Studies show that content marketing is more effective than traditional marketing methods. In fact, content marketing is three times better at generating leads than outbound marketing.
But creating a good marketing strategy is a huge challenge. It is not as simple as putting your content out there and hopefully, someone reads it. Content marketing or content production is a process that involves a lot of planning, research, creating, and monitoring, and planning again. But what does content marketing actually entail?
What Does Content Marketing Include?
Content marketing simply means the management of every piece of content that you own. Whether that content is written, downloadable, interactive, or visual, each of them plays a vital role in every content management strategy. Some of the content marketers often produce, include:
- Case studies
- Template & Checklist Downloads
Your content strategy is a critical part of your digital marketing plan that illustrates who you are as a brand and the value you bring to your industry. Content Marketing Institute defines content marketing related as the process of generating and distributing valuable and relevant content for the purpose of attracting and acquiring a clearly defined audience. Its main goal is to drive profitable consumer action.
Here are some of the common marketing goals businesses want to achieve:
Where does a content marketing manager fit in?
Crafting a content strategy is a lot of work because you need to send the right message to the right people using the right medium. And this responsibility falls on the shoulders of the content marketing manager. What does a content marketing manager do? He or she is the one in charge of planning, researching, and putting together the content marketing strategy. The content marketing manager manages the content marketing playbook to ensure that the brand’s marketing goals are achieved.
Here are some of the content marketing skills of an effective content marketing manager:
- Writing and editing skills to create content
- Curiosity for new tactics and innovative topics
- Project management skills to see through the content production to the end
- Creativity and an out-of-the-box way of thinking
- Industry knowledge and the desire to continue learning
Your content strategy is just as good as your content marketing manager, so make sure you have the right person for the job.
Steps For Creating a Content Marketing Strategy
Content production plays an important role in the growth of any brand or business. However, it requires careful planning and a lot of research for it to work. A study by Content Marketing Institute reveals that 69% of B2B marketers document their content strategy, which means putting in a lot of work hours and resources to optimize their content.
When you create your content strategy, you need to address several questions, including:
1. Who is your target audience?
Who will be reading and consuming your content? How big is your target audience? Where are they located? What are their characteristics? You need to define the people you want to reach out to in order for your content strategy to be effective. And just as your brand might have different types of customers, your content marketing can also cater to different types of readers or consumers.
2. What questions do you want to answer or problems you want to solve?
Ideally, your products and services should solve your market’s specific problems. In the same way, your content should also educate your audience about this problem and show them how your products and services address this specific problem.
An effective content marketing strategy should help people on various levels of your sales funnel. Great content supports those who are still figuring out what their issues are and those people who are already using your products and services to overcome these problems.
3. What makes you stand out?
You probably have dozens of competitors that offer similar products and services as yours. How will your potential customers know that yours is better? The only way to showcase your uniqueness is through your content.
4. What content types will you use?
Identify the content forms you think will be most effective in portraying your message or topic. There are several content formats you can choose from and it is recommended that you invest in multiple content types to attract more attention.
5. What platforms will you use?
Aside from creating different formats, you also have several channels or platforms you can publish to. These are some of the most popular channels marketers love to use:
- Website or blog
- Other websites
- Social media accounts
- Flyers or brochures
6. How will you handle content management and publication?
Managing the entire content marketing process can be daunting because you need to oversee each stage — from creating to publishing to monitoring your content. You have to control how the content is generated, where it is going to be published, when it will go live, and how it will be promoted.
Based on another study by Content Marketing Institute, these are the tools B2B content managers use in content marketing:
10 Best Content Marketing Techniques for 2020
It takes time, resources, endless creativity, and budget to make your content marketing strategy a success. Experimenting with new platforms and techniques can help you identify the best route for your brand, but it can be costly and time-consuming. The best approach is to try what others have found to be successful and introduce your own twist to set you apart.
Here is a list of the tried-and-tested marketing tactics that experienced content marketing managers use:
1. Blog Posts Drive Your Content Marketing Efforts
If you have a website, creating a blog is one of the most practical ways of displaying your content. According to Optinmonster, around 409 million people read over 20 billion pages each month. In fact, blogs are considered the 5th most trustworthy source of getting information. Plus, they get 97% more links to their websites, which is great for SEO. Blog posts are published permanently on your website, as long as it is live.
Your blog articles should offer valuable content for your readers so that they are more inclined to share them on social media and other websites. Articles with 2,000+ words will likely have stronger results, but you can experiment to see if your readers prefer reading shorter blogs. You can also incorporate other content types into your article for more variety, such as infographics, videos, checklists, images, and lists. And if you run out of topics to write on, consider updating your old blog posts to include more recent information.
2. Videos for Content Marketing
Videos are more engaging, more popular, and more memorable than any other type of content right now. It is also shareable across social media networks, websites, and other platforms. Although videos require more time and resources during the creation process, everything is worth it because according to HubSpot, 72% of customers would rather know more about a product or service by watching a video.
Marketing videos can take different forms, including:
- Live video
- Product videos
- Video blogs or vlogs
- Customer testimonials
- Live streams
Videos are also efficient in sending messages across because, as Insivia discovered, viewers are able to retain at most 95% of a message when they watch it in a video, compared to 10% of written messages.
