October 15, 2018
What is content marketing? Why is it important? What are the types of content marketing? Knowing the answers is essential for success. All your questions answered.
Table Of Contents
Want to start a career in Content Marketing?
Are you a business looking to learn about Content Marketing?
Do you want to prepare yourself for executive presentation related to content marketing?
wWhatever your motives, this post strives to answer as many questions as possible, to help you better understand, "Content Marketing", the King of Digital Marketing!
What Is Content?
"Content" is an umbrella term used to define many things as of 2018. Everyone has his own definition of content. Basically, content is anything, anything which is an information, in any form or whatsoever.
Defining “content” is not simple. We will try to stick to the definition or understanding that is relevant to "online content" and content that could be considered for ranking with search engines such as Google.
Brian Massey: "My definition of content is “information with a purpose for a targeted audience.” Information may be text, video, audio, photos, etc. The purpose might be to educate, entertain, or persuade (convert)."
Kathryn Aragon: "Content is any information that builds trust and authority among your ideal customers."
If you ask Google, there is no straight answer but between the lines, this message is repeated every time.
"For almost any type of page or informational topic, there is a range of content quality. Remember that high-quality content is defined as content that takes time, effort, expertise, and talent/skill."
Google Quality Evaluator Guidelines, 2017
What the above statement and many of the similar ones from Google, translate into is:
Content is simply an answer to customers’ questions
What Is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing relates to the types of strategies that involve:
- Content marketing
- How-to guides
- Professional meetups
- Off-Page SEO
- Social media marketing
In order to create brand awareness, educate the audience about products and improve sales. The route to sales is basically to attract the attention of customers, hook them up by adding value to their lives and try to turn their interest into sales.
Attract -> Convert -> Close -> Delight
What Is Native Advertising?
Native advertising is a form of paid advertising where the ad experience matches the look, feel and format of the medium where they appear
It conforms to the natural form of the user experience, of the medium, where it is placed.
Unlike typical advertisements, native advertisements don't look like typical advertisements. They appear to be part of the standard content of a webpage, website or a platform.
promoted Advertisements that appear in the personal news feed on social media networks. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest etc
Google promoted advertisement, on top of your search engine results pages (SERPs)
What Is Content Marketing?
Content marketing involves research, planning, creating and sharing digital content that engages the audience, adds value, drives traffic and ultimately leads to conversions.
The goals for content marketing vary but mainly are:
- Develop a connection with the audience
- Develop credibility
- Create loyalty and trust
- Influence a shopping lifecycle
- Brand awareness
- Brand visibility
- Leads generation
- Decrease marketing cost
- The main activity for content marketing includes different kinds of content creation, like writing for a company blogs, company newsletters, webcasts, podcasts, infographics, guides and advice, news, educational or entertainment videos etc
Along with content production, content marketing also involves some crucial tasks such as:
Why Content Marketing?
QUOTE: "Doing business without marketing is like winking at a girl in the dark. you know what you are doing, but nobody else does."
Steuart Henderson Britt
But how do you make sure we are marketing our business and product in a most effective way, both in terms of it's reach and cost? In this age, we need to keep our marketing strategies on the front foot in order to keep ahead of the competition.
Which marketing strategy, can inform and influence a customer through the whole journey of a purchase lifecycle, from customer acquisition to after sales satisfaction?
As of 2018, content marketing is a synonym for effective and efficient digital marketing.
Content Marketing Vs Effective Content Marketing?
This is the question I get asked a lot but this probably is not the right question to ask.
The right question would be: What is effective Content Marketing?
In today's day and age, high-quality content is the one which is good for the market, like any other product and market being your audience.
The old saying goes: Market is always right.
The Audience: are the billions of Google users out there looking for the right information. Google is a marketplace for a content marketer. You need to have the right product that is in high demand, i.e content that serves user intent, adds value and solve their problem somehow.
The product is High-Quality content. Content which is original, different and unique. Content which engages visitors and adds value. Content that is evergreen.
