Content Marketing: Its meaning and How to Use It.
Content marketing is still essential for marketers. In fact, according to the 40deFiebre blog, 78% of marketers believe that it is the future.
If you haven’t yet launched into content marketing for your brand, today I want to encourage you to start now! with this definitive guide. To do this, I am going to explain what content marketing is and what it is not, its benefits, the most common formats, strategies to attract customers, and my favorite success stories.
What is and what is not content marketing
Content is to digital marketing like the color black to the world of fashion: a classic that never fails. Already 12 years ago, Joe Pulizzi gave a definition for content marketing that is still totally valid: “A marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire and attract the attention of a well-defined target audience, with the aim of encouraging them to become future customers”.
Simple, right? So that you have it even clearer, we are going to see some clues about what this type of marketing is and what it is not.
What is content marketing
- A way to provide free value . “Give, you will receive” is one of the great maxims of content creation.
- A long-term investment . Some companies start with great enthusiasm to write a blog, and leave it when they do not see results in a few months. Error! Before jumping into the pool, you have to be clear that to obtain the best results you will have to be constant and think in the long term.
- A bet of the whole team . If you think about the different people who work in your company, surely they can bring refreshing points of view to your content. Although the main effort corresponds to the marketing department, involving your entire team will make your content much more interesting.
What content marketing is not
- It’s not just writing articles . When we think about this type of marketing, we often stop at the first step: creating content around your brand. Actually, a complete content strategy consists of four phases: generate traffic, generate leads, lead nurturing and generate customers.
- It is not native advertising. Although they have things in common, native advertising has two major differences with content marketing : it is based on paying space in other media (instead of publishing on our own channels) and it makes use of an existing audience (instead of going creating ours from scratch).
- It is not inbound marketing . Content marketing is inbound marketing, but not necessarily the other way around. And it is that this term implies all the actions to attract customers to your business, including more traditional tools, such as advertising.
- It is not copywriting. Don’t be tempted to use your blog as an excuse to sell! Content marketing is based on helping and supporting the user. Overly promotional slogans and speeches are out of the question.
Benefits of content marketing
Content marketing is a long-term investment, which requires dedicating time and resources. Why should you get into this “hassle”? These are some of the benefits of a good content strategy:
- Earn the trust of your users . Posting quality content on a regular basis will let users know that they can trust your brand. After all, if you help them for free, what won’t you do when they pay you?
- Position yourself as an authority in your sector. If you manage to “be there” when a newspaper writes an article about your sector or when someone wants to consult information on a certain topic, you will gain authority and become the benchmark in your industry.
- Improve your long-term planning . With a well-executed content plan, you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing where your marketing is going and what you’re going to do at any given moment.
- Improve your web positioning (SEO) . Posting content on a regular basis is a winning technique to get Google to love you. If you get your content to be positioned in the first places of search, you will have obtained an incredible source of free traffic.
- Win customers and sales . As a consequence of all of the above, you will see how your sales grow, since you will bring more users to your website and they will trust you more. Of course, if you want your strategy to have an effect, don’t forget the following steps of the content marketing conversion funnel from the previous section (lead generation, lead nurturing and customer generation).
The most common branded content formats
Before you start thinking about formats, my recommendation is that you have a clear focus: what value can you bring to your potential customers and how are you going to communicate it? Depending on this, you will be more inclined towards some formats or others. In any case, remember that it is always good to create different types of content, to see which ones work best and keep some variety.
That said, these are the most common and proven formats in content marketing:
- Blogging . They have been with us for decades, but they are still one of our favorite ways to consume content. The key to having a successful blog is to post regularly, have well-organized categories and tags, and invest in quality articles. Filler content may be cheaper to produce, but it is expensive in the long run.
- Reports, white papers and other downloadable PDF formats . This type of content brings a lot of value to people looking to learn about a specific topic, while positioning you as an expert on that topic. In addition, they are a very effective way to get hold of the email and basic contact information of your potential customers. Everything is advantages!
- Newsletters . When you have already managed to get a database of people potentially interested in your brand, newsletters are a great way to keep in touch. You can use them to promote the best content of your blog.
- Videos . The videos continue to be a trend and gaining the acceptance of users. Formats such as video tutorials are very effective when it comes to positioning your brand, while live videos are a novel way to contact your audience and show freshness and spontaneity.
- Infographics . The perfect complement for your blog and to share on social networks.
Strategies to attract customers with content marketing
When planning your content strategy, there are many possible approaches. My star advice to start with is that you opt for the simplest and that you take into account the four steps that we have already mentioned. Here are some ideas to deepen your planning:
- Create the best content possible. If you’re going to make the long-term investment that content marketing requires, do it right! You need your content to leave your users impressed, that they recommend it to their friends and that they take you as a reference.
- Don’t just focus on traffic, but on conversion . The visits, by themselves, will not generate profits for you. Instead, leads do have value. Therefore, you need to have a strategy at hand so that visitors leave you their contact information. And for this, you will have to offer them added value.
- Invest in SEO. Creating content on a regular basis makes search engines very happy… but it’s not the only aspect of your SEO that you need to take into account. In order for your content to be found, it must be well labeled and classified and developed following positioning guidelines (not repeating meaningless keywords). If you take care of this aspect from the beginning, you will make your investment in content profitable much sooner.
- Think long term . I will not tire of repeating it: planning is half the battle! If you want your content publication rhythm to be sustainable, you will need to organize your editorial calendar in advance.
To wrap up this guide, I’d like to share with you some of my favorite blogs to learn more about content marketing (in addition to our own blog).
- Cyberclick’s blog . A blog focused on digital marketing techniques and how to apply them to your company, in which several members of your team collaborate on a regular basis. Here you will find articles on traffic attraction, automation tools, lead generation and much more.
- The Semrush Blog . Another benchmark blog, specialized in SEO, analytics, branding, marketing and social media… and of course, all the tricks to use your tool.
- The SoMeChatEN blog . The professional blog of Alicia Rodríguez, an expert in content marketing and social media management.