Traditional marketing is dying, it’s becoming less and less effective. The solution is content marketing. In this blog post, I’m going to share, all you need to know about content marketing.
In the past few years, content marketing has gained a lot of popularity. But I’ve seen that the majority of people don’t understand, what content marketing is? They just think content marketing is a different kind of advertisement. But, they’re wrong!
Content Marketing is quite different from the traditional form of marketing. Like you might have already seen videos on Facebook Ads and Google Ads. Paid media channels are directly showing you advertisements towards your target customers and driving those people to your landing pages or some webpages where you’re selling something.
When it comes to content marketing, it’s slightly different. Instead of directly driving the customers to your product, you first provide value, rather a lot of value to the customers.
Like any other blog post on my website, this page will be covering all about content marketing including case studies and content marketing examples. It will help you to understand everything better. Let’s start with…
What is Content Marketing?
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.Tweet
In the definition above, these three words are extremely important – valuable, relevant, and consistent content. Like any other marketing strategy, you need to be relevant to the audience.
Let’s consider an example, let’s say, you’re selling guitars and you’re showing your content or advertisement to an audience which is interested in cat food or yoga, then definitely no one is going to buy your product.
Your content needs to be relevant; it needs to valuable, valuable in sense, the quality of the content must be high. And it needs to be consistent.
The attention span of the people is decreasing year by year because of so many distractions with mobile phones, tablets, laptops, and other sophisticated gadgets including continuous notifications.
It’s hard to keep the attention of a prospective customer. You’ll have to produce high-quality content consistently which is relevant so that your customer can create a bond with your content. It’ll be helpful for a customer to create a bond with your business or with you if you’re an independent influencer.
Let’s take an example, YouTube – YouTube is a platform where people are making use of content. Creators on YouTube are producing the content and users are consuming the content. This implies YouTube is also a channel for content marketing.
Let’s say your favorite YouTube creator stop posting videos, then you might wait for videos for a month or two. But, after a couple of months, you’ll just lose interest and you’ll move to the next best thing. Isn’t it?
Similarly, this is something where consistency is extremely important. This is why you need to provide high-quality relevant content consistently to keep your customer’s attention.
Content marketing strategy is divided into two parts, first is content and second is the distribution of the content.
Content Marketing = Content + Distribution (50:50)
Let me talk about myself, my goal is to provide digital marketing services to various businesses. This is why I’m creating several blog posts that will help people in some ways.
Out of hundreds of thousands of people who are walking through my blog posts, a few of them will contact me and hire me for their business or their digital marketing needs. So, this is where I’ll be making money.
By creating and publishing these blog posts, I’ll be getting a few specific leads who might require more personalized services like SEO Services, Web Content Writing Services (that I get most) and hence they’ll hire me for paid plans.
This is where content marketing is coming into the place. By providing useful content to the audience through the means of various channels including my blog, forums, and popular social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, etc., helps me to get consulting leads. Just like for me, my end goal is to get the consulting leads and to get clients seeking digital marketing services.
Similarly, for different businesses, content marketing may have different goals. Let’s take an example of TravelTriangle – It’s a website where you can buy travel packages. Their ultimate goal was to rank all their articles on Google and drive traffic to their website and convert these visitors into paying customers. This is why they’ve focused on SEO.
Content marketing is not about focusing on a single area of marketing. Rather, you first need to understand where your targeted audience is and then optimize the strategy.
In the case of TravelTriangle, they knew that the majority of their consumers will be coming from Google (Search Engine). Look at their articles:
- Tourist Places in Delhi
- Best Places to Visit in Kerala
- Places to visit in India…
If anyone is thinking of going to a place, the majority of people tend to research the place.
Think, what will they search for?
Either they’ll search for the best places in the XYZ place (wherever they are going or thinking to go) or they might be looking for some tourist places. In the screenshot above, you can see that one of their articles ‘Tourist Places in Delhi’ alone is driving 20,390 of organic traffic.
These are the keywords they’re targeting
- Places to visit in Delhi
- Tourist places in Delhi
- Delhi Tourist Places
and many more.
Anyone who is searching for any of these keywords is a prospective customer of TravelTriangle. This is why they have written an article for this. Similarly, they have written other articles for all the search queries which might have a purchase intent in terms of a tourist place.
Just because of this strategy, they are already driving 4M organic traffic only from India (estimate). It might be more than this. So, for TravelTriangle, Content Marketing primarily focuses more on SEO.
For me, content marketing is to provide useful content and value to the customers. For me, it’s not required to rank my articles on #1, but to drive people from various paid channels like Quora, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc. and then getting them into my funnel.