What Is A Content Marketing Strategy?
Content marketing strategy is basically the management of any kind of content that you create and own:
- Or a combination
A content marketing strategy can vary depending on a lot of factors like the company size, the age of the company, the kind of industry, the type of audience and the marketing budget etc.
Say for a startup, a content marketing strategy might focus on creating content to increase their product and brand awareness.
For a more established company, like say, a search engine optimization (SEO) company, a content marketing strategy might involve more on educating people about the benefits of SEO and passively promote their SEO software or service.
What Should Be My Content Marketing Strategy In 2018 And Beyond?
High-quality content is the bedrock of an effective digital marketing.
Original, High-Quality content follows a constructive and productive approach.
Digital marketing should always revolve around creating meaningful and useful content which could earn links on merit.
If you create high quality, evergreen content, you can use that across multiple channels. For eg. at Quoracrative, we take an approach of creating good content once and use it forever.
Many of the social media posts on our accounts come from our content we create for our website.
The biggest advantage of using high quality as an approach for digital marketing is that it could earn links on merit. I am talking about backlinks. You do not have to work for backlinks if your content is of high quality and relevant to the times. It attracts readers and links itself. Over time it means traffic and ultimately conversion.
Of course, it appears to be a lengthy strategy but if you look at the bigger picture, It is far less time-consuming in the long run.
High-quality content improves the reputation of a webpage and helps it rank with search engines. Most import of all. It gives you peace of mind. Natural links are safe and evergreen.
What Is A Content Marketing Agency?
A content marketing agency helps to create content in various forms for marketing purposes, for a business, such as:
- Written: Informative articles, blogs, reports, news articles and guides, etc.
- Multimedia: Videos, podcasts and infographics etc
- Interactive: Polls, quizzes and online competitions, etc.
The content is relevant to the audience of the business and it strives to serve the user intent in ways like:
- Providing answers to questions.
- Providing how-to guides.
- Providing learning material to educate.
- Provide information to help the customer decide.
- Analysis and feedback about products and services.
Who Is A Freelance Content Marketer?
A content marketer is a one-man team who can take on, one or all of the content marketing tasks to fulfil content marketing needs for a business.
"A content marketer is responsible for the planning, creating, and sharing of valuable content to attract and convert prospects into customers, and customers into repeat buyers. The type of content the content marketer shares depends upon what he sells. In other words, he educates people so that they know, like, and trust him enough to do business with him."
A working definition of “content marketer” | Copyblogger
What Is An Average Salary For A content Marketer?
According to Glassdoor, Average Content Marketing Manager Salary is around $93,125/yr
According to payscale, Average Content Marketing Manager Salary is around $87,000/yr
Paysclae further breaksdown salary into components as follows:
Base salary: $64,349
Profit Sharing: $2,468
Total = $86603/yr
We a are looking around $90,000/yr as of 2018/19.
What Are Some Online Resources For Learning Content Marketing?
Best way to learn about something is to take an advice from the experts in the industry who have already nailed it and are happy to share their knowledge, experience and insight. Some of the people who helped me throughout my content marketing journey are:
Best Content Marketing And SEO Blogs
Hobo web by Shaun Anderson
SEO by the Sea by Bill Slawski
Matt Cutts the head of Google's Webspam team
John Mueller, Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google
Neil Patel's Blog
Brian Solis's Blog
Seth Godin’s Blog
Content Marketing Courses
Writing for the Web | Open University Australia
Analytics Academy | Google
Marketing in a Digital World | Coursera
SEO Training Course | Moz
Free Content Marketing Certification | HubSpot Academy
Content Marketing | Udemy
Become a Better Blogger | Skillsshare
Univerity | Quicksprout
SEO Training | Udemy
The Strategy of Content Marketing | Coursera
What Is Google Adwords?
Embedded content: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sy7Y7T5Dz4M
Google Adwords is an advertising platform provising pay-per-click (PPC) service for advertisers.
