Recently, smart marketers have understood that traditional marketing is becoming less and less effective and they have to look for a better way. Regardless of what type of marketing approach is used in your business, content marketing should be a part of your overall marketing technique, not something isolated. Now you should know how to Grow online income using content marketing and thus grow your business online.
Quality content is part of all forms of marketing. And content remains as one of the most vital parts of online marketing; though, methods are changing fast. In 2015, successful businesses will be the ones that comprehend the concept of content marketing, the dynamic shift in content marketing, and develop a plan that goes along with the new changes.
What is Content Marketing
In content marketing, the concentration is not necessarily on selling, but rather providing high-quality information and solutions to the people. So, to answer the question, what is content marketing strategy, we can say that it is simply the marketing strategy that is all about the creation and sharing of information to the customers to perform some specific actions, such as to increase conversions, obtain links, encourage email sign-ups, better SEO ranking etc.
- 82% Business to Consumer (B2C) marketers and 95% Business to Business (B2B) enterprise marketers use content marketing.
- Only 12% companies don’t include content in their marketing strategies.
- Though content marketing is proven to be powerful and effective, only 32% marketers believe they are using an effective strategy.
The last statistic is noticeable. It is alarming but also promising. It indicates that 2 out of 3 companies are not making the best use of their potential. Is your company also part of that group? If so, it’s time to wake up and integrate content marketing into your overall marketing strategy and increase your business returns.
Why is Content Marketing so important ?
Nowadays, online marketing is impossible without great content. So, let’s see why content marketing is important in today’s online marketing:
- SEO: There are certain parameters that search engines take into consideration for SERP rankings, and content has become an increasingly significant factor. Search engines prefer businesses that publish quality and unique content.
- Social media marketing: Before doing social media marketing for your business, you have to consider content marketing. This is because socially shareable content from your blog will help to increase engagement and click through rates in the social media. As a result, your sales will also be enhanced.
- PPC: For working with PPC, you will require quality content behind it.
- Inbound marketing: Content is the key factor for driving inbound traffic and leads.
Content marketing is being used by several large marketing organizations in the world and also by small businesses around the globe. Why? Because it works.
How does it work?
For accomplishing a successful content marketing campaign, you have to first establish a goal. It means you have to have a solid content marketing plan and it is not possible without content marketing research and goal identification.
An ideal content marketing plan includes:
- The type of the content
- What the goal is for that specific type of content
- Who are the audiences
- How you are going to produce and promote the content
- Where you will market it
- When you are going to publish it
What types of content can be produced?
There are various types of content that can be produced. But it surely depends on the type of the company and the objective of the content marketing campaign.
Here are some of the types of content that can be produced:
If you have a website then it will be wise to have a business blog. This will obviously add value, create brand awareness, generate traffic, help you to build up a link profile and strengthen your social media presence. In your blog, you can cover all types of topics related to your business and thus generate engagement with the readers.
An info-graphic is the presentation of key information, data or statistics in a visual form. One of the content marketing best practices is to include infographics in your contents. These are really very engaging and user-friendly. Info-graphics should be informative and never be too text-heavy. The advantage of using info-graphics is that they offer a unique and sharable opportunity. It has been observed that infographics get shared up to three times than other content in the social media. Nowadays infographics are getting more priority. Gifographics use the info-graphic model, but instead of the static images they use animated images.
There is a lot of variety in videos. A quality video sends a message in a concise but in a memorable way. After making the content marketing video you should put it on YouTube and Vimeo. These two video sharing sites are great sources for earning social signals. Videos should not be long. The length of a good video should be two or three minutes.
Memes are really amazing. They are hilarious, viral and easy to make. People love things that are funny and shareable. And the most important aspect of the memes is their humor.
Memes are the best type of content you can share on the social media sites like Stumbleupon, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and Reddit.
There are publishing platforms like SlideShare where users can share presentations with each other in a visual and an engaging way. Presentations can also be included in the blog posts.
User Guides and White papers
User-guides and White papers are really useful to understand and to get a thorough perception regarding a specific topic, product or service. Usually, User-guides or White-papers is downloadable content that supports users to access informative content and to enrich their knowledge and experience. It increases the chances of repeat site visits which really adds value to getting content marketing effectiveness. These types of contents are written in a fairly long and detailed format.
For writing unique and informative User guides and Whitepapers require good writers, designers, and fabulous ideas. The writers need to produce content of top quality. The designers have to present the content in a smart and eye-catching way. The ideas should meet the needs of the audience.
Reviews can be written about products or services. By writing product reviews, you can establish your leadership and authority in your industry. Each industry has varieties of products and services. Engaging key developers or service providers, you can gain an appreciation and recognition. What you have to do is to write about your experience with the product or service and provide your recommendation.
You can also write reviews on books. Book reviews are helpful if you want to establish yourself as a thought leader. To write a book review, you have to include discussion about that book and add your opinion about it as well. Book reviews work best when you write about new or pre-releases or you can interview the author.
