What is Content Marketing?
Content Marketing: Because Sometimes Words Speak Louder Than Sales Pitches
What is Content Marketing?
Let’s start with a simple definition of ‘What is Content Marketing?’. Content marketing is a marketing strategy that aims to generate interest in your brand. A strategy that involves creating and sharing valued, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined target audience. Ultimately to build relationships with your audience, whether, or not, they may be looking to buy your productor service.
The content can take many forms, written, visual, or maybe both; blog posts, email, case studies, videos, infographics, newsletters, podcasts, social media posts, webinars, white-papers and ebooks being just a few examples of content you may wish to use in your strategy to reach your audience.
The goal of content marketing is to provide the audience with helpful and informative content that, entertains or interests them by solving their problems, answers their questions, or educating them about products or services. By doing so, you position yourself as a trusted advisor, build credibility, positions you as a thought leader and keeps you top of mind, so you and your brand come to mind when they are considering buying.
What’s not to like about that? Well, nothing, but there may be a couple of considerations. It is a long-term strategy and does require consistent effort and investment but, as part of a wider inbound marketing strategy, we believe can yield significant results. If you want to learn more about inbound and outbound marketing, and our thoughts on the inbound vs outbound marketing debate, check out the articles on our web site.
What are the Benefits of Content Marketing?
As you would expect of any strategy there are a few benefits, and for businesses of all sizes, including:
- Increased brand awareness: By creating and sharing valuable content, businesses can increase their visibility and reach a wider, and bigger, audience. This can help to build brand recognition and trust with potential new customers.
Improved customer engagement: Content marketing provides you with the opportunity to engage with your audience and build relationships. While this will help reach new prospects, it also helps engage with your existing customers. New customers are important, but so is keeping existing customers happy. And acquiring new customers is considerably more expensive than retaining your existing customers.
- Higher search engine rankings: There’s a constant theme running through all the articles on our web site – creating high-quality content can help you improve your search engine rankings. There are many SEO benefits from your content marketing strategy. By including relevant keywords and providing valuable information, you can increase your chances ranking higher in search engine results pages.
- Increased website traffic: By promoting your content through social media, email marketing, webinars and other channels, you can drive more traffic to your website. This will results in more leads, more sales and more revenue.
Cost-effective marketing: Compared to traditional forms of advertising, content marketing can be more cost-effective. While it may require an initial investment of time and resources, quality evergreen content, recycled across a number of channels maximises the ROI and the long-term benefits far outweigh the costs.
It’s Not Magic, There are Some Steps Involved in Creating an Effective Strategy
Nothing just works, you have to work at it. That said, if you’ve done all of your groundwork a marketing strategy can magically appear. Many of the steps below you’ll already have carried out, if you haven’t, it’s time to dig a little deeper if you want success:
- Define your target audience: Identify your ideal customer and create buyer personas to understand their needs, pain points, and interests. Let this information inform the content you create so that it will resonate with them, build those relationships and drive engagement.
- Set your content marketing goals: Define what you want to achieve with your content marketing strategy. To help you with some common goals, here’s a handy chart of the top 7 goals from Semrush’s state of content marketing 2022 report:
- Carry out a content audit: Before creating new content, a content audit of your exiting content will inform you of what is working and what’s not working. Learn from what is working and seize opportunities for improving what is not working. Such an audit will help you identify any gaps in the subjects you have covered in your content.
- Choose the types of content, and what channels: Now we know our target audience and we have our goals in place, we can plan the types of content we will need, and what channels we will need to use reach this audience. Now, we can not only consider our audience’s preferences and what formats are most likely to engage them, but we can fine tune the content, and the channels, to ensure we serve the right content at each stage of the customers journey from awareness to purchase. This is smart, informed marketing.
- Develop a content calendar: Get organised, plan out your content creation and distribution schedule, a timeline that summarises what content you will publish, what channels you will publish it on and when you will publish.
- Create and distribute high-quality content: Use the information gathered in steps 1-5 to create valued, informative content that resonates with your audience. Make sure your content is high-quality and aligns with your brand’s values and messaging.
- Promote your content: The exciting part, now – share your content through the various channels to reach your target audience. At this point you can also use paid advertising to promote your content to a wider audience.