Google AdWords provides two mediums to advertisers to reach audience:
- Google Search Network (SERPs)
- Google Display Network (GDN)
Both mediums use a PPC bidding system, where advertisers bid to have their advertisements appear on Google network.
The Google Search Network helps you to promote your ads to its users who search for the keywords that you are targeting.
The price you pay and exposure for your advertisements depends upon the following two factors:
- Landing Page Quality
Another option available by Google is cost-per-impression (CPM). With this option, you pay the Google for every 1,000 times your ad appears on the SERP. The cost for cost-per-impression (CPM) is relatively very low but it is less effective as well.
What Is Content Distribution?
Content distribution is the process of using varying tools to disseminate and distribute content to an intended audience. Content creation is no doubt the very important part of a content marketing strategy but content distribution is equally important as well
If newly developed content doesn’t get distributed well across to the right audience, all effort will effort, resources and time spent would be wasted.
There are three categories of content distribution platforms:
- Paid: Facebook promoted ads, Google Adwords
- Owned: Your own websites, blogs, and social media channels etc
- Earned: Guest articles, retweets or shares, product reviews, recommendations, feedbacks, press releases, newsletters and social media etc
Content Distribution? Here’s what you need to know | Simplilearn
What Is User Intent?
"User intent" or "search intent" by a user is the "motive" of a user when they type a query into a search engine in the "hope" of finding useful "answer".
"Serving User intent" is now a focal point in content marketing and search engine optimization as Google is putting more and more emphasis on it.
"Understanding user intent during a search can be an important aspect of delivering relevant results to searchers."
User Intent and Characteristics of Search Queries | SEO by the sea
" Content is not king on the Web; meeting a searcher's intent is. When someone searches for pizza at lunchtime, they likely aren't looking for a history of Pizza, but rather a slice or two"
What Is High-Quality Content?
High-quality content provides information that your audience find relevant and interesting.
Your expertise in the topic matters the most.
When someone reads your content, they are looking for something which adds up to the knowledge they already have.
The rule for high-quality content is making sure it adds value to an audience's knowledge and experience.
High-Quality Content :
- Is readable
- Is engaging
- It Provides Value
- To the point.
- Has expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (E-A-T)
- Solves a problem.
How Do You Define Low-Quality Content?
Quote: Low-quality pages do not achieve their purpose well because they are lacking in an important dimension, such as having an unsatisfying amount of Main Content (MC), or because the creator of the MC lacks expertise for the purpose of the page.
Google Quality Evaluator Guidelines, 2017
- Google Redlines For Low-Quality Content
- An inadequate level of Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-A-T).
- Your content lacks any purpose
- The quality of the main content (MC) is low.
- No Added Value for users
- Auto-generated content. This is a complete NO
- Contains Fakery or inaccurate information
- Has a lot of Keyword stuffing
- Amount of main content (MC) doesn't match with the purpose of the page.
- The title is exaggerated or shocking. (Yes you read it right)
- The Advertisements or Supplementary content distracting from the main content (MC)
- If there is a mildly negative reputation for a website or creator of the main content (MC), based on extensive reputation research by Google itself
- Poor page design and architecture
- Lots of spammy comments
- Malicious harmful or deceptive practices detected
- And even if a Website is not maintained, this counts as negative.
- Unsatisfying amount of website information or information about the author of the main content (MC) for the purpose of the page (what's the point of being anonymous?).
Content Marketing Strategy Best Practices
The best strategy is to keep your content marketing strategy simple.
- Become an authority on a subject matter/niche you want to write about.
- Become a go-to place for your targetted audience on a subject matter.
- Become top recommendation by Google for a niche.
- Every time you create content, have a simple aim in mind: Strive to create a resource that adds value to the visitor's experience.
How Can Content Marketing Influence buyer's journey?
From a consumer journey perspective, content marketing is one and only of it's kind with the ability to inform, advice, and answer a customer, at all stages of a buyer's journey.
Awareness: The buyer understands they have some need.
