Content Marketing 101: Short and Actionable Guide

Content Marketing 101

Slowly but surely, recent trends have turned content marketing into what can comfortably be described as a genuine buzzword.

While quotes like “Content is king” and “Content is everything” keep being tossed around the Web with regularity, the exaggerations and hearsay often associated with content marketing have led to a point where people are having a hard time precisely defining the term.

This is something we’re hoping to correct with a short and easy-to-digest introduction to the exciting world of content marketing.

If you’ve never dealt with this topic before, then the text below is certainly the right place to start learning!

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Does that mean this article is solely intended for newcomers to the field? Absolutely not.

Even if you are a seasoned veteran with tons of content strategy experience under your belt, this text will help you review the fundamentals of content marketing.

It as well provide you with at least a few actionable tips you can add to your pool of knowledge.

So, without further ado, let’s start at the most logical beginning we can think of – defining precisely what we mean when we utter the words content marketing.

We present you with Content Marketing 101, a short and actionable guide to what's probably the most exciting field of digital marketing. Click To Tweet

What Precisely is Content Marketing?

Content marketing is a surprisingly challenging term to explain because every single channel of digital marketing relies on content to some extent.

Every email you send, every landing page you design, every SEO-optimised description you write, every social media post you make, even product review you post- all of that are examples of content.

If we were to take content out of the equation, there would be no other channels of digital promotion and, by extent, there would be no marketing.

Ian Lurie, the owner of Portent Inc., brilliantly summed up the essential value of content to marketing with this quote:

Ian Lurie

Now that we’re aware that content plays a crucial role in anything marketing-related, what in the world is content marketing?

Simply put, content marketing is the strategic use of any kind of content to help meet a marketing goal.

Whether this goal is acquiring new customers, retaining old ones, raising awareness about a brand or just about anything else you can pull out of your marketing hat – if you are using content to make it happen, you are indeed using a strategy belonging under the content marketing umbrella.

The Effect High-end Content Marketing Can Have on a Business

Much like the case is with SEO, investing in content marketing is something you’ll often find hard to present as a smart choice for clients.

This common hesitation to allocate resources to content marketing comes down to the fact it can be difficult to really understand the benefits, as well as ROI, of this form of marketing.

In case you are not fully aware of what quality content marketing strategies can do for a business, let’s take a look at the main benefits of investing in content marketing:

1. Increased site traffic

If you are doing a good job promoting it, great content will inevitably bring people to your site. Once there, you can put them through a content funnel and start generating leads. If you play your cards right, that is.

2. Improved SEO rankings

Good content helps with attracting editorial links, enables Google’s crawlers to better understand your business and ranks you for additional keywords. All of that plays a role when determining where you rank against your competitors on search engines.

3. It builds brand awareness, trust and loyalty

Once people start consuming your content, they build an impression of your brand. If you feed them informative, well-researched content, your business will be seen as authoritative and trustworthy. Two factors that are crucial whenever someone is deciding whether to go with you or a competitor.

4. It gains more value over time

If you did a good job putting them together, your blog posts will continue to bring organic traffic to your site long after they are published.

Key to making sure of this is to focus on topics that will remain relevant to your target audience forever.

This is what’s commonly referred to as evergreen content and is certainly something you should be striving for.

5. It gives your audience something to talk about

The most intangible, yet the most important benefit of content marketing is that it creates a buzz around your business.

When people are talking about you, they’re teaching each others about your company, passing recommendations and links around in the process.

Needless to say, this is equivalent to marketing gold.

Unfortunately, no one can give you a one-size-fits-all approach to content marketing you can apply to any business model and see results.

Depending on your goals, niche and strategies, different tactics will work better than others.

We can, however, give you a few universal pointers that will make sure you are maximizing the effects of your content marketing efforts.

Let’s take a look at them now!

Content Marketing Tactics

1. Use content to zero in on your target audience’s pain points

Structuring your content around identified pain points of your audience is a great way of making sure you are coming up on search engines, as well as keeping the bounce rate under control.

2. Know your audience

You should know precisely who your targeted readers are.

Create a content calendar to make sure you’re addressing all your personas

Create buyer personas and make sure that your topics are not too broad.

Or else you’re risking generating visitors who don’t convert into customers.

3. Don’t forget to use keywords as a basis for your blog posts

While you may not be thinking about keyword targeting, you can bet your competitors are.

Try to target specific keywords with your content before you produce it.

Or, better yet, come up with content ideas based on keywords with high volumes and low difficulties.

4. Pack your content with valuable information and respect your reader’s time

This is what truly characterizes great content: being straight to the point and offering as much useful information to anyone who reads it as possible.

Read here to get ideas on how to use content marketing.

5. Make a network of content marketing channels

Once you post a blog post, your team should make sure it becomes a part of your intricate content web.

– Leave links to it on social media Boost it on Facebook

– Reach out to influencers

– Put it in a newsletter

– Interlink it with earlier posts, etc.

This is how you increase organic traffic.

6. Always ask yourself “Why is this useful?” and “Why do my prospects care about this?”

Creating meaningless content is a waste of time and money, so make sure you always have a clear picture of what and why you are publishing.

Don’t publish anything that has no reason to be published.

A Final Piece of Advice for Quality Content Marketing

At the end of the day, quality content marketing works because businesses have solutions for people looking to solve their problems.

That leads us to the final piece of advice we have for you. Perhaps even the most important one out of them all.

The trick to successful content marketing is not trying to sell anything.

Every blog post you publish, infographic you put together and video you record – all you’re doing is sharing your expertise and experience.

Educate, don’t sell.

If people like what you’re presenting them with – they will find a way from your blog page to the shop section.

All you should be focusing on is proving yourself by providing valuable information. That is the core of any good content marketing strategy, if not all of digital marketing.

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