Content marketing (content marketing) is one of today’s most popular marketing disciplines. The aim is to provide the audience with relevant information that it wants to take part of. When they browse your content you have the opportunity to promote products while becoming a source of knowledge in the field.
Successful content marketing often makes the content feel like it’s not marketing or advertising at all. The customer is interested enough to indulge in your content. The important thing to remember is that it is a long-term strategy that requires both strategy, patience and creativity.
Content marketing channels
There are many marketing channels that can be included in a content marketing mix, e.g., websites, social media and newsletter. It is often about creating information that arouses interest or somehow solve your customer’s problems. Your content marketing is at your own platforms and under your control, giving great opportunities not found in traditional marketing.
Opportunities often consist of content marketing is not perceived as marketing. You can for instance make the subject portals on their area that are not branded. Then you can speak to your audience in a more neutral way and then promote products and services after they have taken some of the content.
There are many channels to choose from, below are some examples:
- Social media
- Digital magazines
Even physical channels may be part of a content marketing mix. Some examples are print advertising, brochures and other publications.
Create content that can be used in many different channels. This allows the brand to talk with one voice, while saving on content creation resources at the same time. It also keeps the strategy together, as less separate content tends to created by different people.
Content marketing strategy
In some cases a company gets a website or a Facebook page simply “to have one.” This is not the way to go if you want to get results. Content marketing requires an underlying strategy, which will guide your actions and your planning. There are already too many abandoned blogs and social media profiles. Don’t create another one! Formulate a clear content marketing strategy that’s makes you grow over time and stick with it.
A long-term challenge of content marketing is that there is rarely an immediate effect. The results often grow slowly over time, which can be difficult to accept for many organizations and companies. Many of them simply want quick returns on their investments. Content marketing is not something you do as a sole project, or a process that can ever be regarded as “finished”. You always need to keep improving and tweaking your content to stay on top. A true content marketer is never satisfied. There are always improvements to make.
Content marketing in different industries or business areas means finding the right content marketing solutions. It is often mostly about understanding the target audience. All audiences have different preferences. They also have different online habits, hanging out at different platforms and responding to different types of content. You must also find a suitable tonality and format. To make this happen, you often need to find a copywriter with expertise in the area.
Where do you start?
This is actually the most difficult questions to answer about content marketing. Content marketing can include everything from writing some articles on a website to implement fundamental changes in the entire organization. In a larger, commercial organization, it is important to convince stakeholders of the value of content marketing, and formulate a strategy that is approved long-term.
Content marketing and SEO
Two areas that seem increasingly interconnected is content marketing and SEO (search engine optimization). It is natural, because the content creation and SEO often go hand in hand. Good content marketing on a website in the form of articles and blog posts often lead to increased organic traffic from search engines such as Google. SEO knowledge is required to drive as much traffic as possible to the content.
Promotion and Content Marketing
Sure, you can drive organic traffic to a website by having good content, but to actively promote the content can drive even more. Social media, public relations, newsletters, bloggers are some ways to promote content. How hard it is to promote content varies massively between different industries and audiences.
Many times, however, one if able to find win-win situations when promoting content. Leads and conversions are clear objectives, but there are also good possibilities of increased brand recognition and engagement. Each person viewing your content is positive, but there is often the opportunity to drive them a step further in the process.
Defining clear conversions (e.g. a purchase, newsletter subscription) and placing call-to-action (CTA) links in the content is a good practical method. You need to aim for a good balance, so the content doesn’t feel too much like advertising. Presenting the product as a solution to a problem while reading about the problem is an effective method.
It also opens up interesting opportunities to drive traffic between different digital channels. A website can be a great way to send traffic to a Facebook page, and vice versa. A lot is gained when having a digital strategy that exploits the different channels and sends traffic to where it delivers the most business value.
Evaluation of content marketing
As I said earlier, you should never feel permanently satisfied with your content marketing. This is why it’s important to evaluate all digital marketing strategies, campaigns and platforms. A good content marketer heads into platforms like Google Analytics almost every day to find something to tweak. There is always something to improve. As the competition is very tough, it’s those who do the small extra things that usually stay ahead in the race.
The challenges of content marketing
Content marketing is not easy. Even if you have a solid marketing strategy and plenty of resources you can run into problems. One reason is the need to be constantly interesting. The target audience quickly gets used to the quality and relevance of the material. If the quality dips, it usually won’t be long before it shows in the results.
It’s also very hard to show the direct profitability of content marketing. The reason is often that it’s hard to show the direct business gain of, for example, a YouTube movie. Most people are keen to evaluate sales, and only sales. What is the increased brand recognition and contact with the brand worth? Social media can be particularly difficult to evaluate. This means that it can be difficult to get the resources you need, even if you have good results in terms of the digital KPI’s.