Are you new to content marketing? You need content marketing 101.
Let’s face it. Your buyers are done with traditional marketing tactics. They’re done with constantly feeling sold to in such a crowded marketplace.
They don’t want to be sold to. They want to be romanced, wined and dined before they make a purchase. Ok, maybe they don’t need to be wined and dined. But they do need to feel valued, important, and like they matter.
When it’s done well, content marketing can bring down the guards of your potential audience and make them feel like they matter. It can help people solve a problem and feel connected to your brand through your content.
The beauty of it is that it’s cost-effective. Content marketing costs 62% less than other forms of marketing. It also brings in three times the number of leads.
Are you ready to learn the basics of content marketing to grow your business?
Let’s get started.
What is Content Marketing?
For a long time, marketing depended on personal relationships. That could be in the form of door to door salespeople, going to networking events and Rotary Club meetings.
If you couldn’t meet people in person, you could advertise on TV, Radio, Billboards, and sponsor events.
In the mid-1990s, the internet started to gain traction. By the early 2000s, that’s all anyone could talk about.
Every company had a website, a lot of companies focused on SEO. By the mid-2000s, content marketing started to take shape.
The essence of content marketing is this: Turn your sales and marketing from a lead and customer chasing machine to an organization that attracts quality leads and customers.
Content marketing uses content to educate, inform, and inspire readers. This builds trust with your readers and it’s a way for them to know like and trust you. It’s just done online.
As a result of people reading your content, they become followers and buyers of your services.
It’s important to remember that just because you put up content, people won’t automatically read it and they won’t buy from you.
Your job is to make your content good. That means it’s relevant and it solves a problem for your core readers.
What Can Content Marketing Do for You?
There are a lot of positive outcomes with content marketing. Some can be measured, other benefits are intangible.
If you write an excellent piece, people will talk about it. They’ll also share it online, which can extend the reach of your brand.
You’ll also be positioned as an expert in your industry. This expertise takes time to develop because you have to deliver great content on a regular basis. If you do that, then you’re on your way.
Content marketing can also be credited for breaking down silos between your teams. Marketing has t work with sales to get content ideas. They also have to work with IT staff to make sure it appears online in a way that captures attention.
That can bring a stronger sense of camaraderie to your organization.
There are tangible benefits of content marketing that you can measure. Content marketing has been shown to increase traffic, improve SEO rankings, and have more conversions from your website.
Is It Right for Your Company?
The short answer to this question is yes.
The long answer is really dependent on your commitment to seeing content marketing success.
Content marketing works, but it has some conditions attached.
It works if you invest the time to research and write high-quality posts. It works if you consistently publish new content (about once a week).
It works if you’re patient enough to keep doing it until you see results.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a solopreneur or a big B2B business. Content marketing can help your company and it can level the playing field.
In fact, 93% of B2B marketers rely on content marketing. They can’t all be wrong about it.
The bottom line is that any company can benefit from content marketing, provided that they make the effort. It transcends industries and company sizes.
Content Marketing Goals
If you’re convinced that content marketing is something you want to implement in your business, you should start by setting out what you want it to do for your company. These are the most common marketing goals you should consider.
Most marketing directors use content marketing to increase brand awareness. Brand awareness is a great goal to have, it’s just difficult to measure.
What you can do is take a look at Google Analytics. Look at how many people are coming to your site directly vs. other means.
If you see an increase in direct traffic, you can assume that more people know of your brand are searching for it directly in search engines.
A typical sales funnel goes like this:
Awareness: A person just begins to become aware of your company, products, and services.
Interest: They are learning more about your company and gaining an interest in what you have to offer.
Desire: They know they need your product or service.
Action: A person takes action, such as make a purchase or schedule an appointment.
When you set website traffic as your goal, all you’re going is creating a goal to get people to the top of your funnel. That’s not a bad thing, but you have to have systems in place to capture that traffic and turn it into potential leads.
If you want a great illustration of how content marketing can help your sales funnel, check out this explanation from CloudRock.
Leads Through Your Website
If you offer content for people to download in exchange for their information, that counts as a lead.
The trick is to create content that people want. These can be ebooks, guides, videos, or resources.
If you’re a software provider, you can ask people to sign up for a free trial or demo of your product.
By having people sign up for your content, you’re giving yourself the opportunity to communicate with them about your company.
The more times you communicate with them, the more they remember your brand and the more likely they are to buy from you.
Creating a Content Marketing Strategy
Your content marketing strategy will be similar to writing out a marketing plan. You may be tempted to skip this step.
Your strategy will help unify your content, the key messages, and keep everything consistent with your brand. It also keeps your team on the same page.
It’s a critical step in the process. You have to have a vision for content marketing and a roadmap that directs you towards your vision.
Your strategy starts with your vision. Set out what you want to accomplish by investing in content marketing. Answering why you’re using content marketing another item to include in your vision.
The most important part of your strategy will be your target audience. You have to know who they are, how they search for your products, among other things. You need to know their demographics, when they’re online, what their pain points are, and what do they use online.
You need to dive deep into the psyche of your audience and know what problems they face and how your products and services can solve them.
That’s the basis of your content creation.
The next step is to create content ideas. You may have some content already created that can be updated, which would be a good starting point.
The content ideas should be relevant to your audience and solve their problems.
Measuring Your Success
We touched on measuring your success as you set your goals. It’s very important to have a way to track your success. That’s how you’re going to see what’s working, what isn’t. That’s also how you’re going to prove ROI.
The rules of content marketing 101 say that you should focus on building traffic first. That’s especially true if you’re first starting out. Focus on building your audience and creating good content.
Once you hit a certain threshold, like 1000 visitors, then you can expand your metrics to include time spent on your site, the bounce rate, and of course, conversions.
Every couple of weeks, take a look at your data and determine if there are any changes that need to be made.
Content Marketing 101
Content marketing is a big marketing buzzword, that can intimidate people from using it to grow their business.
The reality is that it’s simple, as long as you set out goals and take the time to develop a content marketing strategy.
After all of the hard work you put into creating content and putting your strategy into action, you want to make sure that it’s protected. That’s Content Marketing 101.
That’s why you want to have added security measures that ensure that your website is up and running. Otherwise, you could be losing valuable leads to your business if they can’t reach your site.
Contact us today to see how SiteUpTime can keep your website running smoothly all day, every day.