Content marketing is a term that popped up in 2020. It keeps evolving to include the creation and sharing of online material through a range of distribution channels–videos, blogs, and social media posts, podcasts, presentations, etc. A content marketer does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in its products or services.
What skills are required for content marketing?
While we need to be terrific writers, content marketers also need to be rockstar social media strategists and manage multichannel marketing campaigns. Add to the list the ability to write scripts, produce and edit videos, to build websites and execute SEO strategies to show up on search. Blogs, newsletters, white papers and social media are all examples of content marketing.
What are examples of content marketing?
Content marketing can take the form of blogs and landing pages, newsletter blasts and social media posts. It includes podcasts and videos that can be explainer and whiteboard formats. Content marketing is quality content that helps people do their jobs.
Content marketing strategy
To be effective, content marketing needs a content strategy! Content ideas and actions will vary according to where your clients are in their customer journeys—specifically, the sales funnel. Social posts and blogs, for example, may vary according to the quality of your relationship—different for a potential client than they might be for someone with whom you have a long-term relationship.
What are the benefits of content marketing?
If we’re doing our jobs, content marketing fills the sales funnel. It starts with brand recognition/awareness. Once we’ve snagged a prospective client’s attention, it’s up to us to get the client’s interest. We can do this with a well-written blogpost or newsletter. Once we’ve piqued a prospective client’s interest, the next step is that he/she would be looking at our websites, checking out our LinkedIn and Facebook pages. I always do this when I’m looking for information about a person or business—it helps flesh out the online story.
Content marketing in digital marketing
Content marketing is about the total online experience—it’s not just our websites. To keep moving down the sales funnel, that client may finally engage you with a call or email to schedule a meeting. Now it’s up to you. It’s your content marketing strategy that has gotten you to this point in the lead-generation process. That’s how content marketing works.
- Know your business. That means identifying goals. Decide how you’re going to measure the success of your campaign.
- Know your audience. Who are your potential clients, and what’s the best way to reach them? What’s the best channel? Is it podcasts or video? Maybe they’re the ones who absorb information best by reading. Maybe they like both. Think about explainer videos that include both text and video.
- Create the right marketing assets for that audience. You might need different content types for different clients. Marketing is not an exact science. You will need to test your strategy to identify solutions. Infographics may be a hit with one group of users while they fall flat with another. Millennials tend to love videos while an older audience finds them annoying and would rather read something.
- Distribute those assets through the right channels. Become familiar with the wide range of channels that you’re going to need to command. You’ll need to be able to review statistics and generate reports.
- Creating personas. This is an exercise that transcends all of your marketing efforts. It helps you understand exactly who your target audience is. While we all think we know, can you really picture a member of your audience? Spending time doing this is time well spent. You’re drilling down into the minute details of someone’s life. Where that person lives, went to school and his/her marriage status. Do they have kids and what is their profession and title? Are they involved in the community and what are their politics. Age is important and whether they’re heterosexual or LGBTQ. All of these things affect the way you market to them. I have a very clear picture of my persona so that I actually see that person when I’m writing an article or blog.
- Analyze your results. What’s working and what’s not? How will you know? If your target audience engages with your brand, you’re doing it right!
Content marketing fills the sales funnel—it’s versatile and affordable.