What Is Content Marketing
WHAT IS CONTENT MARKETING?
(author: Frank Loopmans)
Content marketing “is any marketing format that involves the creation and sharing of media and publishing content in order to acquire customers. This information can be presented in a variety of formats, including news, video, white papers, e-books, infographics, case studies, how-to guides, question and answer articles, photos, etc”.
Content marketing is focused not on selling, but on simply communicating with customers and prospects. Successful content marketing relies on providing “consistent, high-quality content that solves people’s problems” thereby adhering to SEO’s guidelines, boosting SEM and building a community of loyal followers.
Part of almost all content marketing is copy or writing. Even videos, audio, text or banner ads need a script. Google’s latest update made it clear that relevancy of content has to match the user’s search query. While keywords are still important, they have been downgraded. Quality writing is writing for your audience, offering them information that is well-researched, engaging, educative, factual, shows good grammar use, and most of all is relevant.
- Write the copy first, pick out one or two keywords and use those to filename, in your H1 and H2, domain name and URL.
- However, most importantly: create a content marketing strategy. Each single piece of content, if one is after effectiveness and efficiency, should have the SOSTAC paradigm in mind. A good concise guide is available for free at: http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/DocumentedStrategy_Final1.pdf
- Simply put, content marketing is everything one sees, hears, or reads and engages with in some form. Its purpose is to target a well-defined audience who will like one’s brand. It is telling a story people like. It is also known as inbound marketing. Its focus is on creating brand awareness, fostering communities, retaining existing and acquiring new customers.
The Basics of Quality Content Marketing
- If good content is published your target audience will appreciate it thereby increasing your brand awareness and trust. The added benefit that tags along is that you will be seen as an authoritative voice.
- In turn this will also lead to better customer retention as your customers remain connected with your brand.
- Good content is also the most important strategy to adhere to if you are trying to gain great social media presence.
- Great content does not equate with expensiveness. It can be cheaper to produce engaging content than actually endorsing paid search marketing.
- Engaging content will boost leads and generate more ROI.
- Google awards great relevant content with a higher ranking on the SERP
- Hummingbird was keen to match relevant content with the customer’s search query.
- Fantastic content entertains, helps, engages, inspires, educates, pleases and informs. It builds a relationship and a community of followers.
Creative Content Marketing Tips
Applying creativity to produce brilliant engaging content is a must but is also just one step in the process. One has to be creative too in its use of strategy and tactics. Great content with a poor or worse no strategy and inadequate tactics lead to nowhere. And vice versa.
The strategic and tactical issues related to (content) marketing differ for every industry, indeed differ for every business. (I advise to have a look at Dave Chaffey’s site ‘smartinsights.com’ to get a quick overview and understanding of its implementation.)
- Be artistic and creative when using visuals like video, pictures, animation, design, etc
- Use a copy writer who has an excellent command of grammar
- Use slogan writers if needed or do a team brainstorming session using mindmaps, fishbone diagrams, etc
- Use smaller infographics and use those to post on the social media
- Adhere to the SEO guidelines (for visuals: URL, filename, linkname, alt description tag)
- Ensure quality and relevant content
- Use the proper social media channels (if target is a male audience of 45 -60, would you use Pinterest? Their main audience are women aged 18 -34)
- Picture sharing sites like Flickr or Instagram could be used as a platform to drive traffic to your website or blog. This call to action (CTA) is only effective if the pics are of high quality. Note that the media world is becoming an ever more visual experience.
- Always produce content for your audience. Don’t do it for pure SEO purposes.
- The information below, facts that are true, looks boring as it is. One could unleash one’s creative devil and neatly ‘wrap it’ using infographics, motiongraphics, piecharts, etc
80% of B2B use Facebook, 90% of B2C use Facebook
80% of B2B use Twitter, 69% of B2C use Twitter
61% of B2B use YouTube (Vimeo 12%), 65% of B2C use YouTube (Vimeo 12%)
83% of B2B use LinkedIn, 51% of B2C use LinkedIn
39% of B2B use Google+, 41% of B2C use Google+
- StumbleUpon is another good social channel, especially if you are after organic traffic. However, to get that link authority one will have to invest time and stay active.
Liquid marketing as a term is essentially content with such a high ‘wow’ factor that the target audience feel compelled to share this with their friends or followers. Good creative content marketing automatically becomes liquid marketing.
Don’t hesitate to comment or add suggestions. How important is a content calendar in your opinion? Let me know!
 McCoy, J., (20140 ‘The Tale of Too Many Keywords:Optimization in Content Marketing’. Available at: http://socialmediatoday.com/expresswriters/2197966/tale-too-many-keywords-optimization-content-marketing [Accessed 5 March 2014].