your content more visually appealing.
- The presentation of the content should be aimed at perfection.
- Include calls to action in your content to encourage readers to take action.
- Share your content on social media and other platforms to reach a wider audience.
- Consider the questions of what information you want to put out, what it says about your brand and the form of content you want to create. These important questions pose a dilemma to many content creators. Using content marketing tools, and resources and using a content calendar can help a digital marketer overcome this dilemma. This brings us to the next section.
Content Marketing Tools
Creating content sounds like a lot of fun, especially with something you are passionate about. It is a walk in the park to develop content; creating content that converts is a different ball game. It can also be quite tricky. Luckily, content marketing tools and resources help get your creative juices flowing.
Depending on the form of the content, there are varying resources.
The common saying that ideas are a dime a dozen is an exception, not the rule, when you want to create content. Getting the right ideas can be a hassle. Competitive research and the information generated from understanding your audience will help create a great content
Graphic Content Tools
Having appealing visuals does great wonders for your content. It piques the audience’s interest and makes it easier to consume information.
You do not need to be a graphics guru to create infographics using these free tools.
Some great beginner-friendly tools include;
Written Content Tools
Written content is the basis for all content. In the real sense of it, all content is essentially text. You first have to write error-free content that precisely communicates with the intended audience. You can then convert to any other format of your choice – infographics, animated videos, podcasts, etc.
Writing great content that converts can pose a bit of a challenge. There are a ton of content-writing tools out there to help you navigate the world of written content.
Here are some of the best writing tools. Some of which are available for free:
Video Content Tools
Making content videos can be difficult; imagine having to restart every time there is a blooper. There are great video editors to make flawless edits to video content, apps that convert text or even plain pictures into videos, and apps to create animated videos.
Whether you choose to shoot a video or create one from other forms of content, there is an app for you.
Some of the easy-to-navigate video editors for content creators include:
Search Engine Optimization Tools
These tools are the magic wands to take your content from an obscure corner of the internet to the limelight! No matter how great and well-curated your content is, it remains that if people can’t find it easily online.
How do you ensure that your potential client sees your content before anyone else? – the answer is a strategic position, where search engine optimization comes in.
Some tools help you tailor your content for easy discoverability.
Audio Content Creation Tools
Audio recordings that appeal to the audience are essential—ditto proper pronunciation, enunciation, and diction. There are tools to help you create, edit, and publish excellent audio content.
Some favorites are
Other tools that come in handy include: meme creation tools, GIF creation tools, and presentation tools.
With all these digital tools in your armory, you can be assured of excellent, top-of-the-SERPs, discoverable content.
Content Marketing Resources
In addition to these tools, there are excellent resources for content marketers to make their work easier and more effective.
Some of these resources include:
There are quite a number of content marketing courses available today. These courses help content marketers learn the use of some of the tools used in content marketing for effective content marketing. Some well-curated content marketing courses include Content Marketing Certification Course by Hubspot, Digital Marketing Courses by CXL, The Strategy of Content Marketing by Coursera, Content marketing Foundations by LinkedIn Learning, Promote a Business With Content by Google, etc.
Podcasts can be a resource for the creator to learn and a channel to distribute the content. Several podcasts dedicated to content strategy can serve as guides in the early days of your content marketing journey. Some of the most listened-to podcasts on content marketing include: This Old Marketing, Online Marketing Made Easy, Content and Conversation, Marketing School Podcast, etc.
Examples are a more practical way to learn. It aids understanding and breaks down concepts. Case studies are content marketing scenarios that teach with a hands-on approach.
Just like you would teach your target audience specific things using blog posts, you can also earn effective content marketing by reading blog posts. Detailed step-by-step guides to content creation and marketing can be found in blog posts. Blogs such as Hubspot, BuzzSumo, Content Marketing Institute, and Moz rank as some of the best-written resources on content marketing.
When you seek knowledge, don’t forget to read a book! Ebooks on content marketing provide in-depth knowledge and a step-by-step guide into content marketing. Some great books on content marketing include Epic Content Marketing by Joe Pulizzi, Managing Content Marketing by Robert Rose and Joe Pulizzi, How Brands Become Icons by Douglas B.Holt, among others.
Platforms to Share Your Content
There are many different platforms you can use to share your content. Some of the most popular content channels that content marketers use are social media, websites, organic search, paid search, email marketing, etc.
The best platform for you will depend on your goals and audience. Your content should be targeted at the platforms your audience already frequents. Thus, they can easily discover the content through natural organic search.
You can share your content on your website or create a blog. This is a great way to show off your industry knowledge and build trust with potential customers.
Your website needs to contain critical elements such as CTAs, navigation bars, search bars, content categories, and top posts.
A CTA is a call to action. It’s an image or text that encourages users to take action. You must be appealing and have a sense of urgency.
The Navigation Bar
The navigation bar is the menu of your website. It allows users to navigate your site and find the content they want.
The search bar allows users to search for specific keywords on your website. This is useful if you have a large website with lots of content.
A Top Post
A top post is a blog post that has been particularly popular with users. It is generally displayed on the homepage of your website or blog.
Content categories are a way to organize your content. This makes it easier for users to find the content they want.
Another platform you can use to share your content is email. It is a subscriber-based method.
It has the unique advantage of sending your content directly to those who have shown interest in the product by subscribing.
There is also a communal sense to it and a personalized touch to marketing. It allows you to send newsletters, product updates, and other information directly to your subscribers.
