Content marketing is a strategic approach used to create and distribute valuable, relevant, and consistent content that attracts and retains a clearly defined audience, to drive profitable customer action. It can encompass everything from blog posts and social media to podcasts, webinars and white papers.
What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is a critical component of brand building, one that can’t be overlooked in today’s digital era. Content has become increasingly important as both consumers and businesses are bombarded with content everywhere they go online. But what is content marketing exactly?
At its core, content marketing is a strategic approach to creating and distributing valuable and relevant content that attracts and engages an identified target audience—and ultimately drives profitable customer action. Content can come in the form of articles, videos, podcasts, infographics, white papers, ebooks, webinars and more. By connecting with customers through interesting stories or useful information about their industry or product offering, companies can create an emotional connexion to strengthen their relationship with their customers and promote brand awareness.
The role that content plays in brand awareness cannot be overstated; providing something meaningful to an audience will add worth to them and encourage loyalty. Content allows brands to provide up-to-date information about what’s happening in their industry, interesting facts about their products/services and helpful advice for customers. Content also gives readers a chance to connect with the brand on a more human level, making them recognise its human trustworthiness and sincerity. When done correctly, content not only builds relationships with current customers but bolsters relationships with potential customers as well.
As such, it’s no surprise that content has grown into one of the most powerful tools for marketing success—which we’ll discuss further in the next section.
The Role of Content in Brand Awareness
Content marketing plays a significant role in influencing brand awareness. When properly utilised, content can help create brand identity and position the business within its industry. It allows businesses to showcase expertise, demonstrate authority, and even build relationships with customers by providing valuable content that engages them. Content can also be used to establish trust and credibility while building an emotional connexion with an existing or potential customer base.
On one hand, content creates a platform for businesses to engage in meaningful conversations with target audiences and strengthen relationships. On the other hand, a poor content strategy may lead to lost opportunities for brand awareness as well as wasted efforts for creating content that does not resonate with its intended audience. To maximise brand exposure and avoid costly incidents such as these, businesses must use data-driven research to identify precisely which topics would appeal most strongly to their potential customers, as well as which type of content will result in the desired action from their audience.
For instance, according to the B2B Content Marketing 2020 report published by Brightcove, 96% of executives used content such as video or webinars for personal research before making important business decisions. Additionally, 78 percent of C-Level executives reported that they share videos related to their company regularly via both personal and professional social media accounts. These findings show that video is a powerful medium for businesses to pilot their message out into the world and help them reach wider audiences more effectively on various platforms—all while ensuring accuracy of message delivery since each platform produces distinct characteristics of a piece of content.
The type of content you choose to create and how it reflects your company’s values plays an important role in the success of any content marketing strategy —especially when it comes to brand awareness. Utilising data-driven insights and understanding what kind of content appeals most to your target audience are essential components to developing a successful campaign that communicates a unique story about your brand’s purpose on every platform available. With an optimised strategy in place, innovative brands have ample opportunities for driving engagement —and ultimately—influencing greater levels of awareness for their product or service offering.
Now with a better understanding of the power of incorporating valuable information when designing campaigns for brand awareness, let’s move onto strategizing a plan for your own business’ growth through intelligent content marketing initiatives.
Strategizing Your Content Marketing Plan
Once you have a firm understanding of where content marketing fits into the larger goal of brand awareness, it’s time to strategize your content marketing plan. When it comes to marketing plans, it’s important to balance big picture objectives with tangible tactics and strategies. You need to have a long-term, holistic view of what success will look like for your content mission, yet also be able to translate that vision into smaller, meaningful steps along the way.
There are always two sides to the strategy coin; breadth versus depth. You can focus on creating a wide range of content pieces covering many different topics and channels or narrow down your efforts and go deeper within certain areas. To decide between breadth or depth in your content strategy, consider two key questions – 1) Does my audience need more information? and 2) Can I afford to invest in more detailed research and development around this topic?
If the answer is yes to both questions, then choose depth and invest in one type of content more heavily than others (this could be blog articles). However, if you don’t feel that going deeper into one subject matter would be beneficial to your audience then choose breadth and focus on creating more types of content such as videos or podcasts.
No one size fits all solution exists when it comes to strategizing your content marketing plan, but with consideration for your audience’s needs as well as knowledge about what is possible within budgetary constraints – you can create a strategy designed for achieving results worth investing in. With that work finished, the next step is determining who the intended readership is for each piece of created content as well as the fundamental purpose behind its production so that you can effectively communicate with your desired audience.
Identifying the Audience and Purpose of Your Content
Now that you have a better understanding of the strategic plan for your content marketing strategy, the next vital step is to identify the audience and purpose of your content. The purpose of your content should be driven by who your target audience is and what message, story, or lesson you want to communicate. Successful content marketing begins with a deep understanding of who you are trying to target, what their needs, interests, pain points and behavioural patterns are, as well as how they consume content.
