Content marketing: what it is and how to start it
Posted by Robert Tolo on January 5th, 2021
What is content marketing and what does such a strategy comprise?
Those who know what content marketing is (or content marketing) are clear that it is a marketing technique that is based on creating, publishing and sharing content of interest to your buyer persona.
If you are wondering about the main requirements to implement a valid content strategy, you can take note of these two:
- Have a well-defined buyer persona you want to address.
- Lay out the knowledge you want to convey to your target audience in different formats: blog articles, downloadable guides, video tutorials, podcasts, infographics, etc.
Thanks to this marketing technique, you will be able to work through the users cycle . In other words, the process that a person goes through from the moment they realize they have a need until they decide to buy a product / service to solve it.
In this process it is key to awaken their interest with the perfect information at the ideal moment. So you will need different content to answer the doubts of your buyer persona in any of its phases in the purchase cycle.
Do you need examples? I propose some to apply in the different phases:
- With your blog, you can help him inform himself and create an opinion on a certain topic.
- With your ebooks and whitepapers you can offer comparative information of different solutions to your problem or need.
- On the pricing or services page you can show them why you are their best option.
- Through videos with testimonial interviews, you can convey how positive the experiences of other customers with the brand have been.
Always keep in mind that the content will have to respond to the needs and problems of your ideal client , only then can you build a successful strategy. If you are interested in reviewing the details about creating your buyer person
Next, I want to explain the advantages of using a content strategy for your company. If you are not applying it yet!
What are the advantages of content marketing?
Reducing the cost of customer acquisition, making your brand more relevant or increasing the lifetime value are just some of the benefits enjoyed by those who know what content marketing is. In addition, successfully implementing a content marketing strategy provides advantages such as the following four:
- Increase the notoriety and brand awareness of your brand . Your content is consolidating you as an authority on the subject. You become a reference in the sector and that makes your brand name familiar to potential customers. When deciding to buy a product or hire a service, they are more likely to turn to those they know best.
- Increase organic traffic to your page / blog. It's something you get when the value of your audience's content is recognized by Google, which places you on the first page of search results. From there, you make it easy for you to find someone who accesses the internet in search of answers.
- Increase engagement with your audience and help educate your visitors. Your continuous posts get users to visit your page / blog more often. As you educate them with your content, you gain closeness with them. In the end, they become advocates for your brand, evangelizers, at best.
- Increase your database and your conversion on page. Quality content attracts visitors who will give you their details in exchange for downloading ebooks, infographics or tests. In this way, as your traffic grows, the number of conversions also increases, making you also earn leads for your database.
Why should you start content marketing?
You have probably heard or read about content marketing on more than one occasion. And, indeed, in recent years this technique has been gaining more and more followers due to its user-friendly nature , but, above all, because it meets a series of conditions that Google likes:
- Fresh content due to the constant renewal of articles on the blog.
- Relevant information for the user, which he shares through social networks.
- The user is the center and the text is oriented towards their understanding of a topic, not the placement of keywords.
This does not imply that when launching a content marketing campaign you will have to forget about working on an SEO level. In fact, there is a very close relationship between one thing and another because content marketing allows you to target many different keywords . And this translates into an increase in the chances of appearing in search results .
If this already seems like an interesting point for your business, keep reading! Sure you can get more out of your content marketing strategy.
As I mentioned a little above, one of the great advantages of content marketing is that it allows you to work on multiple keywords. What's more, there are ways of working it that can be very effective. I keep telling you!
In SEO London Digital, for example, we have seen that SEO becomes much more useful if it is approached from a long-tail perspective . Instead of trying to position an article or web page for a highly competitive keyword, the results are more profitable if you search for the long-tail of this keyword and write articles related to it.
What are the benefits in practice? Working your keywords in this way entails:
- Less competition to be placed in the first positions of the search engines.
- Good rankings for the long-tail of the keyword that you consider main.
- Multiple results that, if relevant, will also be positioned for the most important keyword.
The purpose of content marketing is to attract potential customers through relevant and quality content that can retain them, and later turn them into a customer.
I propose a practical case that we have worked on in InboundCycle so that you understand to what extent using a content marketing strategy based on long-tails can bring you benefits. This is a company whose target keyword was highly competitive. Using the long-tail derived from this, with about 30 exact searches per month, they have managed to capture more than 2,000 visits per month. It all adds up! ;)
Before starting: what to consider?
The first step is to prepare a good content plan and schedule in advance the content that you will upload day by day. It will help you to plan in the long term, to have a greater perspective and visibility, and to be able to differentiate audiences to create specific content for each of your buyer persona.