A few will buy from me. Ranking on Google is my second priority as I provide Internet Marketing Services as well and people search for ‘Digital Marketing Services’ on Google.
As mentioned, content must possess quality, valuable content is much more influential in comparison to mediocre content. Also, the competition is so fair and everyone is moving towards the online marketing channels. You’ll see that you’re not the only one who is trying to grab the attention of your prospective customers.
You also have many different businesses and many other people competing for the same people and the same attention.
To stand out, you need to give lots of value in an easily comprehensible way which looks good, like it should have images. Videos are something very strong is 2019 and I’m very sure that videos will do well in the upcoming years. You can observe that every famous person is now making videos in one or another way.
To get a glance, you can look at Neil Patel or Brian Dean, they used to write blogs, but now these two guys are also making videos on YouTube and other platforms. It gives YouTube an exponential rise, even Instagram and Facebook love videos.
It has been found that a person gets engaged with the video 3 times more than an image. This is why Social Media platforms are coming up with features that let you share video content. It’s not just the video, even the length of the video matters.
The whole idea of content marketing lies in very important human psychology of reciprocity. If you give something for free that is helpful, then people tend to give back or they feel, they need to give back. When I’m sharing my research and my experience with people, I’m trying to create a bond with the audience.
If you’ll do the same for yourself or you’ll follow the same strategy of providing helpful and relevant content for free, people will start trusting you.
You might be thinking, what kind of content strategy you can put in your business? What type of content should you create?
To answer the question, let’s first walkthrough:
Types of Content for Content Marketing
Here is a list, that HubSpot put together. It is showing you a few out of many content formats that could be used for content marketing.
The most popular type of content you must have seen all over the viral website is the ‘list type’ articles. For example, Top 10 tips to lose weight, 41 Best ways to make money online (#3 will shock you – lol), and so on.
The second most popular content type is ‘Interviews’. Find the experts in your space and take the interviews and then you can promote the interview.
You can also create case studies; this is something that has a massive potential of going viral. Considering an example of Online Marketing Niche, Let’s say, I have a website and I’ve made my site grow to 1M+ visitors per month within 12 months. Then I can create a comprehensive guide on ‘How I made my website traffic from 0 to 1M+ visitors in 14 months’.
This will be a detailed guide including all the required details like what strategies I’ve followed, how much I’ve invested, how many hours a day I have worked, which tools are effective, what doesn’t work, what works best, and so on.
I’m pretty sure that it’ll be something that everyone wants to read.
You can use infographics, although, infographics are not too effective but still doing well and will be doing well in 2019 and 2020. To make your infographics viral, you have to go an extra mile, along with useful and relevant content you need to make it one if it’s kind of out of the box. Check out infographics on this page (animated infographics), just because they are one of its kind, they have got so many backlinks.
‘How to’ articles, Humor, Ultimate Guides, Videos, Reviews, Comparisons, Stories, News, Books, etc. are some other content types that are and will be doing well with different magnitudes.
Content Marketing Process
Content marketing is more like 3 stage process:
- Planning the content
- Publishing the content
- Promoting the content
The very first step for content marketing is, making an editorial calendar. The reason is, content marketing can’t be done alone at fullest. In case you’re doing it alone, it’s going to take long.
The second thing you have to do is, plan what kind of content you have to write. I’m considering TravelTriangle as an example from the starting, they were not the first in the industry to come up with travel booking. There are so many competitors like MakeMyTrip and Yatra.
What did TravelTriangle do differently?
Honestly, they have not done much different. All they did were, they looked at their competitors. They saw an opportunity and the opportunity was that the majority of the traffic even for websites like MakeMyTrip and Yatra is coming from SEO. They analyzed everything deeply and found that their power of driving customers will be content marketing that too with SEO.
For them, the main channel for content marketing was SEO. They hired several content writers and content editors for proofreading and checking the quality of the content. They then wrote tons of articles and push all them out on their website. Then they worked on SEO and build a lot of backlinks. Today, they are driving a decent amount of traffic which results in making good money.
The best thing about SEO traffic is, it’s free. Their digital marketing cost is zero. The only cost is the operational cost.
The way they’ve made themselves different was by writing content that was having higher quality than their competitors. Their content was very well-formatted, they have bullet points, nice images placed at the proper place, etc. making their content so awesome. The content is super thorough! In between the content, they are promoting the different travel packages.
They have also covered all the checklist for On-Page SEO. You can also do the same for your business. First, to finalize the content type and finding out, where your customer is?