- Measure and analyse your results: There are a number of analytical tools you can use to track your content marketing performance, and so determine what’s working and what’s not. This is important, don’t assume you know what works, equally don’t guess what is working, gather the data and make data-driven informed decisions and optimize your strategy over time.
By following these steps, you can create an effective content marketing strategy that engages their audience, drives leads and therefore sales, and ultimately helps them achieve your marketing goals.
How to Measure the Success of Your Content Marketing Strategy
Ok, so we just said,
“…don’t assume you know what works, equally don’t guess what is working, gather the data and make data-driven informed decisions…”
to that end, here are some of the key metrics you should consider measuring.
- Website traffic: Monitor the number of visitors to your website, as well as the sources of that traffic (organic, social media, referral, etc.). This can help you determine if your content is driving traffic to your site.
Time on page: This metric measures how long visitors spend on a particular page. It can be a good indicator of engagement and interest in your content.
- Bounce rate: This metric measures the percentage of visitors who leave your website after viewing only one page. A high bounce rate can indicate that your content is not engaging or relevant to your audience.
- Conversion rate: This measures the percentage of website visitors who take a desired action, such as filling out a form or making a purchase. Tracking your conversion rate can help you determine if your content is effective at driving leads and sales.
- Social media engagement: Track the number of likes, comments, shares, and followers on your social media channels. This can help you determine if your content is resonating with your audience and driving engagement.
- Search engine rankings: Monitor your website’s search engine rankings for relevant keywords. This can help you determine if your content is optimized for search and driving traffic to your site.
- Return on investment (ROI): Calculate the ROI of your content marketing strategy by comparing the cost of creating and promoting your content to the revenue generated from your content. This can help you determine if your content marketing efforts are cost-effective.
By tracking these metrics, businesses can evaluate the effectiveness of their content marketing strategy and make data-driven decisions to optimize their approach over time.
How do You calculate the ROI of your Content Marketing Strategy?
Ok, so we just said,
“…Calculate the ROI of your content marketing strategy by comparing the cost of creating and promoting your content to the revenue generated from your content…”
to that end, here’s how you would do that.
- Determine your content marketing costs: Calculate the total cost of creating and promoting your content, including the cost of content creation (e.g. copy writer fees, graphic design fees, video production costs) and the cost of promotion (e.g. paid advertising, social media advertising).
- Measure your content marketing revenue: Determine the revenue generated from your content marketing efforts, such as sales attributed to your content or leads that have converted into customers.
- Calculate your content marketing ROI: Divide your content marketing revenue by your content marketing costs and multiply by 100 to get your ROI percentage. The formula is: (Revenue – Cost) / Cost x 100 = ROI.
For example, if you spent £10,000 on content marketing and generated £50,000 in revenue, your content marketing ROI would be:
(£50,000 – £10,000) / £10,000 x 100 = 400%.
A positive ROI indicates that your content marketing efforts are generating more revenue than they cost, making them a cost-effective investment for your business. If your ROI is negative, it may be time to re-evaluate your content marketing strategy and make changes to improve its effectiveness.
Calculating content marketing ROI can be challenging, as it can be difficult to attribute revenue directly to specific pieces of content, if this is a problem, try allocating a monetary value to your content marketing goals.
Content marketing is a marketing strategy that involves creating and sharing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience, ultimately driving profitable customer action.
To create an effective content marketing strategy, businesses should define their audience, set goals, develop a content calendar, create high-quality content, promote it, and track metrics to separate what works from what is not working, and thereby improve over time.
Then, we need to know what is working, so content marketing ROI can be calculated by comparing costs to revenue generated. Overall, consistent with a positive ROI – content marketing can be a powerful tool for businesses to reach and engage their target audience, build brand awareness, and drive revenue growth.
If You are Struggling with your Content Marketing Strategies
While this is an introduction to content marketing, you now you know more about how important content marketing is as part of your Inbound marketing strategies. If you are struggling with creating or deploying your own content marketing strategy you can check out our other articles published on the social:definition website. We’ve done all the hard work, read the documents, and put everything into practice. We’ve learned a lot ourselves through continued research, our own development and practical experience. All this experience goes into the work we carry out for our clients, so, if we can help, we’d be only too happy to.
You can contact us directly through the form on this page or using any of the details throughout our website.