Your target audience sees so much content in a day, from ads and advertorials to social media posts, paid ads, and results on search engines. It’s fair to say, they’re bombarded with messaging, images, and sounds. This can cause overstimulation and dilute the impact of your content marketing.
In one slightly unsettling report from Statista, Americans spend (on average) 8 hours a day connected to digital media. At first, this might seem like a win for marketers because it means more time and opportunity to connect. But, if anything, it’s a call to create content that reaches people where they are. To take a creative approach that prioritizes quality content over quantity.
This is best achieved with a smart content strategy – but how do we define this? In this post, we’ll explore exactly what goes into the content creation journey, starting with defining content marketing.
Content marketing definition
Content marketing is when you take a strategic approach to creating and sharing valuable, relatable, or educational content consistently. Instead of constantly pushing products or services, content marketing focuses on being informative and entertaining.
The main goal? Building trust and becoming a trusted source in your industry by consistently providing value. It’s not about the hard sell; it’s about being a resource people turn to because they know you have something meaningful to offer.
In the end, content marketing helps businesses build stronger relationships with their customers. It helps them boost their brand’s visibility, and, increase revenue by attracting and keeping a dedicated audience.
Building a content marketing strategy that works
In order to improve your new or existing content creation process, you’ll need to consider both your internal operations and the desires of your target audience. For the strategic and creatively minded, this can become an exciting game that utilizes all your team’s diverse skills. Let’s take a look at the strategic part first.
What are you trying to achieve with your content marketing?
In most cases, businesses want to increase brand awareness to impact sales. Content creation plays a role in this because it’s a catalyst. In fact, according to HubSpot, 82% of marketers are actively investing in content marketing. It can help you control your positioning in the media and connect with consumers, regularly.
In the same breath, something as seemingly simple as a social media presence can give your brand credibility. There are near-infinite benefits to establishing and building a presence online with content creation. But, to get really good at it, you need focus points.
- Is your team aligned on three main content goals?
- What are the justifications for these goals?
- Do they come from internal alignment, sales research, and insights from previous efforts?
- Have you defined what success would look like, specifically?
Once you have the why behind creating content, you can start thinking about a channel strategy.
Refine your channel strategy (across various channels)
Most content marketing strategies call for implementation across social media, websites, and publications. These can serve as the core real estate for building brand awareness and connection for new and existing customers. But, no two channels are exactly alike, and each favors a different content format. So how do you work with the resources you have to maximize impact everywhere your brand exists?
Start by defining the roles of various social media platforms in your overall marketing strategy. For example, you can use Twitter for short-format product tweets or quotes. Facebook can be used to drive traffic to your new blog posts and/or answer customer queries. Instagram can be used for product displays, event promotions, or short videos.
Elevate your content ideas
So the framework of your content strategy is in place. You know who you’re speaking to and why you want to experiment with specific approaches. But marrying strategy with creativity is an art form in itself.
Your new strategy should inform fresh content ideas and experimentation. Take a look at which posts have gained you the most organic traffic, engagement, and interest. Then use them to create test posts. From here you can test post performance against different formats and see which ones your audiences respond to best.
Then it’s time to start creating more engaging content.
What kinds of topics and interests do your audiences have?
How can you showcase your brand’s humor, personality, or stance on social topics?
How can you break the cycle of churning out average content and push creative boundaries?
And, arguably most importantly, what can you communicate or showcase that your competitors can’t or won’t?
Once you know what you want to showcase and how you want to do it, you need to make sure people actually see it. This is where keyword research is so critical.
Tap into organic traffic with better keyword research
Good keyword research enables you to optimize your images, videos, posts, and blog content creation. It should be part of your content marketing strategy. Use tools like Google Analytics or AskThePublic.com to determine what your audiences want to interact with in relation to your brand.
Then you can insert these keywords strategically, into your blog posts, image tags, and other media. This will enable more users to find your content when searching online. After all, it’s only as valuable as the audiences who see it, so prioritize getting it out there.
Leverage user-generated content creation
Another way to liven up your social media strategy and bring in engagement and credibility is using UGC. This can include content creation that’s related to your product or service, made by users. You can use your social media accounts to showcase video content and other media from brand advocates. This can create a sense of authenticity where real users are essentially selling for you. It’s one of the most exciting content formats for savvy content marketers because:
- Users can come up with content ideas
- They might think of newer or more exciting ways of creating content
- You can tap into their audiences by showcasing each content creator on your social media
- Small businesses can leverage UGC as a cost-effective way to get out there in the awareness stage
While UGC puts promotion in the hands of consumers, your brand can still have an influence on what gets shared. This is especially true if you are creating consistent messaging across the board and practicing social listening. By tracking mentions of your brand, you’re more likely to find potential UGC you can use or highlight.
Pay attention to how you present your brand online
Why is a consistent tone important? Because the more channels and posts you have in your content marketing efforts, the more risk there is of losing brand identity. Every piece of work from posts to tweets and short videos should feel like it was created by one entity. This consistency helps people associate a specific tone and key themes with your products or services. Plus, it preserves your brand as your content spreads to other publications and across the web. This brings us to getting your message out there.
