You’ve probably heard the term “content marketing” by now, whether you work in marketing or not. Content marketing has experienced huge growth during the last several years. It is now a crucial part of a company’s marketing strategy, with almost 80% of companies saying they have a content marketing strategy. So, exactly what is content marketing?
What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is creating and sharing content that helps you connect with your target audience. Instead of explicitly promoting your brand, products, or services, you distribute relevant and helpful content related to your business and industry to stimulate interest.
Although the end goal is to increase sales, content marketing content needs to engage, educate, or inform your visitors rather than just try to sell them something. Your audience should actively seek out and engage with the content rather than avoid it like unsolicited advertising.
Content marketing works to stimulate interest in your brand. But content marketing also works to:
- Attract attention and build brand awareness
- Educate your audience
- Establish yourself as an authoritative source in your field
- Enhance SEO and generate web traffic
Types of Content Marketing
There are numerous types of content marketing. Most companies use a mix of content that best fits their audience’s needs.
Blog posts that you distribute through your company’s website are the most popular form of content marketing. Nearly 90% of marketers use blog posts as part of their marketing strategy. The reason? Blog posts convert.
Blog posts are considered the most effective way to turn casual website surfers into customers. Business websites with blog posts get almost 70% more customers than those without.
By having a blog, you can write about useful and relevant topics and help answer your audience’s questions about your industry. In addition, blog content helps keep current customers interested and engaged with your business. Blog posts also are great for SEO and can bring new customers to your site via search engines, which is the most common way people find new businesses.
Lead magnets can take different forms. They are incentives that inspire customers to engage with your brand, potentially becoming customers.
Lead magnets include items like:
- Customer Success Stories
- Ultimate Guides
- Gated Video Content
Lead magnets help you demonstrate your knowledge and become a thought leader within your industry niche. They also help your business because website visitors trade their email addresses for your lead magnet, allowing you to contact them in the future.
Videos are the form of content marketing that has seen the biggest growth in the last several years. Nearly 100% of content marketers say they plan to continue using video in their marketing strategies.
You can share videos on your website, over multiple social media channels, and through video sharing services like YouTube.
Many business owners still are concerned about making video content because of the perceived costs and difficulty. When in fact, producing videos is becoming much simpler and affordable. Plus, video as a form of content marketing is much more about the value you deliver to your audience. Not about producing movie-quality content.
Some of the types of videos you can produce are:
- Product Demonstrations. Videos that demonstrate a product in detail
- Lifestyle. Videos of your product or service being used in real-life situations
- Tutorials. Videos answering your audience’s questions about your product, service, or industry.
- Unboxings. Videos of customers and influencers opening your products
- Testimonials. Videos from your actual customers, telling others about how they use your product or why they love it.
Here is the testimonial video we recently published for Content Journey:
More than 50% of the U.S. population age 12-34 has listened to a podcast in the last month.
Podcasts can help you gain access to a wide and varied audience that you may not find elsewhere.
You can offer valuable information or entertainment for free through podcasts while encouraging people to engage with your business.
We may have saved the best for last on this one. The truth is that none of these other content marketing strategies are likely to work as well as they should without social media.
Social media is where you build relationships with your audience and share your content with them. More than three billion people in the world use social media, and it gives you the ability to speak directly to them about your brand.
To use social media effectively, you should research where your audience already gathers and work to connect with them there. Regardless of which social medium you choose, you need to show up, engage, and share to get the most out of it.
Why is Content Marketing Important for Your Business?
Now that you know what content marketing is, why should you consider using it? There are many benefits of adding a purposeful content plan to your overall marketing strategy.
Some of the key benefits include:
One of the most significant benefits of content marketing is how cost-effective it is. Content marketing costs more than 60% less than traditional marketing and generates about three times as many leads. It’s a small investment for a big return.
Some companies do their own content marketing or have an in-house content manager. This person is in charge of developing a content strategy, producing new content, and distributing it across different channels. If you aren’t ready to manage content marketing in-house, you can hire an agency such as Content Journey to take care of it for you.
With few set-up or outgoing costs, content marketing is an inexpensive and non-risky strategy for any business.
Having plenty of high-quality content — such as long-form blog posts — on your site enhances your SEO and helps your site perform better in search. Better search performance leads to increased organic traffic to your site. It also allows you to access a broader audience than you could without content marketing.
Content on other platforms such as video or podcasts also can increase the number of people visiting your website.
Besides increasing traffic, quality content also helps get people interested in your services. When done right, content marketing can help turn site visitors into quality leads and those leads into customers.
People who consume your content are more likely to work with you or purchase from you. People have to know your company exists for it to be an option for them to consider. In addition, high-quality content helps improve brand perception, boost trust, and build authority over time. And people purchase from the businesses that they trust.
A focus on customer service and increased revenue opportunities are why it’s important to remember to include calls to action within your content. These calls to action can be as simple as linking to a particular product page or including a link to your contact page that allows potential customers to contact you.
Content Marketing Trends in 2021
Marketing tactics are always evolving to keep up with new trends, technologies, and consumer demands. Marketers must keep up with these changes to best serve their clients.
Some of the biggest content marketing trends in 2021 include:
Documented Content Marketing Strategies
Think content marketing is as simple as throwing out a quick blog post or video as and when you get the chance? Unfortunately, it’s not that easy.
As we explained before, there’s a lot of growth strategies. With growth comes more competition for the audience’s attention. The most successful marketers use documented content marketing strategies.
Having an organized and documented content marketing strategy involves:
- Clearly defining your purpose and goals
- Defining audience personas and buyer’s journey
- Doing thorough keyword research
- Using editorial/content calendars to plan ahead
- Monitoring results
- Adapting to customer needs and feedback
Here at Content Journey, we can help you plan and implement a documented content marketing strategy. When you work with us, our team performs research and plans to create an 11-month content strategy built around blog posts and other content marketing tactics that best serve your clients.
Utilizing live video is another important content marketing trend in 2021 thanks to ever-increasing mobile use and the growing popularity of apps such as Snapchat and Tik Tok.
Live videos are a convenient and straightforward way to engage with your audience. You can shoot them on your mobile phone, and they don’t require any additional equipment or editing. Live videos also encourage more engagement than pre-recorded videos as they provide a more informal and intimate way of chatting with viewers.
The type of live content you might produce depends on your business and industry. Think about your audience’s needs and get creative when planning your live video content.
How Content Journey Can Help
At Content Journey, we help brands build the best content marketing strategy to serve their client’s needs. All of the content we produce is well-researched and written, focusing on providing your audience with valuable information that establishes you as an authority in your industry. For more information on how we can help you reach your business goals, contact us or set up a call today.