Traditional marketing is now a thing of the past. The internet has created bridges of communication that once seemed impossible to cross but are now easily accessed with just a few clicks. Information saturates the cybersphere, telling you what to buy, where to go, and showing you every possible thing you can do.
The digital world is a powerful place, teeming with marketing possibilities. Consumers are no longer pulled by the allure of simple product posts, however. They seek out more comprehensive, helpful content. People are drawn to stories that will assist them. This is where quality content through content marketing comes into play.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing tells good, relevant stories. It’s not simply a plethora of unfocused posts about a product or service, rather, it’s consistent, strategic, and targeted information that markets said product or service. People are looking for extensive information rather than just bite-sized pieces.
Content marketing is a subtle and informative way to advertise a brand. Have you ever been bombarded by ads that serve no other purpose than cluttering pages when you’re trying to read something? People have outgrown them.
Instead, they opt for high-quality stories that humanise brands and make them more trustworthy and show that they care for their customers.
What are some examples of content marketing?
This kind of marketing isn’t limited to just blog posts. You can find comprehensive, relevant data in different types of media. Infographics, videos, podcasts, and all kinds of information-laden channels can be considered content marketing.
Infographics are a great source for data and statistics. People tend to gravitate towards images when on social media as blocks of text can become overwhelming. Colorful, consistent infographics that are eye-catching can be a good vehicle for what you’re trying to say.
Podcasts are also an excellent way to deliver timely, relevant data in the form of audio. They’re a great avenue for storytelling with specific themes that cater to a certain demographic. They require a level of expertise in order to extensively discuss topics. Michael Hyatt, the man behind the “This is Your Life” podcast, gets 250,000 downloads every month, proving the effectiveness of content marketing through podcasts.
Videos are also a great source for information sharing, especially long-form, comprehensive ones that explain topics in great detail. Video as content marketing also entices consumers who prefer visual appeal in content.
Advantages of content marketing
Digital marketing has given businesses a wider reach compared to traditional marketing. Social media has an extensive grip on consumers. Being present online is now crucial as a huge number of possible customers engage and interact over the internet.
Being able to diversify your content marketing (while still maintaining a semblance of cohesiveness in terms of voice and aesthetic) also broadens your audience. Even though you have a certain targeted audience, stepping out of the box little by little can grab the interest of more people, widening your customer base.
Search engines also love quality content. Google prioritises comprehensive content that’s relevant and timely. It ranks excellent content that doesn’t just resort to keyword stuffing and reads coherently.
As mentioned earlier, ads are now easily being erased by ad blockers because of their spammy nature and how they clutter pages. Traditional marketing is slowly becoming irrelevant in favour of content marketing because of the more personal and intimate approach.
5 steps to successful content marketing
Successful content marketing can definitely be achieved by following these five steps.
1. Effective SEO writing
Telling good stories can be irrelevant if no one reads it. Being visible online is just as important as your storytelling. After all, it’s unfortunate if your blog doesn’t reach anyone. Which is why SEO writing can reach an audience because of how search engines identify keywords and rank them higher on the results page. Because Google ranks quality content, you can drive more traffic to your website and generate more leads.
Using images and alt text can also boost SEO. Images also show up on search engines so having them labelled and giving them descriptions will entice more readers to go to your site.
Long-form content is also preferable as people are more likely to click on it over shorter articles. Longer articles promise a more thorough explanation for things that people search for. For example, you want to look up an in-depth summary of a show you’re watching. You’re more likely to click on a 1500-word blog over a 300-word one as the longer one will go into more detail.
2. Identify the content that’s relevant and does well
Tracking your content and seeing what’s doing well, has good engagement, and driving the most traffic will give insight into what content is working. If you can trace a pattern, you can adapt your content to follow what’s effective.
For example, listicles seem to be doing well on your website over traditional long-form blocks of text. They get more engagement and have more shares and clicks. In the future, you’ll want to focus more on creating appealing listicles that share the same voice.
Use analytics websites and trackers to take note of how high viewership is, if traffic is being directed to certain blogs or videos, and how you can replicate this success.
3. Consistency in aesthetic, voice, and frequency
Cohesion is also an important factor in your content marketing as it shows more credibility and helps people recognise the brand. It’s not just in the tone or the voice of content, but in aesthetic and visual appeal. Think about how the Apple symbol is immediately recognisable all over the world and how you think of smart design and trustworthy devices. You want to reach that same level of identity and authority for your brand.
Having a schedule for your content will also help as people know when to expect your blogs, vidoes, or podcasts to be published or uploaded. Instead of sporadic posts that can be dizzying, having a set number of days in the week can make everything seem more polished and professional.
It’ll also be a good idea to hire a graphic designer to keep the visual aesthetic of your brand consistent. This will help with how recognisable your brand can become. Imagine if your visuals changed with every post—it’d look cluttered, unprofessional, and people wouldn’t be able to identify your brand immediately, making it harder to stand out.
Employing the same tone and voice throughout your content will also cement cohesion and consistency. Whether it’s more young and playful or more professional and serious, you have to stick to that voice in order to enact your brand authority. A more youth-oriented brand will likely use more slang, but if they suddenly switch to a serious tone, it’ll feel clunky and detached.
4. Compare with competitors
Remember that your business doesn’t exist alone—there are those out there who might have the same product or service that you’re offering and they’re also using content marketing to advertise themselves.
In order to get a better grasp on what’s working, you need to do a competitive analysis of what your competitor is doing. What are they publishing? How is their engagement? What are they doing right? What can they improve on? Ask yourself these things and you can create a comprehensive analysis on how you can get an edge over them.
Look at how well they rank on Google. Are they higher or lower? What can you do to beat their ranking? What kind of content works for them and how can you replicate that? These comparisons will only strengthen your approach to good content marketing.
5. Always revise in order to adapt to new trends
Timeliness is one of the keys to good marketing. One campaign may work one day but be irrelevant the next. Which is why it’s good to hop on trends and current events to be able to strengthen your content.
One example would be when the US Supreme Court reached a decision allowing marriage rights for everyone, even the LGBTQIA+ community. Many companies were quick to jump on this historic moment, especially Visa. Their post went viral immediately, showing that staying on top of trends and current events can strengthen your marketing.
Social media moves quickly so constantly revising and reviewing your content marketing strategies is important to stay timely and relevant.
Content marketing is definitely the way to go in this new digital landscape. It will continue to grow and evolve and business owners must evolve with it. It’s smart, effective, and will most definitely help businesses thrive.