Promote and syndicate your content
Content promotion and syndication help you extend the reach of your campaigns. Essentially, this involves promoting your work on your own channels but also tapping into other influences.
Leveraging social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram means you can have the potential for viral content. This is especially true when you schedule posting for optimal engagement times. But social isn’t your only weapon.
Email marketing, including newsletters to segmented lists, can help you deliver content directly to your subscribers. You can also consider submitting your content to syndication platforms like Medium or LinkedIn Pulse to expand your reach.
Other effective ways of getting your content out there involve guest blogging, sharing posts in online forums and communities, and running paid ad campaigns.
Don’t be afraid to use content creation tools
Your content marketing strategy can include strategic use of tools to help maximize impact and output. Generative AI like ChatGPT can give you inspiration, subsequently increasing output. However, it’s not good enough to do the job of content creation on its own. Human intervention, editing, and optimization are still important when using AI tools.
Now that you’ve got your audience, ideas, syndication, and promotion under wraps, how do you measure the impact of your work?
Next steps in the content creation process
Measurement and analysis are key to understanding what’s working and what’s not. This is where you track key performance metrics and gain insights into content effectiveness through analytics tools. With the data on your side, you can make informed changes to your strategy and keep getting better.
Finally, documentation and reporting your findings can help you get buy-in for more budget or offer evidence as you keep refining your approach.
Content marketing examples we love
With all of this in mind, what does good content marketing look like in practice? We’ve collected a few of our favorite examples.
Many companies have blogs as part of their content marketing strategy to provide valuable information to their audience. For instance, HubSpot’s blog covers a wide range of marketing, sales, and customer service topics. The team positions the brand as a thought leader in inbound marketing.
- Red Bull’s content marketing strategy is built around extreme sports and adventure. They produce videos, such as the Red Bull Stratos jump, which generated millions of views and showcased their brand’s association with adrenaline-pumping activities.
- Nike’s social media accounts are a great example. They share inspirational stories, athlete profiles, and motivational content, engaging their audience and promoting a healthy lifestyle.
- TheSkimm, a daily newsletter, provides subscribers with a quick, easy-to-read summary of the day’s top news stories, making it a valuable resource for busy professionals.
- The Adobe Creative Cloud TV podcast showcases their software while providing tips and inspiration for creative professionals.
Content marketing: Let’s test what you know
With all this in mind, it’s natural to have questions. Let’s get to the answers of some of the most frequently asked ones and summarize some of what we’ve discussed today.
Q: What is content marketing?
It’s a strategic approach to marketing that involves creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content. The primary goal should be to provide useful information, solve problems, or entertain the audience. Ultimately, you are building trust and driving profitable customer actions.
Why is content marketing important?
Content marketing allows businesses to connect with their audience, establish authority in their industry, and drive customer engagement and loyalty. It also enhances brand visibility, improves SEO, and can lead to increased website traffic and conversions.
What types of content are used in content marketing?
Content marketing encompasses various types of content, including blog posts, articles, videos, infographics, podcasts, social media posts, ebooks, whitepapers, webinars, and more. The choice of content depends on the target audience and the marketing goals.
How do I create a content marketing strategy?
To create a content marketing strategy, start by defining your goals, understanding your target audience, conducting keyword research, and developing a content calendar. Then, plan your content creation, distribution, and promotion strategies. Regularly analyze and adjust your strategy based on performance data.
What’s the role of SEO in content marketing?
SEO plays a significant role in content marketing by ensuring that your content is discoverable in search engine results. This involves optimizing content with relevant keywords, improving website structure, enhancing user experience, and more. All of these small victories add up to help your content rank higher and get seen.
How can I measure the effectiveness of my content marketing efforts?
You can measure the effectiveness of content marketing by tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) such as:
- website traffic
- engagement metrics (likes, shares, comments)
- conversion rates
- email sign-ups
- revenue generated from content.
Analytics tools like Google Analytics can help with this.
How can I repurpose content in content marketing?
Simply put, you can take existing content and adapt it into different formats or for various channels. For example, you can turn a blog post into a video, create an infographic from research data, or transform a webinar into a series of blog articles. This maximizes the value of your content.
Is storytelling important in content marketing?
Storytelling is crucial in content marketing. It helps create emotional connections with the audience, makes content more engaging, and allows brands to convey their values and messages effectively. Stories can be used to illustrate examples, customer experiences, and brand narratives.
How do I stay updated with content marketing trends?
Follow industry blogs, attend webinars and conferences, join relevant online communities, and subscribe to newsletters from marketing experts and organizations.
Looking to reach more potential customers with your content marketing?
At YDA, we can work with you to create content marketing strategies that leave plenty of room for creativity. In fact, we helped this Swedish company supercharge their content marketing with SEO.
Need help creating a weekly blog post? We’re here.
Want to increase the monthly search volume for your products? We can help.
Need new content creation ideas and inspiration? We’ve got you covered.
Simply get in touch to find out more.