3. Social Media
All marketers are aware of the power and influence of social media, so it is a must to include this in your content marketing strategy. Social media marketing is a whole strategy of its own, but it works best when paired with content marketing.
For instance, the blog posts that you have published on your website will reach more people and achieve higher engagement when you share it on social media. The same is true for all your other content. You can share articles, images, videos, infographics, links, and other forms of content, depending on the social media network you are on.
Although social media might be a powerful avenue for distributing your content, it is also a great source of content as well. You can share content from other people, feature customer reviews, feature specific customers, and create user-generated content.
Posting on social media is crucial to amplifying your brand's reach, engaging with your customers, attracting new customers, and delivering your content, since users usually spend an average of three hours on social media every day.
Popular social networks include:
- Facebook – 2.6 billion active monthly users
- YouTube – 2 billion active monthly users
- WhatsApp – 2 billion active monthly users
- Instagram – 1.158 billion active monthly users
- Tiktok – 689 million active monthly users
- Pinterest – 416 million active monthly users
- Twitter – 353 million active monthly users
You’ve probably seen websites offering free ebooks in exchange for signing up to their lead generation form. This type of content marketing technique might seem old school, but they are still effective. The trick here is to create ebooks that your readers would want to download. It should be enticing enough to make them willing to surrender their personal contact information via the lead form.
Ebooks are typically longer, in-depth, and more detailed articles that are published less frequently than blog posts. They are usually in pdf format and are used to attract potential customers.
Downloading ebooks is usually used as the next stage in the inbound marketing process. For example, readers might want to download the ebook if they want more information after reading a blog post. This is why calls-to-actions or CTAs are crucial to your content marketing strategy. They direct people to the landing page where they can enter their contact information to be able to download the ebook.
5. Case Studies
Another type of lead generation and content marketing tactic uses case studies. This provides your business with the opportunity to tell your success stories or the experience of a particular customer who was able to solve their problem with your help. A case study is a versatile type of content marketing tactic because it can come in different formats. Case studies can be in the form of a blog post, a video, an ebook, a podcast, or an infographic.
The main goal of case studies is to convince your potential customers that your products or solutions work. What makes it more effective is the fact that it is also a type of customer testimonial. And customers love testimonials.
If your customers don't have time or interest in reading content, creating a podcast is useful for delivering your content and increasing awareness about your brand. With people getting busier every day, the number of users relying on podcasts is also growing. A recent Nielsen study discovered that 50% of all US homes are podcast fans and 24% of the population listen to podcasts every week.
Podcasts can be in the form of interviews, conversations, announcements, or discussions. People prefer listening to podcasts when they are not at home, with 22% of them listening while driving. Comedy, education, and news are the most popular genres of podcasting.
Templates are useful for your customers because they won’t have to do all the work. Website templates, social media designs, Powerpoint themes, content calendar templates, and stationery templates are some of the popular examples of templates that people love to download. This content marketing tactic helps generate leads for you while offering valuable content to your visitors.
If readers find your templates useful, they are more likely to engage with your content and your business.
This type of visual content helps you organize information in a more interesting and compelling manner. This format is handy if you want to share complicated data that is difficult to grasp through reading alone.
65% of people are visual learners. Infographics, in particular, generates up to 40% of user engagement. A colorful, organized, and visually appealing infographic is a high-impact tool that is effective in showcasing your content.
9. Paid advertising
Paid advertising is simply content marketing that costs money. It's a great way for you to attract people to your website, your landing page, or your social media pages — basically where you want them to go.
You might be thinking that it is a waste of time to pay for ads that would drive people to your website who aren't going to purchase from you in return. But if you're a new business with a small audience, you will need a bit of help in boosting your reach. And running advertisements using some of your remarkable content can give you that boost that you desperately need.
If you don’t want to wait to grow an audience organically, then you can drive traffic to your content with paid advertisements. You can run paid advertising on different platforms, depending on your budget and your goal. Facebook offers a wide range of advertising solutions using different types of content. Other platforms, such as Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube are more selective and restrictive when it comes to ads. You can also advertise using Adwords.
The important thing to remember when running ads is that your content, both text and visual, should be something that people would want to click on.
10. Email Marketing
This traditional content marketing tactic is simple yet effective. There are 3.9 billion people using emails, according to Statista, and it has a surprisingly high ROI – $42 for every $1 spent on email marketing!
Most small businesses still rely on email marketing for customer acquisition and retention because studies have proven that it is more effective than social media, paid search, and organic search. Emails also have higher open rates, with an average of 21% and 82% for welcome emails.
You can use email to send out timed sequences of articles, special promotions, messages, and announcements.
Additional Tips for Successful Content Marketing
It's one thing to understand the power of content marketing and how it is done, but making it work is another. One important factor content managers should pay attention to is analytics. These numbers will show you how your content is performing so that you can adjust it to suit your goals.
Make sure you keep your content schedule organized to maintain your consistency and overall effectiveness. You can't post an article this week and have the next article published after a few weeks or a couple of months.
Most importantly, do your research. What's the trending topic? What are your competitors doing? What information does your audience need right now? Asking these questions will help you come up with a relevant and timely content marketing strategy that your audience will definitely want to engage with.
With a well-mapped out content marketing plan you can reach a wider audience and see a visible improvement in your tangible results.
If you need help figuring out your content plan and publishing schedule, reach out to us and we will help you draft a content playbook for your business to help you drive results.