If your customer is coming from the search engine then you should focus on SEO, But, if your customer is more on the Facebook or any other social media, you have to more focus on social media marketing.
In such cases, I can’t give you a specific checklist. You have to make your research and figure out the things.
Post that might interest you: 23 Best Social Media Marketing Tools You Must Have to Grow in 2020
Helpful tools for Content Marketing
For research, you can use tools like Buzzsumo, ahrefs, ubersuggest, SEMrush, Moz, etc.
Buzzsumo is good for social media sharing, to see the capability which content may get the most shares. Ahrefs and Moz are good for SEO. Ubersuggest is also good for SEO and for content ideas and keywords research, the best thing, it’s free.
There is a lot to be done from creating the content to publishing it and then promoting and analyzing it, how well the content is doing. If it’s giving positive results or not, what is the conversion rate, etc. are required to be analyzed which helps in creating subsequent content that can drive most results.
Here are a few things that you need to consider while creating the content:
Quality of the Content
The quality of the content is a considerable factor. If your content quality is inferior, users will move on to different competitors. Make sure your content includes beautiful images, videos (if possible), something that you can embed in your content to increase engagement. Use proper formatting (italics or bold wherever necessary), it’ll make your content look good. Your writing style will directly affect the impact on your audience.
You might know, Mobile optimized websites tend to get higher rankings. Even’s its one of the most important Google rankings factors. So, make sure your content is mobile optimized because nearly 70% of the audience uses a mobile phone.
Length of the Content
Content length is another important factor, not only for content marketing but for SEO perspective as well. Longer the content better will be for SEO efforts. Please note, always maintain the quality of the content along with the length.
The next big factor is ‘Headline’. Yes! A headline is extremely crucial. Your headline must be clickbaity but at the same time, you have to take care that it doesn’t bring any negative affect.
Let’s say, you’re writing ‘Top 10 ways for losing weight, number 3 will blow your mind’. So, make sure number 3 is something which must be out of the norms. Something people don’t usually think about. But it is required that number 3 is bringing the positive kind of emotions out of the readers. If you’re failing to create a positive effect with clickbaity headlines, your website may suffer from bad user experience and will have lower rankings.
Writing headlines is an art, you can’t learn in a few hours. You have to practice it. Practice writing 6-7 headlines for an article then test it which headline can get the most results. Then stick to a headline which may give the best engagement.
[Hint: You can check the headlines of the popular blog and top results in SERPs to get an idea about headlines. Alternatively, you can use the tool CoSchedule headline analyzer. Just put in your headline and it’ll give you the score for your headline.]
Use Relevant Images and Graphics
For creating graphics for your website or social media, you don’t need to learn Photoshop. Use free tool Canva! Even for myself, I use it tons of times for several needs including my blog featured images, post for social media, logo. Most importantly, I’m not paying anything for it, even I use it for my clients. Amazing thing is, there is no hassle to use this free tool, anyone can simply use it. Just a few tutorials (available on the Internet) will help you to use it with ease. This tool has many other features including sharing options.
Outsource Your Work
It’s good to outsource some tasks or hire someone to help you with, so that you can do things faster. There is no doubt the content creating process is time-consuming, so I’d suggest you hire one of our freelancers or outsource your task on iwriter, textbroker, etc.
Using the tools and outsourcing the work will help you to do maximum in less time. Because it’s not just creating and publishing the content, you need to do marketing and tracking and analyzing the results.
Pre-Promotion is something that you can incorporate into your marketing strategy. It’ll add to the workload but it’ll give you positive results if you’re doing it, it can make a drastic difference. Let me first tell you:
What is Pre-Promotion?
Pre-promotion is all about finding the promotion partners. Let’s say, you’re writing an article about ’10 best places to visit in Thailand’. You can make a list of travel influencers who have covered Thailand. They must have already a good fan base on the blog or social media or YouTube. While making the list, make sure you are including their primary contact details like Skype, Email, or Contact number.
What you have to do then, you may mention these people or their images or anything usable in the article. You can mention accordingly in any way. Then, before you publish the article, just email them. Like, I’m thinking of publishing this great article and I’ve mentioned you in my article. So, what are your comments or feedbacks before I publish the article?
Not all will be willing to give you feedback but a few will be happy to give you feedback. If they like the article, they may even share your article when you’ll publish it. All these things are possible if you’ll do the pre-promotion.
Apart from this, you’ll be creating a bond with these influencers. It will give you credibility.
For email outreach, you can use any software like Ninja Outreach.
