A simple beginner’s guide to content marketing

We live in a digital world. Social media use now averages 142 minutes per day worldwide, while Ofcom data suggests that the typical adult will spend 3.37 hours online each day. Google search use has increased across almost every category and global e-commerce increased 38% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2021. The search for products and information lies at the core of every one of those increases and that means content is more of a currency than ever before.

What is content marketing?

The Content Marketing Institute has a really concise, very useful description for content marketing.

Its definition says, Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”

As traditional media has become less powerful, truly relevant online content which provides prospects with information and helps them resolve queries and problems has become more valuable.

How is it used?

Even if you haven’t sat down and documented a content marketing strategy, you will undoubtedly have touched on content marketing at some point. It is impossible to perform any type of marketing without content.

Content marketing is more than just publishing a blog post regularly or sharing a social media update each day. It’s more strategic. It considers your wider business goals and then sets out the kind of content that is needed to achieve those goals.

Common goals might include:

  • To boost lead generation
  • Improve SEO results or
  • Boost brand awareness

Each of these goals will require a different type of content and distribution or amplification across different channels. They may also relate to different audience personas.

How do you get started?

The first step is to create a documented content strategy. If you try to run a content marketing campaign without a plan, you’re likely to fail. CMI figures show that 65% of the most successful content marketers have a plan. This is your blueprint which tells you what you are trying to do, who you are trying to reach and what content you need to create to do that.

  1. As your first order of business, you’ll need to write down your goals. What do you hope to achieve as a result of the resources you invest in your content marketing?
  2. Next, define your audience personas. Who will be consuming your content? What issues are they trying to solve?
  3. Think about how you will approach content creation. Will it be done in-house or out sourced? What resources might you need?

With this framework in place, you now have the structure you need to decide what kind of content you’re going to create and when. Think of this as your editorial calendar. Tracking back to your goals, you can now decide what kind of content will move you closer to achieving that goal.

You will likely see that you need a range of formats from case studies and fact sheets to testimonials, buyer guides, videos, infographics, ebooks and more.

With that settled, you can decide who is going to create those items, when you need them and where you will publish or amplify that content to help you achieve your stated goal.

If you’re ready to get started with content marketing, we’re here to help. Contact us now to find out more about our content marketing solutions.

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