Email marketing uses some of the same techniques as person-to-person and psychological marketing, but it doesn’t bother people as much as traditional marketing methods.
This is a high-investment, high-reward way to distribute content. Well-written ebooks pass the message of the credibility and reliability of the brand to potential consumers.
The information in e-books is more detailed and goes into more depth about a topic that interests the reader. It is excellent for brand visibility and keeps the brand on the lips of potential clients.
A tree does not make a forest. Collaboration is a great way to do business, and it’s especially important when you’re trying to reach more people.
Sharing your content as a guest blogger on other sites increases your reach and is a fantastic way to market your product.
Question And Answer Forums
Q&A forums like Reddit and Quora are strategic locations for content distribution. Consumers have a barrage of questions that plague them. Quite a percentage use forums like Reddit and Quora to seek answers to those questions.
Remember, content marketing is all about creating value; you can give responses to those questions while promoting your brand.
Consistently doing this will, over time, create credibility for the brand.
When people talk about distributing their content on social media, most focus on sharing content on the brand’s pages. There is a lot more to social media distribution, however.
For example, you can use social media groups for content marketing effectively. This method is much more effective on platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn, similar to making use of QA forums.
You can add value to social media groups by answering questions, giving information, and promoting your products at the same time.
Paid Distribution Channels
Another way to distribute your content is to pay for it: influencer marketing, social media advertising, and pay-per-click.
Measuring the Success of Your Content Marketing Campaign
The final step in your content marketing roadmap is to measure the success of your campaign. A good manager should plan, implement, and, very importantly, evaluate.
You prepared your content marketing strategy and implemented it. You have to evaluate it by measuring how successful it was. What were the pitfalls, and how do we improve for a better outcome?
You can measure success by looking at several metrics known as KPIs, including website traffic, social media engagement, and email subscribers.
The metric chosen is determined by the previously established goals and objectives.
One way to measure the success of your content marketing campaign is by looking at the amount of traffic your website receives. You can do this by using Google Analytics.
It gives relevant insight into the number of website clicks, the demography of the blog visitors, and the keyword that leads them there. All this information helps you plan the next marketing campaign objectively.
Social Media Engagement
Another metric you can use to measure the success of your content marketing campaign is social media platform engagement. This includes likes, shares, and comments on your social media posts.
Another metric you can use to measure the success of your content marketing campaign is the number of email subscribers you have. This shows how many people are interested in receiving updates from your company.
By keeping track of how well your content marketing campaign is doing, you can make changes to your plan and make sure you are on track to reach your goals.
Another way to measure the effectiveness of your content marketing is by measuring the number of listeners your podcast has. You can also measure the number of subscribers and share the content you garner.
If you use video content marketing, you want to be sure that people are watching your videos. Creating good-quality videos is quite expensive. You do not want to keep spending money and time creating videos no one watches. Constantly measure your views and subscribers to measure your success and growth.
Features of Effective Content Marketing Strategy
Effective content marketing campaigns stand out among others. Some qualities that make your content effective include the following:
A brand should be an entity on its own with its own voice and image. The brand identity must be recognizable in all content put out by a brand.
It is essential to maintain the same tone and similar stance. This builds an impression of the credibility of the brand amongst the audience.
As a brand grows and with different content creation teams, there is a tendency towards a variation in the voice and tone of the brand. A way to prevent this is to have a brand style guide for written and visual content; regardless of who creates the content, the brand image and voice should be maintained.
Another way in which consistency matters is in the frequency of putting out content; if the audience knows they can rely on the brand to deliver quality content at regular intervals, it builds trust.
We can not stress enough that content marketing is premised upon value creation. For compelling content, it goes a bit further. It provides more value than the products it is about to market.
An example is a skincare brand that wants to sell a face cleanser for sensitive skin. The content marketing strategy will be a comprehensive topical cluster on sensitive skin types, skin diseases, and infections, and a CTA at the end.
On the other hand, a competitor with a similar product who puts up a blog post on the features of their products or where to get them is less likely to generate more traffic for the campaign.
While the brand has gone above and beyond the bare minimum to provide value and will establish itself in the minds of the audience even those that do not currently use that product, the second brand has merely tried to sell a product.
When making content, you should always keep in mind the need to solve the client’s immediate problems.
Stages of the Buyer’s Journey
There are three stages in a buyer’s journey – research, consideration, and decision.
An example is a man trying to buy a gift for his wife’s birthday. During the research stage, he is likely to conduct searches for terms such as “best birthday gifts for wife” or a related topic.
A content creator writing on that or curating it should give a broader perspective on potential gifts while plugging in their products. At this point, the potential customer is less focused on an actual product and only wants to know their options.
At the consideration stage, he has narrowed in on one product. For example, a piece of jewelry. The subsequent search will be like this: “best jewelry shops in Atlanta.’ The creator curating content around this can place more emphasis on their product. What makes the brand distinct from others? This will influence the decision.
A good content marketing strategy should take all these stages into consideration. If during any of the stages, the buyer has reason to look for information outside of your content marketing channels, then you might lose the buyer.
This is one example of considering the buyer personas and psyche in content creation.
Content marketing is a powerful tool that can help businesses dominate their industry. By creating high-quality, targeted content, a business can attract new customers and build a loyal following.
However, dominance requires dedication and a clear understanding of your audience. The roadmap gives businesses a plan for success by outlining the key steps that need to be taken to make a successful content marketing strategy.
By following the roadmap, businesses can come up with content marketing plans that will help them become the best in their field.