Develops Interest: Takes an initiative towards understanding the need further
Consideration: The buyer elaborates the problem and researches a solution.
Decision: The buyer comes to a conclusion.
Purchase: involves performance and customer service
Re-Purchase: involves customer retention, customer support
Put your self into customer shoes and consider the following example.
Say you are a startup and you have allocated a budget and you want to learn how to implement a digital marketing strategy for your business.
When you use Google to research, the types of digital marketing strategies, what is going to get you to our site, quoracreative?
High-Quality Content, about digital marketing strategies.
Say you have read and learned about different types of digital marketing and you are particularly interested in content marketing.
What is going to help you learn more about content marketing?
High-Quality Content, about content marketing.
Say, now you have an in-depth understanding of content marketing and you need to understand the costs for content marketing in particular.
What is going to help you learn about the costs for content marketing?
High-Quality Content, about content marketing cost.
You have learned about projected costs for content marketing and you are now looking for a good content marketing agency.
What is going to help you make a decision about an agency selection for your content marketing needs?
High-Quality Content, about how to select an agency for content marketing.
As of 2018,
42% of consumers look towards content to acquire information about potential purchases.
52% of the potential customers say informative content has impacted their purchase decisions.
57% of marketers have acquired new customers by using high-quality content that facilitates a customer's journey to reach a decision
Why do content marketing? The answer of course is that you should do it because it works. The answer is that you should do it because most of your marketing is getting less effective. We know that if we create content our customers want, content that is helpful or entertaining to them, then we will attract buyers. We will earn their trust. And ultimately that will translate into business value in the form of revenue and loyal customers.”
Michael Brenner, SAP/B2B Marketing Insider
How Can We Increase Brand Awareness By Using Content Marketing?
"The most effective way to make your content stand out and garner the attention it deserves is to make sure your brand aligns with your content. This level of strategic content marketing helps build brand awareness and strengthen your company’s reputation."
How to Build Brand Awareness | Copypress
The audience rightfully expects brands to provide content that educates, provides meaningful solutions, creates an experience, entertains and tells stories.
There is a strong correlation between how much focus a brand has on improving the strength of its content which in turn improves the personal wellbeing of its audience and the improvement of the brand's awareness and loyalty.
Just look into the daily stats:
- 500 million tweets
- 4.3 billion Facebook posts
- 500 million youtube footage
- We certainly live in an age of content overload. This provides us with an opportunity.
Meaningful, high-quality content stands out. We can be different and use content to educate, inform and inspire our audience.
High-quality content can serve as a breath of fresh air in this age of information overload and we can use it for our benefit to maximize brand awareness and loyalty.
"Without content, no one will know what you represent. According to Onby.com research, 71 per cent of consumers are more likely to buy from brands they recognise. Consumer recognition and trust in your brand, therefore, is an essential part of securing your place in your industry."
How Does Content Marketing Raise Brand Awareness? | Castleford
Is Content Marketing Expensive?
"Content marketing’s cost per lead drops 80% after the first five months according to Kapost and Eloqua. This finding is consistent with Hubspot’s blogging research which showed that blogging two to three times a week gains most of the impact in acquiring customers. Further, fifty posts are an inflexion point causing traffic to increase."
Why Content Marketing Is More Cost-Effective | Heidi Cohen
Content marketing is often overlooked due to a misconception that it is an expensive strategy which is far from the truth.
Before you agree to someone who tells you: "Oh, content marketing is just another cost"
Understand this very fact that Americans spend over 10 hours a day consuming content as of 2018.
Now If we can acknowledge this fact, here are some further facts for you. I'll leave the answer you can come up with, in your hands.
- Content marketing gets three times the leads per dollar spent.
- Content marketing rakes in conversion rates six times higher than other methods.
- Small businesses with blogs get 126% more lead growth than small businesses without.
- In only the first 5 months of execution of content marketing strategy, costs per lead could drop up to 80%
- The average cost-per-lead for outbound-dominated businesses is $346 vs 135 for inbound-dominated businesses.
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