Content Marketing Made Simpler: A Step-By-Step Guide
Content: Present and Future of Marketing
Content marketing has been around for at least 10o years. It was John Deere that started off with content marketing first by publishing a magazine in order to sell more tractors to farmers. It’s been evolving ever since and will continue to do so in future undoubtedly.
Along with John Deere, there were quite a few other organizations that used content marketing to advertise their products. These advertisements were aimed at targeted groups, especially those who were in need and were looking out for solutions to their problems.
So far as content marketing and its sole aim is concerned, nothing much has changed—content marketing today to is used to promote products and brands, only the mediums have changed.
Marketers and businesses today (both small and big) consider content marketing as their leading strategy to succeed. It is a driving force for the majority of the businesses across the globe.
You must be wondering and asking a question to yourself, “What led content marketing to be so powerful and why it still remains so?”
Well, it is something that I am going to answer through this article and try to answer all other questions you may already have about content marketing, and why it should be taken so seriously if you are to succeed in today’s competitive world.
So let’s get started with the definition first.
What is Content Marketing?
Content Marketing Institute defines content marketing as,
“ a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action”
I completely agree with what the above definition says, but also want to add that this definition may not change and may remain as is for years to come, but the way content marketing was done 3o years ago and how it is done today will never be the same. It is, therefore, essential to get acquainted with the trends and get familiar with different ways with which content marketing needs to be done.
There are a lot of experts out there who would guide you on how you can build an online empire if you follow their formula, but there are a very few who would actually create a roadmap and show how it is actually done—like I do.
Gone are the days when content marketing was done using the old ways, it is no longer applicable and will never lead you to success if you were to follow the traditional model of content marketing. In today’s world, brands like Cisco, Apple, Microsoft, and Amazon, and many such brands that have their presence across the globe use up-to-date content marketing strategy to stay updated and try to be relevant to the current audience as much as they possibly can.
We also should learn a thing or two from them and take a step towards a better marketing strategy that will lead you to success, and only success!
A vast number of bloggers today don’t create their own products, rather they solely rely on their content to drive growth and help them earn million dollars a month just by being a pro-content strategist and always discovering new ways to present themselves online. That’s where true power lies, isn’t it?
As for product based companies, who create powerful and most sought after products, they just can’t rely on their quality products. If they have to shine, they will have to produce quality content and promote it across the social networks.
Research conducted by online content marketing experts has proved that the majority of digital marketers today use content marketing to drive growth because it is successful model and helps them stay ahead of the clutter.
Let’s take an example from a hipmunk, a traveler guide.
The content presented in this post is simple and has no interactive videos or shiny images used in it. Why is it still so popular and is read by millions of people across the globe?
Because it answers all the questions of the users who visit their website.
What is the takeaway from this example? It is pretty simple—understand the demographic.
Why Do You Need To Do Content Marketing?
Here are a few key points that will help you understand as to why you need to do content marketing.
Ask key Questions: Who are you creating content for? Who is your targeted audience? What type of content should you create for your audience?
Think like a Product Manager: As a product manager of a product-based company, one has to sit across the table and discuss for whom the product is being created, why people will buy their product, what problems will the product solve, and so on. If you fail to nail all that down, you will end up creating a product that will have no buyers.
Act as an expert: If you think you have succeeded in getting people to visit your website, it is your responsibility to ensure that they get all the answers that they are looking for by creating an in-depth content. That’s why all the marketers always emphasize on creating in-depth content.
Be Active on Social Networks: If you have created quality and in-depth content and share it on social networks, the chances are that the people who visit your site are most likely to convert and could be your potential buyers.
Keep Track of New Visitors: Keeping track of new visitor coming to your site helps you take a stock of the progress you’re making with your content marketing strategy; It helps you to determine whether you are being successful or need to tweak a plan little bit.
If you do everything as mentioned above, you will achieve three key benefits.
- Increased Sales
- Loyal Customers
- Cost Savings
Content Was & Will Remain the Present & Future of Marketing
Let’s go back to the definition of content marketing and read it again. And read it carefully.
Unless you write content that is relevant, valuable and consistent, however much hard you try you may not taste the success for obvious reason—you don’t cater to the right audience.
Here are a few ways in which you can use your content marketing strategy to promote your business.
You can choose YouTube as your online marketing platform that has a billion-plus audience to promote your in-depth video around your website’s content.
To get started, you need a YouTube channel. You are now ready to build an online empire by creating videos that set content around our niche. As you would write an article for your website, you can create a video.
Podcasts are a new way of promoting your brand or website. Do you remember radios that you were used to tuning for hours together? There is one thing that you need to understand—podcasts bring more value to your business by promoting less.
If you are a seasoned blogger and have huge traffic coming to your website, you can find sponsors or advertisers to produce a podcast.
Infographics is a new way to weave a lot of content in nice looking graphics. They are very popular and their popularity is growing by the day.
This guide will help you get started with your content marketing strategy from scratch. This guide will take you back to basics wherein you will learn essential elements that you will require in order to kick-start your content marketing.
While this post is aimed at beginners who find it difficult to connect the dots as they go through the information garbage on content marketing online.
As for experts and seasoned marketers, this guide will help these experts to review their basics.
Once you know the essential of content marketing, you will need to get started with developing your content marketing strategy. Having an actionable content strategy in place can help you differentiate you from your peers or competitors. So it is better to have a plan in place.
Creating quality content always helps you to bring more traffic to your website. If you are reaching out to the right audience, there are high chances that those visitors will most likely convert and may become your potential customers eventually. Therefore, you need to ensure that you write content that your audience like.
Without content or quality content, it is always almost impossible to drive social media as social media is the most important factor during that helps you to: Listen and reach out to your audience and know what your audiences like and dislike, and Share content amongst your social networks, including forums.
Though link building may not very well fit into content marketing strategy, but it is somehow related to content marketing strategy as it guides you on how you outreach to people for backlinks and increase the chances of getting your website ranked high. Moreover, getting quality backlinks can always help you reach out to a larger audience, thereby increasing the traffic to your website.
Every online marketer will agree that SEO is an integral part of marketing. It is, therefore, important to ensure that your content marketing plan is solid and is actionable.
Now is the time to examine whether your efforts have paid off or not. This will also help you take a stock of progress you have made with your content marketing plan.
Note: If you are completely new to content marketing strategy and are in need of a plan, check out this getting started guide on content marketing.