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I recently experienced a surprise encounter that saw me educating a 50-something-year-old sporting acquaintance about what I do for a living. After five minutes into the discussion, it dawned on me, the misconception that everyone out there knows the ins and outs of Content Marketing simply isn’t true.
I soon came to the very real discovery that from an outsider looking in, the Digital Marketing industry could be considered by some as pretty alien and an obscure industry that needs explaining to those not familiar with how Content Marketing works and what we do. So here it goes.
Keeping a mental log of the experience, it prompted me to compile a list of the top queries encountered in between matches and answer these in an FAQ-style format:
In a nutshell, Content Marketing is defined as:
Source: Content Marketing Institute
But what does that actually mean in the real world?
Without stating the obvious, Content Marketing is all about the creation and promotion of good quality, erm, content, which drives a specific action or activity (e.g. increases conversions, acquires links, encourages email sign ups, social sharing etc).
Everyone who produces content wants it to have the desired effect, to reach the right people, be of high quality and enjoyed; Content Marketers work with the same ethos in mind.
Content is designed, researched and created with a business’ marketing goals in mind. Examples of objectives that can be addressed through a successful Content Marketing campaign can include:
More information on short and long-term Content Marketing goals can be found in our blog post or below:
The one thing that drives all good Content Marketing campaigns is an established end goal. A solid strategy cannot exist without goal identification present right from the get-go. After all, how can you produce something without knowing your reason for creating it, right?
Once the end goal(s) is established, it’s then a case of performing an in-depth audit. This looks at many elements including a competitor analysis to see what techniques your closest online rivals are using, influencer identification within your specific industry and a close look at any existing marketing strategies already being used by the customer.
The information compiled by the audit will then be used to create a comprehensive Content Marketing plan- mapped out over a course of 3, 6 or 12 months or whatever your marketing preferences are.
Ideally a Content Marketing plan will tell you:
The content that can be produced is varied and extensive. Ultimately it comes down to the goals, objectives and budget of the client and campaign. For example, some of the types of content produced can include:
If you have a website, one of the fundamentals is to have a business blog. This not only adds value, builds brand awareness and allows you to shout about what you do, but can generate traffic, a link profile and increased activity on social media (shares, comments etc.).
A blog can cover all manner of topics relating to your industry and can generate lots of engagement when they’re teamed up with eye-catching images.
Being quoted in relevant industry publications, websites and resources is a great way to build authority from third parties, increase brand awareness, drive referral traffic and achieve link acquisition from credible sources.
Whitepapers and user guides enable audiences to gain an in-depth insight and understanding into a specific topic, service or product.
A downloadable resource like a whitepaper or user guide enables users to easily access informative content, adding value to their experience and increasing the chance of repeat site visits.
Infographics are all about presenting data, statistics or snippets of key information in an engaging way that is very visual and exciting. They offer a completely unique and shareable opportunity and are user-friendly. They should never be too text-heavy and be as visual and informative as possible.
Infographics have undergone a change in recent times, with a shift from simply presenting information on a given topic, to becoming an interactive visual showcase that audiences find even more engaging and stimulating. This is a good example of infographic, Which Business Book Should You Read Next?:
Publishing platforms such as SlideShare allow users to share presentations with each other in an engaging and visual way.
Presentations can also be embedded within business blog posts to add value, increase engagement and create a visually stimulating piece of valuable content.
Microsites are an ideal way to add relevant and compelling content to a site which explores a certain topic.
Adding individual pages to a website adds value and enhances a user’s experience, increasing relevancy and fulfilling user intent.
The list of content types is pretty endless. To give you an idea, here are some other types to whet your appetite:
The scope for creating content is vast. With the opportunity for your brand to become its very own unique publisher, the sky is the limit for imaginative content creation:
In order to successfully promote the content produced, it is advocated to channel this through a selection of owned, earned and paid media channels:
Content Marketing facilitates the SEO process, in which a website’s visibility in the organic search engine results pages (SERPs) is improved.
The aim is to not only improve the visibility of your website within the search engines, but to drive convertible traffic to your site (visitors who are more likely to arrive on your website and do something /action a task that is useful to that site). This is achieved with a host of different techniques and methods, which rely on the constant analysis of Google’s algorithm.
A good Content Marketing strategy not only works in tandem with the SEO goals, but will be committed to producing good quality, shareable and linkable content with a specific audience and end user in mind.
Find out more about how SEO and Content Marketing work together:
A number of tools can be used to measure the success and effectiveness of a Content Marketing campaign, these include:
Forming the backbone of how content success is measured is website analytics. Statistics from Google Analytics offer a powerful insight into how content performs and conversions are generated. Success measures include page views (organic, referral, direct), time on site, bounce rate, goal completions, transactions.
Specific goals can also be set up in Google Analytics which measure the impact that individual pieces of content have had on driving a specific conversion i.e. how many contact form submissions have been completed as a result of a piece of content.
E-commerce tracking identifies best-selling products and demonstrates how effective content has been in translating into generated leads, sales and increased revenue.
This tool can measure the success of various activities, such as a targeted email campaign, form submissions and how content is shared. Marketo also offers a marketing sales insight with a set of actionable leads based on activity, offering further insight into the effectiveness of return on investment (ROI).
Social media metrics such as reach, engagement (number of likes, shares and re-tweets), comments, participation and followers measures the success of how content performs on social media platforms.
So after my unexpected conversation, you cannot automatically assume that everyone knows about Content Marketing and what a blog post or infographic is. It also hit me during my chat that the world of Digital Marketing is always developing and constantly evolving. The opportunity to create, innovate and experiment within a Content Marketing capacity is evident.
There are no limits as to what can be achieved and the creation of compelling and rich content is gold dust in our ever-evolving Digital Marketing world.
Like what you hear and what to find out more? Koozai have created a number of whitepapers which explore different aspects of the Digital Marketing industry. Get your hands on your free whitepaper: The Complete Guide To Content Marketing Strategy, Planning and Creation.
Our Content Marketing Showcase is also a great source of inspiration for marketers so make sure to check it out.
Images by Bigstockphoto.com