One of the best content marketing ideas is to produce how-to contents. How-to is one of the most popular types of content. How-to articles have the potential of long tail search like ‘How to’ or ‘How do I’.
Steps of writing How-to guides:
- Introduce the problem
- State the solution
- Talk over each step of the solution
- Summarize the discussion
- Give a conclusion
Topics for writing ‘How-to’ articles are unlimited. These contents can be industry-specific or very general. You can enrich your ‘How-to’ articles by including videos, images and also diagrams.
For writing list articles you have to use the simple format:
- Provide an introduction to the topic
- List the points
- Give a conclusion
The more detailed your list is, the better. Long lists are also good.
Generally, e-book is a long content which is published in PDF format. These are available as a downloadable free product in exchange for joining an email list. Making an e-book helps to build up your authority within your industry. Producing a content marketing ebook is also a powerful way of sharing your knowledge with others.
While writing an e-book, the following things should be considered:
- An e-book should be given a really good title. So, try to spend time on creating the best title for your e-book to gather more readers.
- Designing matters a lot for an ebook. People consider those ebooks worth reading, which has good graphics, colors, and great formatting.
- An ebook should have a PDF version and an HTML version both. In an HTML version, you can include video, audio, and other necessary resources.
A case study describes the product or service of a company and how a client got benefited from it.
The following model is really helpful for writing a case study:
- At first, write a summary of the study.
- State the problems the client was facing.
- Describe the challenges that you had to overcome while finding a solution to the problem.
- Write about the solution of the problem that you provided.
- Discuss the results of your solution and how it became successful.
- Give a conclusion and also a call to action.
Remember that a content marketing case study should be written in such a way that it should not sound as pure marketing. A case study should be written as an inspiring success story.
Podcasts were popular in the past and still they are a great form of content. Podcasts are audio content which is not hard to create. You will need a computer, a microphone, and the Internet. The advantage of the content marketing podcast is that using this format, it is possible to spread your message better than other formats. It’s really amazing to listen to music shows or radio-style talk on your i Pod or another MP3 player every day. You can listen to pod-casts during your commute or exercise.
It’s always best to provide content with the podcast. On your blog, share information about the new podcast releases or publish the transcript of it. It will help to add value to your website’s SEO ranking.
Each industry or field has popular leaders. If you are capable of arranging an interview with a leader, you can earn respect from others in your industry. An interview has the advantage that it has unique information and only you have this information. If your information is audio or video, provide an overview of the interview.
Research and Data
If you work in a data-intensive field, you can share your findings with the audience on your blog. We all know that numbers and metrics have a great value. Doing research is a hard work and people respect it. Sharing your research and data is really a powerful way to build trust, drive traffic and establish your authority in the industry.
How To Promote Your Content?
When you have produced the content, it’s time to promote it successfully. You can do this through content marketing channels such as owned, earned and paid media channels:
Owned media are the media that you already own. It may be an existing website or blog and all social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, YouTube, etc. You can also choose content publishing platforms such as SlideShare, Tumblr, and Visual.ly. For accomplishing content marketing on social media, it is vital to building up your community on these platforms.
This type of media needs additional activities to develop. For example, engaging with social communities and groups and joining industry specific groups. Proactive relationship building and outreaching to key influencers within the particular industry fall under earned media as well. The advantage of earned media is that it offers valuable exposure because of its unquestioned credibility and potential reach. Earned media is all about earning trust and acquiring commendation from relevant and reputable third parties.
You can also choose paid media channels for promoting the content. Native advertising, Pay Per Click (PPC), paid to advertise through social media, remarketing through Google Ad-wards and event sponsorship fall under the paid media category.
How To Measure The Success Of a Content Marketing Campaign?
A number of tools can be used to measure the effectiveness and success of a content marketing campaign. These are:
Among the content marketing tools, Google Analytics is a powerful one. Statistics from Google Analytics help you to understand how content performs and conversions are generated. Success measures of Google Analytics include time on site, page views (organic, direct, referral), bounce rate, transactions, goal completions.
In Google Analytics, specific goals can be set up as well to measure the impact of an individual piece of content on driving a specific conversion. For example, how many contact form submissions have been done because of a piece of content.
This tool is helpful to measure the success of different kinds of activities, for example, form submissions, an email campaign, and how content is shared. Marketo also supports to have a marketing insight.
Social media metrics like engagement (number of re-tweets, shares, and likes), comments, reach, participation, and followers help to measure the performance and success of the content on social media platforms.
In brief, creating and sharing your expertise through content marketing is the new way to attract your ideal customers. The key to reaching content marketing goals is delivering value to the readers. Providing useful and engaging material is the best way to keep the readers happy and get them to share the content with more people. And above all, this is the most effective way in which you can grow your online income with content marketing.