Content marketing gives life to digital marketing. Without content marketing, digital marketing will be ineffective.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing encompasses all long-term activities involving the creation and distribution of useful contents relevant to the needs and interests of a target audience with the ultimate purpose of driving a desired action from said audience.
Contents are normally developed to attract, engage, and drive to positive action the target market of a product/service.
Contents are also positioned to readily answer the questions and address the needs of a brand’s target audience whenever they search online.
How important is content marketing?
Content marketing achieves the core objectives of digital marketing which include the following:
- Educate and entertain the target audience;
- Foster audience engagement;
- Build credibility and authority;
- Develop trust and confidence;
- Nurture leads and convert them to customers;
- Transform customers to brand advocates.
Content marketing empowers today’s modern customers who research and conduct studies online before making purchase decisions. It is crucial therefore that brands have relevant and useful contents readily available online for their target customers.
Common forms of content
These are the forms of content commonly used:
- Blog post
Blog posts normally are articles discussing topics or subjects about which the author has working knowledge of. These articles may be directly or indirectly related to the product, service, or business the author is involved with. The objective of a blog is primarily to inform the target audience.
A search engine-optimized blog helps improve its website’s ranking on online search and drives organic traffic.
Video has the same purpose as a blog. It is more popular though than blogs as it is a visual way of communicating.
It is a convenient way of listening to content instead of watching it on video.
This is a graphically attractive way of presenting useful information with minimal use of text.
This is a long-form article that discusses a subject or topic on a deeper or more extensive manner normally downloaded by truly interested audience.
E-books, like other forms of long-form content, belong to the category of gated content. Seriously interested readers are willing to give some information about themselves in exchange for access to this type of content. Thus, it becomes an effective way for the e-book author to generate leads which can be nurtured to eventually convert into paying customers.
There are other forms of content including slideshows, case studies, white papers, and reports/statistics. What form to use depend on the target market, client persona, and your content marketing strategy.
A good content is practically useless if nobody finds and reads it. Like a product or service, content must be marketed also. It needs promotion and distribution too. So how are content marketed so the target audience becomes aware of it and engages with it? Here are some ways:
- Search engine optimization
Using good SEO practices like choice of appropriate keywords, proper titles and headings, alt text, and internal linking can give content a good ranking on search results.
- Social media marketing
Publishing content on social media, particularly those that educate and entertain, can move the audience to like, share, or comment on it.
- Email marketing
Regular newsletters can highlight good contents to subscribers.
- Online advertising
Advertising on social platforms or on search engines can deliver contents to targeted audience.
Content marketing is the lifeblood of digital marketing. Marketers should therefore start their campaigns with a good content marketing strategy. They should research, curate, study, and develop good contents in varying forms and market them through different channels to reach, connect, and engage with their target audience.
We welcome your questions, comments, and suggestions. We can help small businesses with their content marketing.