Content Marketing: An Art of Communicating without Selling
Author: Richa Rajput
Digital Marketing Professional
“While customers may love your product or service, they’re really going to love the content you produce if it’s helpful to them.” In a crowded business informational place, marketer needs to stand out and this is when Content marketing comes into picture. So, now the question arises what exactly is content marketing.
What is Content Marketing ?
Content marketing is a strategic business process focused on creating and distributing relevant and consistent content to attract and retain clearly defined audience to drive profitable customer action. Good content marketing efforts leads to relationship building and trust among the customers.
Types of Content
- Blogs or Guest Posts
- Magazine articles
- Powerpoint Presentations
Characteristics of a Good Content
Great content can funnel more traffic to your website and social media pages, strengthen your brand’s reputation and encourage more web visitors to convert into customers. Here are few tips you can adopt to create a quality content:
- Your content should create emotional appeal and resonance with your customers
- Start with an attractive headline which should be specific and prompting
- Should include a working title and a solid structure
- Tone should be relevant to the users
- Supports your Brand messaging
- Add to conversation than what has already been published
- Should be consistent and authentic
- Content should be clean, concise and short
- Free of errors and poor grammar
- Has a relevant call to action
- Lastly, it should enhance your reader’s experience
Content Marketing Made Simple: A Step by Step Guide
- Generation of Content Ideas
Idea generation isn’t just about waiting for inspiration to strike. You can generate ideas either on your own or in groups. So, now you might be thinking, how you will generate ideas. You can follow these few simple yet effective tips that will help you generate new ideas.
- Look for competitor’s content ideas
- Look what people are talking on Quora about your related topic of interest
- Use Google auto search to have an idea about the keywords
- Do indulge in technique of Braindump i.e. jotting down the ideas in an organized format that strikes your mind.
- Use tools like Buzzsumo that tells social media engagements of your generated content.
Content Ideation Process
New ideas can be generated with the help of a Content Ideation Process. The steps are as follows:
- New combination of old ideas
- Gathering raw material
- Digesting material
- Unconscious processing
- Eureka Moment
- Build Content Creation Framework
Content creation is essential to the success of your Inbound Marketing. If you want to be found in the search engines for the phrases that your potential customers search for, then you will have to build an effective content creation framework. An effective framework for content marketing will mean that it has to be repeatable, organized and agile. That’s when you have a proven structure to produce quality content. You will need to create educational, informative, useful content for your audience based on your detailed understanding of buyer’s personas and the stage that they are at within their buyer’s journey.
How to build a Content Creation Framework ?
- Conceptualizing your content
- Planning and setting timelines
- Creating a workflow
- Reviewing your content
- Publishing on different digital platforms and promotion
- Organizing it internally
- Analyzing the results
- Business Story Telling
People don’t buy what you do. They buy why you do it. The aim of writing a good content should be to educate and teach your audience, thereby creating an alignment between your business and customers. There are three elements of story telling namely Character, Conflict and Resolution.
- Character: Character consists of First Person: Author i.e. I, Second Person: Audience i.e. You and Third Person: He/ She which may consist of case studies about your customers.
- Conflict: A good content includes a conflict that fits your prospect’s problems, needs and buyer’s journey stage.
- Resolution: It includes an effective call to action.
- Content Promotions
Content Promotion is the distribution of content through various media channels like Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Websites etc. Content Promotions are of two types i.e. Organic Promotions which includes SEO, Email Marketing, Social Media Promotions, Influencer, word of mouth, live events and webinars. Second type of Content Promotions are Paid Promotions that targets highly specific customers. Examples of Paid Promotions are Search Engine Ads and Social media Ads.
Content Promotion Best Practices:
- Include Content optimization to enhance the outcome of your promotion plan
- Include link to landing page and appropriate call to action
- Use content promotion calendar to keep a track of the consistency of the content marketing efforts
- Use technique of Experimentation and Segmentation to create a list of customers based on their interests.
- Analyze results of the published content
- Repurposing Content
Are you struggling to come up with new content? Repurposing content is a little-known secret that all smart marketers use to keep driving traffic to their site. There is no doubt that content marketing will enhance your Brand awareness but the problem is, creating content takes a lot of time and effort.
But what if your best content could go to work for you, again and again, without your having to create anything new? That’s when Repurposing content comes into picture. It is the technique of republishing and recycling your content on different digital media.
These are big benefits that you can’t afford to ignore. If you are not repurposing your content, you are missing out on a huge opportunity for your business.
- Allows you to reach more potential customers
- Get more organic search engine traffic
- Improves Search Engine Optimization
- Stop stressing over what to write about
- Supports consistency and create content on ongoing basis
- Devote more time towards making sales
Now that you know why you should be doing it, let’s look at Repurposing best Practices.
- Use internal links and call to action in blogs
- Use canonical Tags
- Wait atleast two weeks before republishing content
- Upgrade and update the content that needs to be reposted
- Modify the headline
- Pick only your top performing content and not all the content
- Repost the content on popular website that matches your business
- Analyzing and Measuring Content Marketing Efforts
After producing carefully thought content and distributing it to your audience, the next step is to measure the success of your efforts. Why? Because data is necessary for continual improvement. And if you don’t see results you want, you need to change the status quo. By including a measurement strategy into your content marketing initiative, you can adjust your approach, delivery and determine all possible paths to customer conversion.
Areas of focus in analyzing content:
- Brand awareness
- Customer engagement
- Lead Generation
- Customer Conversion and Sales
- Customer Loyalty and retention
- Website Performance
- Developing a Growth Marketing mentality
Growth Marketing is an integrated approach to grow your business and optimizing your content marketing efforts through constant testing across marketing channels. Various departments which you need to focus for growth marketing are Customer service support, Sales Team, Products and Service Team.
Metrics to focus on:
- Traffic on website and social media platforms
- Cost to acquire customers
- Qualified Leads
- Qualified Leads to SQL
- Conversion Rate
- Repeat Customer Rate
- Month over month growth
- Year over year growth
If you focus your energy on telling good business story with a carefully strategized content, no matter on which platform or in what context, will win in the long run. Yelling louder won’t help you anymore, only yelling better things will.
So what’s your story? Are you using content marketing already?