what is content marketing exactly?

Content marketing refers to a strategy of creating relevant content addressed to a target audience. By providing valuable resources in various forms – blog, social media post, video, infographic, podcast, ebook – your website’s content marketing activities will generate awareness of your brand and build a sustainable relationship with your customer base. 

While the ultimate aim of content marketing is to move a site visitor down the sales funnel, content is not a sales pitch. It does not focus on the company and its products. Instead, content is created around your targeted audience’s needs and interests. If your content consistently provides answers to their questions, they will keep coming back for more. Over time, you build confidence in your brand, and making a sale will become so much easier.

what qualifies as content?

Content can be any form of media that provides valuable information and answers questions. It can be a blog, ebook, infographic, podcast, webinar, white paper, or other types or forms of content. Profiles of your marketdemographic and buyer personaswill be vital in determining which types of media will capture your market’s interest best. If you continually think along the lines of offering solutions to them, they will naturally gravitate towards you.

how do i get started with content marketing?

Research. Research. Research. Find out as much as you can about your industry. What are its services? Who are the primary players? What are consumers most concerned about? Then ask yourself where your business is in the midst of all these. Get the big picture and decide which part you’re playing.

The most important thing about producing content is producing what your prospective customers and website users need. What information and educational content do they continually seek? Read about issues in your industry – from forums, social media, surveys, and other online or offline places where people talk about problems and search for solutions. Which content needs are currently not being met and that you can fill up? That could be your potential niche.

how often should i post fresh content on my site?

As mentioned in the previous answer, search engines and internet users tend to lean towards websites with a constant flow of fresh content. How often is ‘constant’ would be 2-3 times a week, but it also depends on the industry where you belong. Updating your content every day or several times a day will undoubtedly help drive traffic to your website. Keep in mind, however, that content quality should never be compromised for the sake of increasing frequency.

do i need to create content constantly?

Search enginesfavourwebsites with a regular flow of fresh content. More importantly, your readers will keep coming back for your new content. And not just any content – whatever you publish must be original, high-quality, and SEO’d. So, yes, you need ongoing content, but no, it doesn’t have to be ‘entirely new’ always.

What do we mean? You can repurpose previously created materials. If you have published a white paper for improving an aspect in your industry, for example, you can use the same info and data but rework it into other forms. You may create and post an infographic about it or use the materialto do a webinar. You may also link to it and conduct a poll to find out how your followers feel about the issue or open a forum discussion based on it. Repurposing helps streamline the cost of researching and producing new content.

what are the steps in developing a content marketing strategy?

Let’s assume that you have already developed your customer personas and your company’s brand and voice. With those done, you’re now ready tostrategise how you’re going to play your cards.

Look at the market segment you are pursuing – what are their needs and how are theseneeds being addressed. Look at your competitors – where are they good at and where are they failing? Look at yourself – what are your strengths and weaknesses in terms of serving this market’s needs and doing better than your strongest competitors.

Only then should you start thinking about producing content. Research the keywords that your target audience uses to find businesses similar to yours. Spy on your competitors and see how they rank in these keywords. The content you produce should be optimised to these keywords to make them more ‘findable’.

But that’s not enough. You should find out the intent in users’ queries. Study the characteristics of content that Google and other search engines ranked on the first page. Produce content such that it contains the appropriate keywords and answers the intent of users searching for them. This will ensure that your content is optimised not only for search engines but most especially for humans.

Monitor the performance of your content. Experiment with various forms and types of content and see which ones your readers interact with most. Tweak your strategy based on your monitoring and findings. Content marketing is going to be a long haul and not something that you will master overnight. That’s why you need professionals who have the tools and expertise to do content for you and coach you until such time that you’re capable of doing it yourself