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As you venture into the online world of business and marketing, you inevitably come across certain buzzwords, including content and content marketing. Chances are you already know that traditional marketing and advertising is on its way out for the most part, and is being replaced by content marketing. This holds for businesses across all sectors. If you are starting a business from scratch or already have a business and want to expand your presence online, this article is for you.
What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is a term used to describe a strategic marketing approach to create, distribute relevant and valuable content consistently to retain a well-defined target audience, to facilitate profitable customer action.
Why do you need Content?
In a nutshell, you cannot market your product without great content in this day and age. Content marketing is the present and future of marketing. Not convinced? You need excellent content for:
- Social media marketing
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Inbound Marketing
- Pay-Per-Click (PPC)
Do you need a Content Marketing Strategy?
Your content marketing strategy serves as an outline or framework, defines your customer’s needs and those of your business, and plans to use content to fulfil these needs. There are no fixed templates, but effective content marketing strategies usually incorporate the following:
The overarching principles or vision
You have to clearly state why you want to create content, what risks you are likely to face, the vision, mission, and what you deem to be your company’s success.
Your content marketing business plan
Here, you define what you want out of your content marketing strategy, what you plan to provide your audience and your business model details. You also need to list the opportunities you expect to get and the threats you will face.
Your Target audience
You need to describe your target audience for whom you plan to create and distribute content. You also have to include their needs and how the content management cycle will look.
Your brand story
This section of your content marketing strategy includes your brand message, what you wish to communicate to your target audience, how your brand stands out from the rest, and how you see the market change once your audience consumes your content.
What are the main types of content?
There are several types of content you should experiment with, but these happen to be the most popular ones:
Want to explain concepts, ideas, products, topics, etc. in detail? Blog posts are for you. Blog posts are excellent for presenting information for people who want detailed pieces. Blogs posts are wonderful if you want to post guides, basics, product or service features, or other broad topics that need detailed explanations. The common mistakes to avoid while posting blog posts are ignoring comments and not optimizing your content for Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Videos are one of the most popular and valuable forms of content, primarily because they engage viewers in a way other content types do not. Videos are more real and engage your senses the best. Videos work great for product features, unboxing, tutorials, behind-the-scenes information, vlogs, daily updates, addressing broad topics, Q&A sessions, and much more. Video marketing includes optimizing your Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube videos.
Infographics are useful if used correctly. They work particularly well when you want to summarize a broad discussion or detailed guide’s key points. Consider pairing your blog posts with infographics to address a meaty topic as best as you can. Words can only get you so far, but images can tell the story to someone who does not have the time to sift through 2000 words. This is especially true when you are discussing technical information like a Facebook analytics report.
Audio is another dominating form of content in this day and age. With popular streaming services like Spotify on the market, popular content creators and influencers are getting into audio podcasts to further their brands.
Which Content Marketing metrics should you track?
Here are the main content marketing metrics you should track as you put out content to determine if your content marketing strategy is effective:
Traffic is a measure of the number of visits to your website. If your website already enjoys a decent amount of traffic, you need to find out where this traffic is coming from and which posts are doing better than the others. You have many tools at your disposal to help you track your page traffic. You can amend your content marketing strategy only after studying your traffic carefully.
Social sharing is a vital metric to monitor because social media marketing is all the rage today. People communicate using social media, which is why it should not surprise you that social sharing is important. The content people share on their timelines and stories should tell you what they are interested in. Facebook, Instagram, and other social media platforms have in-built analytics tools that you can use to track the primary content marketing parameters.
While it’s great to have many visitors on your page, it is essential to convert as many of them as possible into customers and retain them.
Building an army of loyal customers will help you maximize your revenue and brand expansion. Pay attention to the kind of content you put out that helps you retain customers and focus on that. Once you have this information in place, running lucrative marketing campaigns should not be an issue.
Pages per visit
Internal linking plays a critical role in getting your visitors to stay on your website. The idea is to post compelling content to make your visitor understand that your other articles are just as good, if not better, causing them to click on other articles and spend more time on your site.
Learning how to track these metrics (among others) is essential to understand content marketing statistics and optimize your content marketing strategy to get you the results you’ve always wanted. You need killer content and an excellent strategy that you may have to amend every once in a while to stay on top of the competition.
Bonus video: The Beginner’s Guide to Content Marketing in 2020 | Neil Patel
Thank you for reading!