Just in case you haven’t been paying attention, content is king. Not only is it the best way to connect with your market, it’s the basis of all of your marketing tactics.
However, there is a fine distinction between merely creating content and content marketing.
Content Marketing vs Content Creation
Anyone who has ever been on the Internet knows content. It’s the videos you watch, the blogs you read, and the memes you share. Content marketing is content that’s constructed with intention.
You could argue that all content has a purpose, an intention, whether the intent is to inform, inflame, or entertain.
The art of content creation is the ability to make content that engages your audience and adds value in some form. It could be creating a blog for your company website that helps customers get more from your products, tutorials that demonstrate how they’re used, or user-generated images and video showing real people enjoying your brand.
Content marketing has the sole purpose of creating brand awareness and transforming it into interest.
Rather than simply informing or entertaining, it’s meticulously crafted, optimized, and targeted to cut through the clutter and get your audience’s attention.
How Does Content Marketing Work?
There are three golden rules of content marketing. and all of your other efforts flow from those.
Rule #1: Select the best medium to deliver your content.
You’ll drive yourself and your team crazy by trying to be everywhere at once. Choose one or two media types and optimize those.
For example, if your brand is best conveyed through images and video, make those prominent on all of your content and publish on platforms that showcase this type of content. Don’t forget to add alternative tags to aid in proper indexing.
If a blog adds more value, make sure to create an engaging, optimized blog post that contain links to related content on your website and external links to relevant, high-authority sources.
Rule #2: Match the platform to your ideal audience.
Not all platforms are created equally. Just as you should match your content type to your brand and platforms, so should you target the platforms your audience populates.
If video is your forte, decide whether your audience is more likely to see it on TikTok, YouTube, or some other platform. There’s no point in linking your latest blog post on Twitter if your audience isn’t there.
Refine and segment your audience by creating an ideal persona, and then match your platform to their online activity. You can even do this with different audience segments. For example, a brand that sells athletic shoes and accessories can segment by athletes and casual runners, and then choose their platform based on the pain points and habits of each audience segment.
Rule #3: Publish high-quality content on a reliable basis.
One thing that customers want from a brand is consistency. Brand trust and loyalty are built on a foundation of setting expectations and then meeting them on a consistent, reliable basis.
Once you choose your medium and audience, make sure that they have high-value, quality content to enjoy on a regular, predictable schedule.
Who Should Consider Content Marketing?
The short answer is: Everyone.
Content marketing is a solid strategy for almost any business, no matter what audience or industry you want to dominate.
But if you need examples, consider content marketing if you’re a(n):
- New brand looking to grow
- Affiliate marketer needing to scale
- Company wanting to rebrand
- Blogger or content creator building an audience
- Local business establishing an online presence
Content Marketing Best Practices
Now that you know why you need content marketing, you’re probably dying to know how to do it right. While any marketing strategy takes a little trial and error, you’ll streamline the process considerably and get better results by following a few content marketing best practices.
Know Your Audience as Well as You Know Your Brand
This is the first rule of any marketing strategy, and content marketing is no different. When you know your audience – what they look like, their habits, what they need, and where they congregate online – and how you can deliver based on this information, it informs all of your marketing and engagement efforts.
- Who is my ideal customer?
- How do they make buying decisions?
- What potential arguments or objections do I need to overcome?
- Are there information or service gaps that I can fill?
Use Your Ideal Customer Persona to Start a Conversation
The best way to engage an audience and gain their trust is to start a conversation or tell a story. This draws them in and helps with relatability.
However, you have to start the right conversation or tell a story that’s relevant to your audience and where they are in their journey. Use dynamic content that’s easy to read and digest, and make sure it hits the touchpoints that will move your audience to act.
Integrate Your SEO Strategy Into Your Content Strategy
Once you’ve found your platform and created content that’s relevant to your audience, you have to make sure they see it. You should already have an SEO strategy of target terms and topics.
Tie your SEO strategy into your content strategy, developing content themes based on relevant topics. Link to relevant, informative sites; internally link to relevant pages/posts. Make sure that your content is useful, valuable, and unique.
Create a Content Calendar
It will help to generate trust and build brand loyalty if your content creation stays consistent in quality and value. But, it also has to be consistently available. Customers need to know that when they want answers or information, it will be there.
You can keep your content marketing strategy on track by creating a content calendar. This will help you to greet your audience when they can expect to hear from you, and you can pre-plan your content.
Prioritize Mobile Content
So far in 2022, mobile retail sales have generated $431 billion in revenue. When consumers aren’t directly placing orders on mobile devices, they’re researching products and companies or actively searching for local businesses on the go. Search engines also prioritize mobile indexing when evaluating brand for the SERPs.
Make sure that your content looks and performs just as well on a mobile device as it does on a laptop or PC. This may take some adjustments in layout, button size, and navigation, but the results are worth the effort. In fact, design your content as if a smartphone will be the only method of delivery. It will still look and perform as well on a larger screen. The reverse is not true.
As a business leader, how would you rather spend your time:
a) Building your business?
b) Learning the ins and outs of constructing optimized, engaging marketing content?
Unless your business is copywriting, I’d bet that your answer is “a”.
Choosing a company that’s in the business of crafting effective, multi-pronged marketing strategies will save you a lot of time and hassle. It will even save money in the long run.
Invest in your business by booking a consultation with a content marketing expert at Level343 and put your lead generation in the hands of a professional today.