Quick – what is content marketing?
A little hazy on that, are you?
Okay then, do you know how it can benefit your business?
Stumped again? No worries.
It’s a concept that been around for a while but still leaves many of us drawing a blank. If you’re one of those folks, this blog’s for you. (If you’re not, you’ll still want to read on and let us know if we covered all the basics.)
Following is a collection of the most common things our clients ask about content marketing. So, without further ado, six FAQs and their answers.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing is a strategic approach centred on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, useful and consistent content to your target audience (made up of both current and prospective clients). The goal is to drive profitable customer action.
Not spammy or salesy, content marketing focuses on the creation of helpful written or image-based material that positions your business as a knowledgeable source of information within its industry. Common forms of content marketing include blogs, videos, infographics, checklist downloads and eBooks.
What are content marketing’s main benefits?
Content marketing is cost effective. Once a blog goes live, it doesn’t require further money to be devoted to it, unlike, say, a newspaper ad or radio spot. Your leads are being generated at a fraction of the cost of other advertising modes.
The content is reusable. For example, blogs can be turned into newsletter content; a checklist download can be repurposed as a handout or brochure.
It can help reduce sales and marketing costs. Because of the various platforms’ automation levels and tools, the return on investment is good, as it frees up sales and marketing reps to do other things while still generating leads.
Leads that are generated are targeted, quality ones. When used in conjunction with a landing page, content marketing gets you sales-ready leads that are ready to qualify rather than a bunch of looky-loos.
Good content fosters brand awareness and social reach. This results in more fans, followers and devotees.
What kind of businesses can benefit from content marketing?
No matter the size of the organization, whether business-to-business or business-to-consumer, almost every industry can use some form of content marketing to reach their target market.
If you’re just starting out as a business, then probably you should prioritize and ensure you have the basics covered, such as a website, signage, knowledgeable employees, functioning washroom facilities, you get the picture. When you have all that, you should then consider content marketing because it will help your website get seen, build your brand and create and maintain relationships with clients.
And what business doesn’t want or need that?
What’s the difference between content marketing and social media marketing?
These two types of marketing can work together to optimize results, but they do differ.
Content marketing is about creating material for your website and other places online; it’s largely geared toward generating leads. Social media marketing occurs on other platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram and tends to be aimed more at brand awareness.
It’s easy to create content and then share it on the various social media, but the opposite isn’t necessarily true.
How much content should my business produce?
Content production and frequency depend on your goals, but consistency should be the aim.
Some companies are willing and able to create shorter content on a daily or weekly basis. Others, like many of our clients, prefer to use long-form content (blogs) once or twice a month and turn those blogs into content for a monthly or quarterly newsletter.
Whichever you choose, a consistent, predictable schedule can boost your reliability and help create an eager audience.
Can I track results, and how long until I see some?
Okay, that’s really two questions, but let’s not split hairs.
Unlike other forms of marketing, it’s easy to track results. Generally, your goals and strategies determine how you can measure the various metrics. For example, you can gauge website traffic, bounce rates and shares on social media, which gives you an idea of how your brand awareness is increasing. Lead generation, particularly through the use of a landing page, can be tracked by looking at the number of leads and conversion rates.
In terms of time, this type of marketing is a long-term strategy as the content you create is going to be there for years to come. However, in the short term, you’ll inevitably see increased social sharing and new leads almost as soon as you add this form of marketing to your arsenal.
Have other questions about content marketing? Get in touch and we’ll provide answers.