The key to success is delivering the right content at the right time. That is, offer your buyer persona the information they need according to the phase of the purchase process in which they are. Also, remember to do it with the most appropriate format, because not only the quality of the information matters, but also its presentation. In addition, it can be a useful tool to get to know your customer better. Never miss this opportunity!
These are some types of content that you can use in your content marketing strategy:
- Guides / tutorials.
I recommend taking advantage of each one without losing sight of the objectives of the campaign.
Also, remember that listening to your users and collecting their feedback to know what they need and what interests them can help you identify what topics are of interest to them and thus generate content that adds value to them. Therein lies one of its secrets!
What are the main difficulties that you may encounter?
Any effective strategy must take into account the possible complications that you will have to face, the bottlenecks or the limitations that could affect the expected results. Planning is key to avoiding problems that everyone who knows what content marketing is has at some time suffered, such as these three:
- Know how to generate relevant content for the buyer person . Without relevance, the interest of the audience is lost, the attention of the prospect declines and the desire of the brand to gain authority and visits is deflated in view of the results.
- Produce enough content . Although it is an issue that affects long-term strategy, it requires an investment of resources (time and dedication) from the beginning that must be planned.
- Generate content that allows covering the entire user purchase process and the different cases of it . The buyer persona at the center and their buying journey, each of the brand's interactions, as a roadmap to avoid missing important moments in their transit through the funnel.
How to start your content marketing strategy?
The first step is to establish where you want to start. To launch your content marketing strategy, you have these channels available:
- Your company's blog . This is considered one of the main channels of content marketing and that I recommend you bet on. Writing a blog has many advantages from a marketing point of view and can help you:
- Position yourself for a topic organically . We have seen in the previous paragraphs how working with keywords in a structured way can help you achieve a better position even if your business belongs to a very crowded sector.
- Create content of value for your readers . You will have your own channel to offer solutions to the pains of your buyer person.
- Be known as an expert in your sector . If you work the content well, you will be able to create engagement in users and make them consult your blog again when they look for information related to your sector. In other words, they will see you as a reference.
- Opportunity to capture records to create your own database . By applying strategies such as offering more elaborate content in exchange for data in forms, for example, you can develop other points in your marketing strategy such as lead nurturing and lead score to accompany your buyer persona throughout the purchase cycle.
- Make your brand, product or service known . A blog with quality content and a good SEO strategy will help to improve the positioning of your brand, increase traffic to your company's website and will make more and more people know you.
- Social networks . Through your company's social networks you can disseminate specific content. The most common is to complement this channel with your blog. Thus, on the one hand, you will give your articles greater visibility and, on the other, you will be able to take advantage of already generated content to adapt it and share it through networks. You can take advantage of your blog posts to:
- Create attractive infographics and images.
- Produce videos.
- Customize messages for each of your target audiences or according to the social network where you publish it.
- Create tests.
- Paid advertising . To boost your strategy, especially at the beginning, you can opt for paid advertising online on Google or on social networks (Facebook Ads, LinkedIn Ads ...). You will be able to position yourself in search engines and spread your content on social networks..
- Offline events and actions . Keep in mind that the content you produce (no matter what broadcast channel you use) will also be a very useful listening tool. Comments, likes, profiles of followers or collaborations with influencers can offer you a lot of information about how your strategy is working and help you improve it, if it is the case. Traditional advertising events and other offline actions that you undertake will also serve to spread your message, while also acting as an indicator of the popularity of your brand and the alignment of your strategy with the expectations of the buyer persona.
- Meetings between the sales team and customer opportunities . Word of mouth continues to work and the connection with the person in front of us can be a determining factor for the success of the strategy . Knowing what content marketing is is as important as knowing how to explain the characteristics of the product or service to the customer or being at your disposal to satisfactorily answer any questions or concerns that may arise in the purchase process.
Once you have decided to bet on starting to create content marketing, you will see that it will only bring you benefits!
Content marketing and inbound marketing
As you have seen, content marketing is based on creating content and then disseminating it and adding value to our target audience.
But how does this fit in with other marketing techniques? Content marketing can be considered as the first part of inbound marketing . However, inbound marketing is much more extensive and takes care of other areas such as the conversion of the records captured in the company's clients.
Without a doubt, working your content within the framework of an inbound strategy will bring many benefits to your business :
- More traffic to your blog and more visibility for your brand.
- Increase in registrations.
- Increase in qualified leads.
- Educate your audience and make you a benchmark in your sector.
- It is more profitable in the long run.
- Improve your relationship with your customers and increase engagement.
It is a very attractive panorama that is supported on the basis of a good content marketing strategy.