Promotion and Outreach
This is extremely important! Now, you’ve invested a lot in creation of content. But, if you don’t promote, if you don’t outreach. All your efforts will go in vain.
According to Neil Patel, “spend 20% in creating the content and 80% promoting the content“. I’ll also suggest you, spend at least 50% of your time and efforts promoting the content, if not 80.
Make sure you’re sharing your content multiple times on Social Media. You can use the tool like Buffer to schedule your content on social media.
Also, the people that you’ve mentioned in your article (as told, in the pre-promotion list), you can contact and ask them to share and like your content. If you already have accounts or pages on social media, then you can share your content there as well.
If you can afford, I’d recommend you boost your posts. The reason is, Facebook organic reach is dying. Facebook doesn’t show your content even to the people who are following you. Facebook wants you to boost your page or post to reach to the people. You can also run paid ads targeting a specific and interested audience.
Spend time in promoting the content especially just after publishing the content. The chances to go viral are more.
Not just the paid media and social media boosts, you have to make sure that your article (or content) is well On-Page optimized. There are several factors affect On-Page SEO like keyword density, readability of the article, meta description, title, etc.
For a well-optimized article, you have to choose the right keyword. You can use a tool like ahrefs for choosing one or a combination of keywords. If you’ll do so, you’ll have a long run.
Use Email to Promote Content
Email is something that is ignored most of the time. But at the same time, this is something that can help you to generate the maximum revenue.
Email is considered as the best means to contact influencers.
If you’re not building an email list on your website, you’re losing a big chunk of revenue.
Although, email is not popular in every country. But, when you’re talking about the promotion aspect to content marketing, email plays a vital role.
If you do have already an email list, direct email them and ask them to check out your new article. Since these people are interested in your niche, they are most likely to check your article.
Repurpose Your Content
Repurposing the content is another smart strategy that co-operates in your content marketing efforts.
Now, when you’ve invested tons of effort, time, and energy creating content which is super thorough, comprehensive and bounded. You’d be wanting to take maximum potential out of your article.
To repurpose your content, there a few things you can do.
How to repurpose your content?
– You can take the best part of your article and make a video on it and then publish the video on YouTube and other social media platforms.
– You can use some parts (best parts) that can attract a user to tweet it or to share on Instagram story.
– After done indexing, you can publish your content on popular medium out there like Reddit, Quora, Medium, etc.
– You can guest post, or you can create a ppt.
Using the same content on several different platforms is called repurposing the content.
Considering the pros and cons of paid and organic traffic and Google Algorithms, here is my advice to you. This will give you the most:
– 70% of your budget should be devoted to SEO constantly optimizing your site to gain consistent organic traffic for long go.
– 30% of your digital marketing budget should be devoted to paid traffic when you want to test and track the ROI of a new product or service offerings.
Tips to Drive Targeted Traffic
To drive most of the traffic, here is what you can do with your article.
- Guest posting
- Post it late at nights, or during off-hours
- Share it on Facebook groups
- Link to the post from other posts (interlink)
- Put it on your homepage
- Answer one or more related question on Quora
- Facebook and Twitter Ads
- Reformat and Publish
- Make it easy for readers to share your content
- Push new content to your email list
This is the last step in this blog post for content marketing but I’ll keep on updating this webpage. The only objective of mine is to keep you up to date with all the required stuff so that you can do great and keep rocking.
You spent a lot on creating and marketing content. But, if you’re not checking the stats, if you’re not analyzing the data and numbers then you’d not be able to do well.
Whatever your business goal is, even if you’re an eCommerce company. Your goal will be to get multiple sales on your product(s).
Pro Hint: Embed call to action (CTA) within your content is a good practice.
I’d highly recommend you to check the analytics for your website regularly. Analyze them and act accordingly, look who is coming to your website, from where you’re getting traffic, for what keywords you’re ranking, which article generated the most revenue, etc. Considering all these things will help you to improve and get more traffic and hence more revenue.
Here are some FAQs
How long does content marketing take to work?
It depends on the channel you’re using, there is no specific answer to this question. Like:
If it’s SEO: It’ll be a slow process and takes time (about 6 months to 2 years)
For Paid Ads: The results are instantaneous. But you’re selling some expensive product(s), then the funnel might be longer and it may take a few days or even weeks in some cases to start getting sales.
If it’s video/YouTube: It’ll also take a few months to a couple of years to gain thousands or millions of subscribers if you’re posting valuable content regularly.
Suggested Reading: What Is Affiliate Marketing and How to Get Started?