Content marketing should be an integral part on any online marketing strategy. Of course, we all know what content is by now. After all, content is everywhere. With images, videos, blog posts and infographics visible on every corner of the internet it can be hard to know where to get started.
As a result, you may just end up half-heartedly writing a short blog post every few months or randomly posting images on social media. Unfortunately, that’s not going to be enough to compete in today’s saturated content market. So, rather than aimlessly posting into the void, it’s time to start thinking about content marketing and the benefits it can bring to your business.
What is content marketing?
HubSpot define content marketing as ‘…the process of planning, creating, distributing, sharing, and publishing content to reach your target audience.’ What sets an effective content marketing plan apart from creating and publishing random content is the strategy.
A good content strategy takes into consideration your target audience, KPIs and goals to create valuable, relevant and consistent content. A good content strategy will also continuously measure and analyse the results of your existing content in order to inform your future strategy.
Different types of content marketing
There are many different types of content marketing. The type of content you wish to produce will differ depending on your industry, target audience and goals. However, we generally recommend a mix of the following in order to create a diverse content strategy that appeals to multiple different types of users:
- Social media content
- Blog posts
- Long form content such as e-books and whitepapers
Why is content marketing important?
There are many different benefits of content marketing. Some of the main advantages include:
- A boost to sales and conversions
Generally, users have 4 – 5 different touch points with a brand before they convert. The more high-value content you have on your site, the more opportunities you are providing for users to encounter and interact with your site. This is your opportunity to provide customers with the information they need to make an educated purchasing decision and lead them further into your site via CTAs.
- An opportunity to engage with existing customers and attract new users
If you’ve created an effective content strategy you will have meticulously researched who your main customer base is, what they want and why. Putting this into action allows you to communicate with that existing customer base and strengthen your existing relationship, whilst simultaneously attracting targeted new users by creating valuable content that they are genuinely interested in.
- It’s the most cost-effective form of marketing
According to a recent study by Caliston Digital, content marketing is the most cost effective marketing strategy. In comparison to traditional marketing efforts like advertisements, content marketing is abundantly cheaper for a variety of reasons. Firstly, because it is much better at targeting qualified traffic, thus making it more valuable. It can also be used to benefit other marketing efforts like social media, PR and SEO, creating long-term value across multiple channels (we’ll discuss more on this later).
- You can establish yourself as an industry leader
Creating in-depth and valuable content is a great way to establish yourself and your business as a thought leader within your industry. Create thought pieces on the latest news in your industry and produce content that expertly answers your customers questions. In doing so, the user will come to trust your opinion and Google will begin to trust your site.
Why Content Marketing should be part of your integrated marketing strategy
As briefly mentioned, users generally have 4 -5 different touch points with a brand before they convert. As demonstrated above, content marketing is incredibly valuable not only as its own area of marketing, but also because it can strengthen your other marketing efforts.
Of course, stand-alone social media content is valuable in its own right. However, sharing other forms of quality content such as blog posts or YouTube videos on your social media is beneficial too.
Firstly, it can help to diversify your timeline, grid, feed etc as it is a new type of content for existing and new users to enjoy.
Secondly, because it drives users to your other channels such as YouTube or your website and thus moves the users one step further in the buying cycle.
Lastly, it saves you money, time and resources, as you’re simply sharing content that already exists, rather than having to create brand new content for your socials.
Content marketing is also incredibly useful for PR, particularly if you are producing high value forms of content such as surveys, whitepapers and e-books. With a good outreach strategy, you can share your ready-made content with influencers and journalists regularly. Thus, helping you gain valuable connections, obtain free advertisement, and acquire important backlinks to your site and content – thus improving the value of said content in Google’s eyes.
In our eyes, SEO and content should work hand in hand. Having an integrated SEO and content strategy is mutually beneficial for both strategies for a variety of reasons.
The main one being that Google likes websites to be regularly updated and consistently publishing blog posts is one of the easiest ways to do that. Furthermore, the more content you have, the more pages Google has available to index and display in the search results. Thus, providing more opportunities for users to find your site.
As briefly mentioned in the section above, backlinks will also improve the SEO value of your content. This can be achieved through PR outreach, but if you are producing interesting and insightful content you should also gain these links naturally through user shares.
Furthermore, with SEO in mind, fresh content allows for new internal linking opportunities. Within the copy you can link to other relevant pages within your site and vice versa, thus improving the value of both.
Lastly, producing new content allows you to target those all important keyphrases. Thorough keyword research should be carried out as part of both your SEO and content strategies. You can then use this research to create optimised content that targets priority, supporting, long tail or underperforming keywords, depending on your goals.
Our Content Marketing Services
Hopefully you know all about content marketing now. However, if you’re looking for more information, please get in touch today to find out how we can help you create a valuable content strategy that gets results for your organisation.
As mentioned, we prefer to take an integrated SEO Content Marketing approach. However, we offer a variety of services depending on what suits your business needs best including content strategy development, multilingual copywriting and stand-alone SEO services.
Photo Credit: Aaron Weiss and Austin Distel