First things first: what is content marketing?
Looking for an answer to this question, the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) seems like a sensible place to start.
The CMI defines content marketing as,
“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.”
And the benefits of content marketing are many.
This excellent resource from Masterful Marketing lists the 10 key benefits of content marketing.
10 Key Benefits of Content marketing:
- Increases visibility of your brand
- Develops lasting relationships with your audience
- Improves brand awareness and recognition
- Creates loyalty and trust, with both your current customers and prospects
- Helps you to build authority and credibility
- Positions your business as an expert in your industry
- Generates traffic to your site to improve lead generation
- Opens a channel of communication through social shares and comments
- Helps your customer move through the purchase decision more quickly
- Provides value with no strings attached
And yet, according to the CMI, 95% of marketers would not describe their content marketing as “very effective.”
Read on for some simple, actionable tips to make sure you’re in the 5% who do.
Avoiding content overload
A quick stat to consider: on WordPress alone, 70 million new posts are published each month. Knowing that customers – and potential customers – are already being bombarded with content, getting started on creation can feel overwhelming if not even hopeless at times. But hopefully Simon Swan’s article, for The Drum, will prove motivating:
“There appears to be more of a need than ever for trusted, authoritative and relevant information – and this could herald the opportunity for brands to position themselves as reliable sources of specialist knowledge.”
You can create a clear and simple framework for planning your content marketing by answering the following questions:
- What is our brand vision, values and voice?
- How do we measure success?
- What are our key topics?
- Who is our audience?
- What are the challenges they face?
- How can we help them?
There’s no need to over-complicate things.
5 pointers for content marketing success
1. Get into the habit of generating (and capturing) lots of ideas
There is no single way to generate ideas for your content marketing campaigns. What is crucial though is to make sure that every idea – however “out there” – is captured. It’s often the most random ideas that develop into unique, engaging and shareable pieces of content.
2. Make friends with content curation
Businesses can’t always create high-quality content around every trending topic. And that’s where content curation comes in. Sharing content from other thought-leaders can be an excellent way to join time-bound conversations and ensure that you share a diverse mix of voices with your audience. Check out our mini-guide to content curation to discover more.
3. Adopt a mobile-first mindset
Many tasks – most of them, in fact – can be accomplished on-the-go. The mobile revolution is impossible to ignore. Readers are increasingly mobile-first. Distracted and time-poor, they’ll abandon content that hasn’t been optimized for mobile. Responsive content – that’s been designed to automatically scale and reshape to suit the screen size of the reader’s device – is a must.
4. Don’t be afraid of video
Whether you’re aiming to boost brand awareness, start a conversation on social or showcase a new product, video is a big deal for content marketers. Simple video content – an engaging story with a clear message told in a relatable way – will feel authentic to viewers. And that – rather than high-end production values – is what matters.
5. Lay-out your content like a pro
Designer tricks – like using eye-catching fonts to add interest to headers and so on, but using easy-to-read fonts for body text – can all help. Our guide – 7 content writing tips to make your online publications stand out – is essential reading.
Need more info?
If you’re looking for a longer read about the benefits of content marketing, check out our article: The essential guide to content creation in 2020.
We’ve also created a mini, content-creation master-class with three bite-sized tips to help you raise your content marketing game.