Once you have honed in on the parameters of your audience, develop an integrated approach specific to that audience. When creating presentations and content it is important that your visuals, text, video and sound elements align with the goal. Clarity around why the piece was created should be present; this makes it easier for users to understand what they’re seeing and engaging with. Additionally, if there are any calls to action within the piece – signing up for a newsletter or clicking a link – make sure users understand what’s expected from them after viewing it.
No matter if you choose to launch an education segment series on YouTube or offer skimmable blog posts about industry news, knowing your core mission and maintaining it across multiple channels can help success lead to more success. Your content should be tailored specifically to meet the individual needs of each platform. Furthermore, understanding which platforms will best reach and engage your particular audience takes research and experimentation.
Now that we’ve discussed strategies on how to identify your target audience and finding ways to communicate effectively with them, let’s focus on creating compelling material that will draw customers into your messaging.
Creating Compelling Material
Once you’ve identified the audience and purpose of your content, you can begin creating compelling material that will draw in your target audience. The key here is to make sure that the content resonates with your audience and is written in a way that engages them. It may be helpful to create a content plan prior to writing that outlines what topics need to be covered and how you will approach each one. Outlining helps to ensure that all relevant points are addressed and that there is adequate detail within the article or video without rambling. Additionally, if applicable, it’s wise to consider both sides of an argument so that readers can make their own decisions on the facts presented instead of feeling pressured or persuaded. Evidence or examples for one side or another can also help bolster the legitimacy of claims made within the content piece.
As you craft the content, keep the points brief and focused while employing creative language and visuals when appropriate; including attention-grabbing titles, subheadings, bullets, images, videos and infographics can all be great additions to a piece of content. Ultimately, aim to provide value through whatever topics you choose to cover so that your content stands out from other materials within your industry. With this in mind, you’ll soon be ready to explore different ways to bring together news and/or visual ideas that can be used to spark interest and engagement amongst potential customers.
- In 2020, it was estimated that content marketing budgets grew by an average of 34% across organisations.
- According to the Content Marketing Institute, 87% of B2B marketers use content marketing as part of their overall strategy.
- A recent survey found that content marketing generates more than three times as many leads as outbound marketing, and costs 62% less.
News Or Visual Content Ideas to Generate Engagement
After you have created compelling content, it’s now time to start thinking about the news or visual content ideas that will generate engagement from your target audience. This process is often easier said than done. There are some methods and strategies you can use to make sure your content is engaging.
One powerful way to create a viral post or piece of content is by using real-life stories instead of generic facts and figures. By providing an emotional connexion and personal story behind the message, people are more likely to engage with the content. Additionally, visuals such as videos, infographics and images can be used to draw attention while also increasing engagement. Furthermore, creating evergreen content (content which remains relevant over a long period of time) as opposed to short-term content, will help keep your audience engaged since they won’t feel bombarded with out-dated information.
By utilising timely topics and trends, you can further increase engagement by creating something new and interesting. However, many believe that just because something is timely doesn’t mean it should be posted; especially if it’s not related to the topic at hand or violates your brand standards in any way. Ultimately, there are two schools of thought when it comes to posting on timely topics like news events: one believes that being topical is essential for engagement while the other thinks it’s a slippery slope which could leave you open to criticism or backlash from certain audiences.
When it comes down to news or visual content ideas for generating engagement, there are multiple paths you can take and considerable risk-reward scenarios involved with each. You must find what works best for your brand and target audience while being mindful and consistent in order to get results.
Now, as we move on towards publishing and sharing content, it’s important that you have a plan set in place on how you intend to reach the target demographic that your material resonates best with prior to pushing out any messaging. This article will provide insight into various distribution channels and tips on how to ensure maximum exposure for all the hard work put into crafting this material for your audience!
Publishing and Sharing Content
Once content is created, the next step of content marketing is publishing and sharing it. Publishing online content so that it can be shared widely with the audience is essentially the most important part of content marketing. When you publish content, you must consider how and where you will distribute it to ensure its success. This includes determining which social media platforms to use and exploring partnerships with influencers who may have their own followers.
One of the most effective ways to publish and share content is through email marketing campaigns. By using email newsletters, one-off emails, or a combination thereof, you can reach a larger audience with your message more quickly than other communication methods. Additionally, email campaigns are more personal in nature and can give valuable insights into what potential customers are interested in. In terms of sharing content, social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube are invaluable tools for connecting with users and introducing them to your products or services as well as your brand voice.
Additionally, there are also several methods for publishing content that do not involve traditional means of distribution such as websites and blogs. For example, podcasts, webinars, videos, infographics, electronic magazines and white papers can all be used to create unique forms of engaging content for audiences to consume.
Overall, when it comes to publishing and sharing content it is essential to have a strategy in place to ensure maximum success. Utilising multiple platforms with varying degrees of engagement allows marketers to reach a broader range of potential customers while keeping up with current trends and topics addressed in the marketplace. In addition to sharing your story on multiple channels, consistency is key in order to attract attention from followers while also driving more traffic back to your website or landing pages.